Do you struggle to create a regular exercise routine? Have you failed at it time and time again, only to end up taking the walk of shame to the fridge where you’ll soon drown your sorrows in a tub of ice cream? It doesn’t have to be this way. It is possible to get over the hump that prevents you from developing an exercise routine that sticks. Here’s how you do it.
Make it a habit
How do you develop a habit? Obviously you need to do your targeted activity regularly, but how do YOU do that? Ask yourself, “In the past, how have I created a habit?” Whether it’s flossing your teeth everyday, going to church on Sundays, or having a Friday evening date night with your significant other, there is undoubtedly a habit you have successfully integrated into your life before.
If you can understand how you’ve created a habit in the past, you can do it again with exercise. Maybe that means just forcing yourself to do the activity every day. Or maybe you slowly integrated your habit by taking baby steps towards it. Whatever you did, when you’re able to answer the question, “how did I create past habits?”, you’ll understand the conditions you need to create to make a new habit permanent. Then all you have to do is follow the same process that worked before.
However you choose to create your habit, here are two additional tips that can make the process easier.
1. Allow yourself to be imperfect
The word “habit” itself implies long-term. So on your way to creating a workout routine you stick with, you’re likely to hit a few bumps and curves in the road. There may be a day or two where an emergency takes priority over your exercise routine. Or there may be a time when you’re exhausted after a long day and can’t muster the energy to workout. It’s okay. It’s not always the wisest decision to force yourself to just do it. Why? Because it can leave a bad taste in your mouth, and make you correlate the idea of exercise with a chore or routine you hate. If you’re going to make exercise a routine, it needs to be associated with good feelings and happiness. This ensures you’ll be much more likely to stick with it.
2. Notice the difference in how you feel after a workout
If you’re really busy, you may often overlook your feelings. But when it comes to creating a regular exercise routine, paying more attention to the way you feel will make the process easier. After a workout that gets your heart pumping and causes you to break a sweat, you’ll feel a noticeable, positive difference in your body. In fact, exercising - when done with intensity - causes your body to release endorphins. And in case you didn’t know, endorphins are chemicals that interact with the same opiate receptors in your body as narcotics like heroin. In other words, they make you feel really good and create a euphoric-like high (in this case, a natural one). So next time you workout, take the time to notice this sensation. You’ll likely love how you feel and want to exercise again on a regular basis.
Interested in more pro tips that get you motivated to stick with an exercise routine? Our expert trainers and staff are ready to answer all your questions.