With work, personal lives and everything in-between, you can’t help but place exercising at the bottom of the priority list. The hardest part about exercising is getting started. We all know that great feeling when you actually get moving and the rewards to follow. So, here are some easy, proven ways to help you get started with exercising and how to stick with it for the rest of the year.
You should never jump right into a vigorous physical activity without taking small steps first. So, start by signing up for a gym membership and see what features they offer. Some people prefer classes to have an instructor motivating them. Others prefer free weights to work at their own pace. Regardless of the preference, starting slow and working your way up is the best way to begin an effective exercise regimen. Even if you have to start working out on a treadmill, it’s better than sitting on the couch.
Plan Out Workouts
Scheduling workouts to fit your day can be a challenge, but is absolutely necessary. Decide whether you’ll be exercising in the morning or the evening. Then, map out what types of workouts you’ll be doing each day to variate the routines. Don’t forget to take two to three days off to rest your muscles and give them ample time to recover properly.
Change up the Mundane
Once you get a steady pace and habit with exercising, it is also essential to remember to switch up the routines on a regular basis. Your body will become too used to the same exercises if they are repeated week in and week out. Challenging your muscles to new workouts will surely keep you motivated and maintain progress towards your goals.
Track Your Progress
Now that you have worked out for a few weeks, it is a good idea to be tracking your progress. Whether it is keeping it in a food journal or taking pictures of yourself every few weeks, this will be your evidence of growth and progress. Besides feeling it, you get to see the changes for yourself.
Create a Playlist
The tunes that you jam out to whilst working out can make a big difference in your motivation. Make a playlist specifically for when you are logging your miles from running or lifting heavy on back day. You may even opt for music you don’t typically blast when you are listening in your car. EDM or rap are always favorites of those wanting to get extra motivation for their workouts.
Tie it to Health, Not Vanity
Exercising has an enormous amount of benefits but the top priority should be for the benefit of your overall health. Yes, vanity is a plus, but being able to walk long distances without losing your breath or carrying those loads of grocery bags into the house without breaking a sweat are surefire ways to get you motivated about working out. Plus, you’ll also get to schedule less time at the doctor’s office and more vacations, instead.
Whether you decide to hire a trainer or enter into a competition, accountability can be your best friend when it comes to sticking to your exercise goals. Perhaps you need that carrot at the end of the stick to kick your butt into gear and the best shape of your life. If you are more of the “connected” type, post your progress on your social media channels so your friends and family can track you and also hold you accountable.
If you have an office job, it can be easy to fall into the “sedentary” trap of sitting for hours all day. So, set a timer to get up every hour and walk around. Try eating lunch standing up or walking around when you’re on the phone. You’ve probably heard that it is a great idea to park in the farthest spot possible as well. All these minor adjustments can help you stick to your plan of health and promote the regular exercise you’re already getting.
Raise the Stakes
Take part in some challenges that your job or local gyms offer. Sometimes, you can enter by registering for a small fee and the winner of the challenges get the whole pot of money. If money isn’t a good motivator, I don’t know what else is!
Hang in There – No Pain No Gain
At the end of the day, it’s always important to remember that you are further today in your goals than you were yesterday. Each step that you make towards a healthier you is one step closer towards a lifelong, lifestyle shift. As long as you believe in yourself and trust in your support systems, there is no telling what you can overcome!