Be it the New Year or any other occasion, starting a new exercise routine is not difficult. However, it is difficult to make it a daily routine. All too often, people will be all gung-ho about a new fitness plan only to get leave it midway. Getting motivated to exercise is one thing and remaining motivated enough to continue doing it is another. And, yet you would come across people who would not miss their regular workout, come what may. What’s keeping them going? How you too can become a fitness faithful? Well, just like breaking a bad habit takes determination, making a new also takes determination.
Here are a few ways to make exercising an unbreakable habit:
- Start with something you enjoy doing: There’s no rulebook that says you have to buy a treadmill to get in shape. A new exercise routine does involve some initial physical discomfort but that doesn’t mean it has to repetitive and boring. Alternate among walking, running, cycling, Zumba and gym. Mixing different activities will not only give your body and muscles more flexibility, but it will also reduce your chances of getting bored. Do more of what you enjoy. If you love dancing to your favourite number, then have more Zumba classes per week.
- Address the hindrances first: Make a pre-workout checklist. Ensure that during those dedicated hours, you don’t have any other commitments like picking your kids from school, buying groceries for the house, etc. Also, before leaving for your workout, make sure your phone is charged as you don’t want to end up without playing your favourite music in the middle of the workout. Keep your gym bag ready beforehand with a bottle of water, a fresh towel and other essentials.
- Choose a set time: Keeping a dedicated time for exercise helps your mind form a routine. Have a ritual before the exercise that will ready your mind and body into exercise mode. For instance, set a reminder on your phone. Keep your workout clothes ready a night before or try to have a small healthy snack before your workout. Squeeze in 5 to 10 minutes for these small activities will put you in the mindset of exercise.
- Tag a friend along: It’s likely that when you workout with a friend, you are more likely to stick to it. You catch up, share a laugh, encourage each other and even have a sense of healthy competition as to how the other person is performing. Whether you workout at the gym or play a game squash, having a familiar face around can be really motivating.
- Have realistic expectations: People often give up working out midway when they don’t see the needle on the weighing scale budge. Before setting any fitness goals for yourself, let your body get used to daily exercise. Increasing the intensity of the workout too soon can make muscles sore which will eventually lead you to take a break. To prevent this from happening, go slow. Focus more on daily commitment than the results of your workout.
- Have dedicated workout clothes: When you wear office clothes you get into the work mode. Similarly, having designated clothes for workout gets you in the mindset to exercise. Moreover, your everyday apparel is not designed to keep sweat at bay. Remember, your gym clothes are not made of just cotton. They are made of a mix of blended fabrics that allow you to move freely, be dry even when you are doing an intense workout.
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