Are you following any wellness related new year's resolutions or embracing the "new year, new you" idea this year? If you're not normally a fitness fanatic yet you've decided to take the path towards a healthier lifestyle, you may require some tips on how to make exercise a regular routine. There are tons of benefits to exercise including, but not limited to: boosting your sex drive, increasing your creativity, or just feeling more fit and healthy. So it makes sense that you'd want exercise to be a regular part of your lifestyle.
I really admire the folks I see online posting their gym selfies and looking sweaty and happy after a hard workout, plus the people whom I know IRL who are incredibly disciplined and manage to fit regular exercise into their busy lives. In my adulthood I've struggled on and off with making exercise a consistent part of my life; I try a new class for a while and then decide it's not for me, or I cancel a workout session when I get a better offer. However, I am determined to make 2016 a year in which I work on my health and fitness goals. So here are some tips I'm going to put into place this year, which might also help you reach your health and fitness goals.
1. Choose Something You Enjoy
There's no point starting a new workout routine which contains types of exercise which you dislike. You might stick to it for a while, but quit soon after beginning, because you're not enjoying yourself. What's the point in spending your time and energy on something you don't like doing? This applies to all areas of your life, not just health and fitness. You're bound to be much more motivated to make an exercise which you enjoy part of your regular routine, rather than one you hate.
2. Join A Gym Or Sign Up For A Course Of Classes
When you part with your hard earned cash and sign up for a series of classes or a gym membership, you'll be wasting your money if you don't go regularly to make the most of what you've paid for. If you are financially driven this could really work for you!
3. Work Out With Friends
According to Shape, "...enlisting a workout buddy always leads to better gym accountability." Working out with a friend is a great idea because no matter how unmotivated you may be feeling, the guilt of letting your friend down at the thought of cancelling your workout session is sure to feel much worse. So get a workout pal, become each others' personal cheerleaders, and help each other to achieve your fitness goals.
4. Check It Off
Encompassing your workout into your to-do list could be a wise move. I started doing this recently and I'm finding it really works for me. I'm a sucker for ticking boxes and crossing things off my to-do list, as it makes me feel super accomplished. I also bought myself a year long wall planner and when I workout, I put a sticker onto the specific day to mark that I have completed my exercise. By doing this I have found that I psychologically don't like to see too many gaps or long sticker-less periods, which helps me to make myself exercise even when I don't feel like it.
5. Reward Yourself After Working Out
A POPSUGAR writer explained their thoughts on rewarding fitness goals, "I feel it is important to set fitness goals, but it's equally important to reward yourself once you reach them. After completing my first triathlon, I bought a new purse." They also highlighted other people's personal fitness rewards to inspire their readers. Your reward could be anything you fancy from a healthy smoothie which will make you feel great, to a small purchase, to watching an episode of your favorite series, to a delicious junk food dinner you've been craving. Obviously it might not be a good idea to eat junk food and buy stuff after every workout, as you could end up broke or feeling less healthy than before, but after a particularly hard session, or on a day when you really couldn't muster up any motivation, a little treat will reward your efforts.
7. Track How Regular Exercise Makes You Feel
After your workouts, make a note of how they made you feel. This way, when you're having a particularly unmotivated day, you can look back on your accomplishments and the way exercising made you feel afterwards (endorphins will become your new BFFs,) which will hopefully kick start your motivation.
8. If You Fall Off The Bandwagon – Get Back On
In an article for Tiny Buddha, Sam Russell informs readers, "Love yourself, even if you have some less-than-ideal habits. You can only overcome these if you stop kicking yourself when you’re down. Instead, give yourself a hug and get up. Keep moving." It doesn't matter how long it's been since you last exercised, or if you don't manage to create a regular routine right away; stop beating yourself up and hop back on the fitness bandwagon.
9. Stop Comparing Yourself To Others
It's great to have a competitive spirit and enjoy competing with others, but what you don't want to do is start comparing yourself to others. Everyone is different and everybody achieves different things in life at different paces, plus some people are naturals in certain areas. Do your best and compete against yourself instead, by trying to do just one more rep or attempting to smash your personal best time.
Above all, you have to believe in yourself and actually want to exercise for you. These tips and tricks will hopefully help you on your personal fitness journey!