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5 Ways You Can Exercise More Effectively All By Yourself

5 Ways You Can Exercise More Effectively All By Yourself

For many people exercise seems too daunting and too demanding of a task. There are numerous exercise programs to choose from, and many people don’t know which one is best for them. Getting started on an exercise program is a large enough challenge considering the busyness of your daily life. It’s easy to conjure up excuses for why you shouldn’t exercise today. Where is the time to exercise? You tell yourself you will start tomorrow, or the next day, or the next, etc.

Exercise doesn’t have to feel impossible. You are not expected to climb Mount Everest every time you work out. With the overwhelming amount of data available on the value of daily exercise to your health, both physically and mentally, exercise should be viewed with gratitude and positivity. Hopefully it can transform into something you look forward to, rather than something you dread.

Perhaps you prefer working out in a group setting. This is always desirable for many people because as a group you can endure mental and physical stress together, and help one another push through the work out. For many people this is not an option. So what do you do? Here I’ve outlined five ways for you to exercise more effectively by yourself. It doesn’t matter what kind of exercise you choose to perform. Implement these five simple steps into your routine and I believe you will witness wonderful results.

1. Set an exercise target or plan before you start

I don’t want to present the idea that you have to embark on a two or three month workout program and know exactly what you are going to do every day. If you prefer this kind of exercise regimen than go for it. I am proposing that for each day you exercise that you have a goal or plan of what you want to accomplish.

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It could be as simple as walking up ten flights of stairs or using the treadmill for twenty minutes. It doesn’t have to be grandiose but having a target for your exercise will help keep you focused. You will be more likely to complete your daily workouts when you choose realistic and attainable targets.

2. Focus on quality and not quantity

It took me a while to understand this one. There are a lot of people who go to the gym and spend two hours there. By the time they leave the gym they really haven’t accomplished much at all. It is not important that you spend a lot of time exercising but it is important that you spend quality time exercising!

Develop an exercise goal for the day so you can focus your workout without wasting unnecessary time. It will serve you better to spend thirty minutes at the gym lifting weights with a concrete plan of what lifts you are going to do and how much time you are going to rest in between each lift, than to wander aimlessly for a couple of hours. Spending more time at the gym doesn’t necessarily mean you exercised properly for the entire time you were there.

3. Challenge yourself with attainable exercise goals

Only you know your limits of how much you can push yourself. This is especially imperative when you are exercising alone. There is not going to be someone there yelling at you to push you.

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You have to go into each workout telling yourself that you are going to get the most out of the workout. A walk through the neighborhood can be a great form of exercise especially if you are walking at a brisk pace.

With an exercise plan in place, along with a time limit in which to accomplish the workout, you are more likely to challenge yourself. If you go into a workout with no plan you are more likely to coast through the workout.

If your goal is to run one mile in fifteen minutes then you have a tangible goal of what you are trying to accomplish. Let’s say you finish the mile in thirteen minutes. Next time you can make a goal that you will run the mile in under thirteen minutes. This is how you challenge yourself.

It is not necessary for you to increase the intensity of each workout but when you feel you can do more, expand your limits. Not every exercise routine is going to be grueling and intense, but you have to be willing to test yourself if you want to experience positive results from exercising.

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4. Concentrate on simple exercises, not complicated ones

This phrase can be utilized in many facets of your life. It is especially beneficial when exercising. You don’t need a complex exercise plan in order to notice results. You need to set a target, focus on quality, and challenge yourself.

Swimming ten laps in the pool might be an accomplishment for you. All you are doing is swimming, nothing else, but achieving the goal of ten laps will leave you confident and readier to swim more in the next workout. Exercise doesn’t have to include lots of fancy equipment. This stuff may help but if you are just beginning to exercise, this kind of equipment can be intimidating.

Focus on simple exercises and then work your way up to more complicated routines as you get more comfortable and gain confidence in your capabilities. This is vitally important when exercising alone because often you will not be able to use the fancy equipment on your own.

5. Be consistent

This is probably the most important aspect. You have to exercise regularly if you desire results. I am not saying that you have to exercise every day, although daily exercise has enormous advantages for your health. You have to exercise regularly, at least three or four times per week.

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This can be quite challenging for many people because they start exercising and they get excited for the first few weeks. Then maybe the results aren’t exactly what they expected so they give up or they get busy at work and they start making excuses for why they can’t exercise. Stick with it!

Exercise can never be harmful unless it is done irresponsibly and too frequently. If you maintain an exercise regimen of three to five times a week, you are living a healthy lifestyle.

Exercising alone isn’t always easy but often it can be necessary. If exercising alone is your only option, then make sure you take advantage of the time you have. Utilie these steps to enjoy more productive and fulfilling exercise!

Featured photo credit: Man run at autumn morning. Healthy lifestyle concept via shutterstock.com

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Last Updated on March 13, 2019

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

1. Work on the small tasks.

When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

2. Take a break from your work desk.

Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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3. Upgrade yourself

Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

4. Talk to a friend.

Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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6. Paint a vision to work towards.

If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

7. Read a book (or blog).

The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

8. Have a quick nap.

If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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9. Remember why you are doing this.

Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

10. Find some competition.

Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

11. Go exercise.

Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

12. Take a good break.

Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

More Resources About Getting out of a Rut

Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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