With New Year’s resolutions far in the rear view mirror, it’s safe to assume that many who vowed to exercise regularly this year have struggled with maintaining a steady work out routine.
It’s not a criticism, but simply human nature that can make adopting new habits a challenge. Exercise is hard work, and for some individuals, other activities and distractions are more appealing.
So what’s the key to adhering to a regular work out routine – especially during busy seasons of life or when traveling? Although there is no magic solution, here are some tips that can help you be consistent with exercise – even with life intervenes.
Tips to Stick with Your Work Out Routine
- Schedule workouts – Aiming to exercise when you have some free time is a recipe for failure. Free time generally doesn’t just appear for most of us. Schedule your weekly workouts in your calendar or phone, and block out this time just like you would for a work meeting. Determine when you will go to the health club and when you’ll exercise outdoors or at home.
- Add variety – Habits are great, but running the same route everyday or putting in 30 minutes on the stationary bike every session can lead to boredom. Mix up your workouts when you can to stimulate your body and mind. Try new activities, incorporate cardio, strength and flexibility and vary your workout duration and intensity.
- Plan ahead – If you’re traveling, see if your hotel has a workout facility, or check the weather for outdoor exercise, and pack accordingly. Bring your gear, including your iPod, heart rate monitor and water bottle, so that you’re prepared.
- Have a back-up plan – If you get sick, have to work late or it’s raining and you can’t exercise outside, schedule another workout on a different day or choose an indoor/home option. If you miss a workout for any reason, don’t beat yourself up and quit – just get after it the next day.
- Just do something – When you are tight on time, short workouts are better than nothing at all. Every little bit counts. Walk on your lunch hour or during your son’s soccer practice; add in some squats, lunges, push-ups, planks and crunches while you are catching up on TV programs or the news.
- Enlist support – Working out with a partner can help keep you motivated because he/she is counting on you. Hire a trainer, take a group exercise class or join a running club. Even when you may not feel like giving it your all, the power of social support can get you through exercise and make sessions more fun.
- Reward yourself – Treat yourself to some new workout shoes or apparel when you reach a milestone, like one to three months of consistent workouts.
- Appreciate benefits – Focus on all the benefits that you get from exercise, from more energy, to a toned appearance, to weight loss, to simply staying healthy.
We know it can be hard to stick with your work out routine; it’s hard for everyone. Hopefully these tips will make it easier and help you see the results you’re looking for!