How to stick to an exercise routine
4 ways to achieve your fitness goals
1. Determine why you are starting a routine in the first place. What is your goal?
Is it a short term goal? For example, to fit into a wedding dress? Or is it a long term goal? For example, to become more healthy?
Short term goals are great…but only if they are realistic. If you’re only interested in looking great for a short period of time then you’re almost guaranteed not to stick to it in the long run. And you'll either return to the level of fitness you were before or your health will decline further from the yoyo effect.
A long term goal will see the greatest results because it is attainable and sustainable. But that doesn’t mean you can’t make short term goals that correspond to your long term one.
For example, let's say your long term goal is to lower your blood sugar and cholesterol levels. Your first short term goal could be to walk for 30 minutes 3 times per week.
2. Start slowly and start small
So many people jump into high-impact and weight training routines with no prior training. Which causes unnecessary injuries and pain that leads to stopping exercise.
The best thing to do is start a few days a week with simple routines. You need to ease into exercise.
For example: try walking, biking and/or a stretching class.
Once you have stuck with the routine for a few weeks, then you can begin to progress. You can add-on extra days or try a new technique.
3. Allow for obstacles
We all know the saying “Life happens when we’re making other plans”. You will miss a workout at some point. It’s inevitable. We tend to be very negative towards ourselves. Try not to think things like “I've ruined my fitness goals. Or I’ll have to start from the beginning and it’s not worth it”. Social media puts a lot of pressure on us to be perfect all the time. But the reality is nobody does something 100% all the time. Everyone stops and starts. Let yourself off the hook and be kind to yourself. You’ll find starting back is much easier that way.
4. Make a plan
Did you know that studies have shown that if you write down your intention to exercise that you are more likely to stick with it? The more details the better. Here is an example from James Clear’s Atomic Habits:
During the next week, I will partake in at least 20 minutes of flexibility training on: day ____ at (time)_______ in (place)________.
We suggest you place the intended goal somewhere you will see it. On the fridge, beside your computer or even on the mirror in the bathroom. You should also add it to your weekly schedule!
It’s never too early to get started. Write your intention sentence right now and you’ll be halfway there to adhering to an exercise routine!