How to stick with your exercise routine

March 17, 2014

Having a hard time getting started on a workout routine, or sticking with the one you have? Here are 6 ideas that could help:

1. Make time for it. Your health is important to your overall well-being. If you can make time to watch T.V. or play around with your tablet during the day, you can certainly make time for your health!

2. Make a schedule. Plan out your day, hour by hour if you have to. This step goes along with number 1, such that after you make time for it, you can put it in your planner or on your calendar (or both!). Whatever it takes to get you out there and moving!

3. Hold yourself accountable. (But don’t be too hard on yourself if you slip up). If it’s in your planner, do it! Obviously things come up, and when they do, don’t beat yourself up about it. Accept that you’re human and therefore not perfect, and continue with whatever schedule you made for yourself.

4. Do the exercises that you enjoy. If you hate running, then don’t run! Try swimming, yoga, or even walking your dog. Walking your dog can be a good source of physical activity, for the both of you. Walking your dog may not seem like a good source of exercise but you can gradually increase your pace as you become stronger.

5. Exercise with a friend. Exercising can get a bit boring, especially if you’re not used to doing it. Grab a friend and make it a daily or weekly routine for the two of you. Having a friend to work out with can be very motivating because you won’t just be getting up to workout, you’d be getting up to workout with a friend. The two of you could share exercise ideas and really diversify your routine.

6. Have a healthy lifestyle in general. If you’re taking the time to exercise, it’s important to match that with a healthy lifestyle as well. Diets usually dissipate, but a lifestyle change can be for life. Having a diet that allows "cheat days" probably won’t work. Instead try just cutting back on the amount of unhealthy food you eat, but don’t try to immediately eradicate all the ‘bad stuff’ or you may be setting yourself up for disappointment.

Have you ever found that sticking to your diet hasn’t worked? Well instead of having "cheat days" where you can break your diet, try observing your lifestyle and maybe put some thought into how you can better it with the foods that you put in your body and the amount of exercise you do. Changing your lifestyle can be hard, but it is doable. Instead of cutting out the things you like to eat most (sugar, dairy, fatty foods) and allowing cheat days, try decreasing your intake of these unhealthy foods. This way you can still have them, just in smaller quantities. Along with this, increase the amount of exercise you do, or switch up your exercise routine. If you have weak joints or have a hard time with exercises such as running/biking, try swimming. Swimming is easy on your joints and works every muscle in your body. While this may seem easy to do, changing your lifestyle and exercise routine takes a lot of time, work, and motivation, but it is doable. The rewards that come along with this are incredible, get ready to feel better and look better! With a lifestyle change, you have the opportunity to boost your mood, becoming a happier person, and looking good is just a plus!

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