Keeping exercise a part of your daily routine can be tough at times. So many aspects of our life can get us off track –work , family, school, sickness, you name it! Today we’re going to give you some tips on how to make exercise a habit that will last the whole year (and a lifetime)!
Make the habit a daily habit. Aim to exercise most days of the week and try your best to not take long breaks. When exercise turns from something you have to do everyday into something you do everyday, it won’t seem like as much of a hassle. And the easiest way to make exercise something you do everyday is to simply do it every day.
Find an exercise buddy. If you plan to meet a friend or co-worker at a spin class or at the park to go for a walk, you’re not only letting yourself down when you skip a session, but also your buddy down if you don’t show up.
Look to exercise for stress relief. After a hectic day at the office, head to the gym before heading home. Exercise releases endorphins, your body’s feel-good chemicals, which will improve your mood.
Start with small goals to keep yourself from getting discouraged. If you haven’t run since gym class in high school, don’t expect to be able to run a marathon your first day running again. Aim to alternate between running and walking for 30 minutes – 3 minutes of running, three minutes of walking – until you can build up to running for the full 30 minutes. Then continue to build from there. The same goes for all other types of cardio and weight lifting. Don’t try to bench press your body weight the first time. You don’t want to hurt yourself and have an injury sideline you for the next week or two.
Keep a calendar and mark the days you go to the gym. Many or our clients like to mark our calendars with a big red X. This way it’s obvious if you’ve skipped a day, or four! It will be a constant reminder of how well you’re sticking to your New Year’s Resolution!
Search for free classes offered in your neighborhood. Many local fitness stores (and sometimes even gyms) will offer free class – everything from yoga or pilates to group runs to weight lifting sessions. This can be a great way to try new things and meet new people. It will keep your exercise routine fun and interesting!
Measure your progress. Although your main reason for exercising may be to lose weight, measuring how you’re improving your fitness can be a better measure of how your body is benefiting. Track how many push ups you can do, how many lunges you can do on each leg, how long you can jump rope for, or how many miles you can run. You can also take measurements of your body – your waist, your hips, your thighs, your calves, your upper arms, and your chest to keep you encouraged and motivated as you see the measurements decrease. When you first start exercising, many times people gain muscle (which weighs more than fat, but is much more compact and takes up less space than fat), and lose fat, but gain a little bit of weight overall. Don’t be discouraged. Body measurements and fitness measurements are ways to show you that all of your hard work is in fact paying off!