Getting started (or returning to) a workout routine can be challenging. But, with experts’ help, you can set yourself up for success. Start with easily attainable goals and reassess your progress regularly. For example, aim to walk 15 minutes daily for your first week and increase as you get more comfortable.
Make It Fun
Finding an exercise regimen you enjoy will increase your likelihood of sticking with it, whether you dance, participate in boot camp exercises, or take a simple treadmill stroll. If you feel bored or tired with your workout, it may be time to switch things up and try something new. Try exercising at home if you can’t attend a class or your favorite gym. Online workouts or videos are easy to follow and often include music to help keep you motivated. Crank up your favorite songs or listen to a podcast, and you may find yourself losing track of time and looking forward to your next workout.
Getting started with a new exercise routine can be daunting, but starting small and increasing your workouts as you become more comfortable will help make exercising a habit. Aim for just five minutes of cardio to start, and if you’re still tired or cranky, you can always do some more later. Having an exercise buddy can also make a big difference. People are more likely to be consistent when someone else holds them accountable. You can keep motivated and on track with your exercise goals by finding a buddy to go for a picturesque walk with or enrolling in San Jose gyms. Setting a workout milestone and rewarding yourself when you reach it is another great way to keep you on track.
Get Ready the Night Before
Sticking to a fitness schedule can be challenging, especially if you’re trying to make up for a poor day or don’t feel like it. However, planning the night before makes things much easier.
Putting out your clothes and shoes, making coffee or setting the alarm earlier can make it much less likely that you’ll hit the snooze button the next morning. It can also be helpful to enlist a workout buddy or a friend, which has been shown to increase exercise motivation. If you want to run or take an early morning class, check the weather the night before and assemble everything you need, including a water bottle, headphones, earplugs, a rain jacket, and a fitness tracker. Putting together a “just in case” bag, including a change of socks, extra water, sunscreen, and a backup pair of sneakers, can be even more helpful. Lastly, it can be helpful to write down why you will work out in the first place. It may seem corny, but it’s a great way to hold yourself accountable and stay on track for your workout.
Make It a Priority
Establishing an exercise routine that seems as natural as teeth-brushing or applying cosmetics can take some time. But the longer you stick with it, the easier it will become. “Be very intentional about the habits you want to change,” Itsines says. “Get granular about the tasks and behaviors involved in your goal.” That means prepping the coffee, laying out workout clothes the night before and figuring out what you’ll do if you need to feed yourself or others in the morning. Also, choose exercises that fit your goals, abilities and tastes. If you hate running, for example, don’t force yourself to do it. Instead, look for other ways to get moving—try walking, joining a class, playing sports or hiring a personal trainer. And find a way to keep yourself accountable. Research shows you’re more likely to stick with an exercise regimen if you have a friend waiting for you at the gym or make your plans public (either online or in person) so that others expect you to show up. Prioritize your commitments to yourself just as you would those to your employer or family members. Treating your health and fitness goals like other important commitments can help you stick to them even when life gets busy.
If you have difficulty keeping commitments to yourself, find an accountability buddy. Choose a friend you know is supportive of your health and fitness goals, and meet up to exercise once a week. It can be a small commitment and may not involve going to the gym together. Having an outsider to answer to can help you feel accountable, and research shows that working out with a friend makes you work harder and longer. You can also set up a workout schedule with yourself that includes non-negotiables, such as a Monday morning run or taking the stairs at work. Make your plan public, such as on social media, if you like. Remember the reason you started your workout regimen in the first place. Was it to improve your performance at a race, bust out a double-digit set of bodyweight squats, or get healthy? Whatever it was, recalling that goal can be a strong motivational tool. It’s also important to set realistic goals for you and your abilities. If you’re not used to exercising, getting to the point where it feels as natural as brushing your teeth might take a while. However, setting short-term goals to work toward, such as running a mile in your first month, can help you stay motivated.