If you resolved to start exercising more in 2013, you are certainly not alone! While you probably already know all the great reasons you should be working up a sweat on a regular basis (it helps with weight loss, build strength, stamina, lowers blood pressure, etc, etc) but you may not quite know exactly how to stick with it in the long term.
Here are a few tips to help you get (and stay) moving for a lifetime:
#1: Find Something You LOVE
You may be reading this thinking, just who exactly loves to exercise? If your definition of ‘exercise’ involves forcing yourself into a gym (that you are terrified of) and trying to workout amongst serious fitness fanatics, then you probably aren’t too excited about adding it to your schedule. But if, for example, you’ve always loved moving to music, why not consider starting off with a dance workout DVD or even playing a Zumba video game? It’s fun, way less intimidating than starting off with an actual dance class (at home you don’t have to worry about who is watching you) and may even end up being something you love to do. And over time, it may help you build up your confidence and stamina to step into an actual studio within a few short months.
#2: Automate It
If you are stuck trying to find a way to fit in a workout in your already jam-packed day, chances are it won’t happen. Instead, look for ways to fit in fitness by making exercise as regular as brushing your teeth – you do it daily without thought. If time is an issue, try a quick, 10-minute workout before you hit the shower in the morning to make it happen before the rest of the day escapes you.
#3: Don’t Over Think It
Too often I see people planning and planning their entire month’s worth of workouts, researching exactly which plan to follow, investing hundreds of dollars in complicated equipment, gear or memberships…and with all that preparation and research, they end up exhausting themselves before they even begin! Don’t spend hours trying to find the best program, the best trainer, and the best gym to get in shape, etc just get moving! Taking a walk outside is absolutely FREE and it’s one of the easiest, simplest ways to start exercising right now.
#4: Do Something That Makes You Feel Good
Did you sign up for that killer bootcamp class and now, two sessions in, you can’t even stand up? Taking on too much too soon is a common beginner mistake, and it’s one that virtually guarantees you wont be sticking with exercise over the long term (I mean, who likes walking like they’ve had too much to drink?). Instead, find a workout that is appropriate for your current fitness level that will leave you feeling aware of your muscles, but not incapacitated for the rest of the week.
#5: Use The Reward System
Habits (both good and bad) take time to develop. Until exercising is a regular habit for you, try good old bribery to keep you motivated to stick with it. Make a deal with yourself that for every 5, 10 or 20 workouts you complete, you’ll treat yourself to a spa service, new workout outfit or a music mix to keep you inspired to sweat.
Tell me, how did you make exercising a regular part of your life? Or, if you are just starting out, how to you plank to stick with it? Share your tips with us below!