Getting into a fitness training regimen can be difficult to begin, but what may be even harder than starting, is in staying with it. After the first couple of days of training, you may experience muscle soreness, fatigue, or tightness, but this is just your body’s response to getting in shape. Pushing your muscles to the limit is what causes them to get stronger, but causes small tears in the muscles that require recovery time. It can be easy to turn that needed rest time for recuperation into a longer stretch, and then into not training at all. Soon, your new found passion for getting back in shape becomes a thing of the past.
The best way to stick with your fitness training, it to keep going.
Here’s how to get and stay in the habit of regular workouts.
1. Start Where You Are
Don’t wait until you have the perfect training shoes, the gym membership, or have hired a trainer. Start as soon as you can with what you have. Take a walk in your neighborhood. Do some pushups or sit ups. Start right now because taking one action toward your training makes a difference.
2. Keep Active Daily
This does not mean you need to run a marathon daily, but do something active everyday. You can alternate between hiking, swimming, or training at the gym. No matter what, make a point to stay active. The endorphins created during exercise can boost your energy and mood, and can be habit forming. Focus on the habit of increasing those endorphins, and your desire to workout will follow.
3. Get a Trainer or Take a Class
It can be too easy to get away with not pushing yourself when it is just you and your workout. Working with a trainer can keep you on schedule with your workout goals, and can offer you supportive nudges to stick with it. Taking a class can give you the support, kinship, and connection possible from working out in a group. The training will not be as targeted as working with a trainer one-on-one, but the energy of a group can increase motivation.
4. Do Exercise that You Love
If you workout by doing an exercise that you love, you will be much more likely to stick with it. If you don’t love running, then walk instead. If you don’t love walking, choose swimming. Whatever it is, take the time to find your workout groove. Help stay motivated with music.
5. Focus on Health, And Not on Looks
Working out for vanity’s sake can be a no-win battle. Internal motivation and focusing on how you will feel, rather than how you will look after a workout can support you in sticking with it. The health benefits of exercise are numerous. When you workout, you actually feel like you look better. Rather than just buying more wrinkle creams or getting plastic surgery, exercise can actually help slow the aging process.
6. Don’t Give Up, Even When You’re Stuck
As you progress, you may begin to get frustrated when you hit a plateau and feel like you can’t reach your next milestone. Keep at it, and as you get stronger, you will reach your goal. A good way to get past that plateau is to “confuse” your body by mixing up your workouts.
7. Don’t Let Lack of Time Be an Excuse
One of the leading causes of people not working out can be the feeling that there are not enough hours in the day to find time to work out. Excuses are just ways to procrastinate and prevent yourself from staying on course. There is no time, unless you choose to make time. Even if its in 10 minute intervals throughout the course of a day, just do whatever you can daily. The use of a fitness tracker can help you count steps, so you can be aware of opportunities to train, just by your everyday activities. Try out these 5 minute workouts.
8. Keep Track of Your Time
A great way to celebrate your accomplishments is to track your workouts. You can use an app on your mobile phone, or even a spreadsheet, but making the choice to track your time gives you a visual representation and the measurable results to track your progress. If you say you want to work out 5 days a week, then have 5 days a week checked off in your calendar. Stick with it and it becomes a habit. This app makes it fun!
Exercise is an important part of your overall health. Without it, your body’s systems cannot function properly. Set yourself up with these tips to help you win at the game of your health!
Featured photo credit: Viktor Hanacek via picjumbo.com