Good habits are hard to form and bad ones hard to break. Still, exercise is a good habit to work hard to cultivate. Its benefits are multiplex and far-reaching plus it makes for a rich existence.
If you are like many who struggle with making exercise a routine and not just a holiday pastime, the following are hacks to help you stick with the program
Make it the first thing you do
Start your day with exercise. It’s hard to miss when it’s your first order of business after you wake up. This way, you direct your fresh energies, all of it, to something you are probably lazy at. This is right out the Eat the frog advice book. For many who work out in the mornings, there’s the added advantage of feeling revved up for the rest of the day you get.
Set out your gear in advance
Know what you want to wear beforehand and make sure it’s ready to wear. Some people who do some type of exercise at dawn like to lay their running gear beside their bed so it’s the first piece of clothing they see after they wake up. Even if you work out at night, ensure you already have your exercise gear set out. It takes away from the stress of ‘looking’ for what to wear.
Put it in your schedule
Mark it as a definite ‘to do.’ Exercise is more mental than it is physical. If you don’t ready your mind, you won’t bother to start. Have it saved in your reminders on your phone, use a sticker on your fridge etc. Do whatever you need to do but make time for it as an activity itself. Don’t employ a hit or miss approach to exercise.
ALSO READ: 8 Elements of A Perfect Workout
Follow a set workout routine.
Not having a clue about what to do or how to do them is arguably the biggest reason people don’t stick to a habit. We spend more time on activities we enjoy doing and we only enjoy things we know how to do. Think personal trainer here. A guide is what you need. You may contract the service of one or simply buy a workout plan for the month online. Many personal trainers give virtual classes to help with this in the event having on give f2f classes is off your budget.
Start out slow
Don’t start out doing too much. Enthusiasm is always welcome but your body needs to get up to speed and that works on a different clock. Start slow and steadily, over time increase the intensity and time you spend on the exercise. A rushed approach will wear you out before you get the hang of routines and often make you take a one-month-old or more ‘rest days.’
Workout with friends
Companionship increases endurance. Even with seasoned athletes, training is always better in pairs as opposed to alone. The energy you can get off the other person’s vibe can be the difference between an ordinary workout or an epic one. Find friends who already have exercise as a habit, it helps. Or simply be friendly the first time you step out for exercise and you’ll make new friends who’ll help you keep to a routine of exercise.
Combine Exercise with Chores
Have too much to do and thinking to skip your exercise appointment? Don’t. Be creative and find ways to mix your chores with your exercise. If you have a dog and need to take it out for a walk, why not do that while you run a few kilometers?
Never skip an exercise day because you can’t spend the ideal amount of time in your end you want to. Do something anyway, something beats nothing. If you don’t have an hour to spare, try 30 minutes then or even less but make sure to do something
Make sure it’s goal focused
Work with a purpose in mind. This adds the element of meaning to the effort. We are creatures of meaning and often do well when we have a set goal in mind for engaging in an activity. What do you want; to add muscle, have better running form etc.? Have a goal clearly set in mind and then use a workout plan that helps you achieve it.