It is just as easy to make our workout a habit as it is to stop working out. Too tired, not enough time, I worked out yesterday, etc. are all things we tell ourselves to put our workout off until tomorrow, next week, or even next year. While it may seem like this cycle of getting on and falling off the wagon is inevitable, the following five steps will help you stick with your exercise regimen indefinitely.Start a Home Gym.
1. Start a Home Gym.
You are probably thinking to yourself “Are you nuts? That is way too expensive!” However, a home gym doesn’t mean you need your own elliptical and thousands of dollars in weights. There are hundreds of exercises you can do with inexpensive items like a yoga mat, stability ball, or a jump rope. Even getting a bench and a basic set of dumbbells can be done for under $500, which may seem like a lot, but weights are a great investment. They are almost always worth something, and thanks to companies like Amazon, shipping can be very reasonable.
What makes a basic home gym so great is that it is convenient. You don’t need to drive to and from the gym, worry about your valuables, or wait for equipment to be available. While this may not replace a gym membership for everyone, it is a great option to make sure you get your workout in.
2. Invest in proper attire
Having good quality workout clothes, shoes, gloves, etc. is essential for many reasons. It not only makes you feel comfortable, but also helps to prevent injury and improve recovery times. It may not seem like these things would make a big difference but they really do, especially when it comes to shoes. Particularly for high impact activities like running, proper shoes can make all the difference.
An additional benefit of proper attire is that investing your hard earned money in clothing, shoes, and accessories for working out can motivate you to keep going to the gym. After all, it is a waste of money if you don’t use it. While this may seem insubstantial, sometimes all it takes is a small matter of principle to get us off the couch and into the gym.
3. Protect your workout time
Just like any activity that is important to us, whether it is work, time with loved ones, or a workout; we are far more likely to do it if we set aside a block of time. The first important step here is looking at your schedule and locating what times are available to exercise. While I would argue the morning is the optimal time, it just is not always feasible. However, this is where something like a home gym or a 24-hour gym comes in handy.
No matter what time works best for you, blocking out that time every day for a workout, or at least some physical activity is key. The reason we never forget to brush our teeth or shower every day is because we have been conditioned for years to always do those things. Setting aside time to workout eventually has this same effect, and it becomes a part of your daily routine
4. Get adequate rest
Just as it is important to plan your time to exercise, giving yourself adequate rest between workouts is crucial. The first, and most important, aspect of this is getting adequate sleep every night. (See our post: The Importance of Sleep)
It is also important to vary your routine. Give whatever muscle groups you are working time to rest and recover. Supplements such as protein shakes can help here also, but there is no substitute for rest. Varying your cardio routine is important also, even if it means taking a day off from running to bike, swim, or row it is important to have some variety.
This can be a challenge, especially if you have one activity you prefer. I encounter this frequently because I love to run. However, when I take a day off and vary my routine I not only feel better on my next run, but feel like I am running better.
5. Find a workout partner
Never underestimate the power of a “swole-mate”, running mate, or whatever you prefer to call your workout partner. This may not be for everyone, but
having someone you exercise with is a powerful motivator for multiple reasons. A partner can help encourage you on those days when just do not feel up to working out. Or, on days when you feel good, they are there to push you and make you add that extra five pounds or run the extra mile.
What steps have you taken to make exercise part of your routine? Please share your thoughts in the comments below. If you enjoyed this post, please check out our other posts, the new Force of Well podcast (iTunes), and our social media pages. Thank you so much for taking the time to read this article. Have a great day, and be well.