This is a good kick in the pants topic for me as things of slid with the combination of the cold weather and lack of gym membership. Below 0 morning temps have me failing to be very active lately. I’m going to need to listen to #10 and use #8 heavily for the moment. My “workouts” of late have mostly consisted of DDR II - fun, but not super aerobic. Better than sitting on the couch watching TV though!
- Choose activities you enjoy. If you don’t enjoy it, you’ll make excuses to not do it!
- Schedule it! If it helps, think of it as a less expensive doctor’s appointment. If your work can be unpredictable pencil in 1 or 2 options in case an appointment falls through.
- Plan ahead. If you exercise at home, set out everything you need ahead of time so it is ready to go and you have no excuses. If you go to the gym or exercise mid-day from work, pack the bag the night before- since I adopted that approach I’ve never forgotten a critical piece of clothing. I think it is the fact that I’m fully awake when packing.
- Pace yourself! Don’t jump in with both feet and go from doing nothing to cardio for an hour three times and week and weights three times a week. Ease into it. Even one day a week of a brisk walk over your lunch hour is a great start and something to build upon. Make that a habit first, then find other places you can squeeze in some more physical activity. This also reduces the chances of injury or overtraining syndrome.
- Mix it up! Not only will that keep you from getting bored, but your body will stay alert and the effort you put in will be more fully realized. You can mix it up doing something different several times each week, or every 4-6 weeks you can change your routine. Whichever suits your lifestyle and personality.
- Reward yourself. At first one of the few things that got me on the treadmill at the gym was the fact that I was much too busy to read much, but I could read on my Kindle while walking (I don’t recommend trying it while running unless it is an audiobook, though your experience may differ from mine). That made going to the gym a bit of a treat because at the same time I got to enjoy something I did not otherwise have much time for.
- Along similar lines to the above, multi-task to work it in when needed. Suggest a walking meeting with co-workers. Bike, walk or run to work (or the bus stop) to combine your commute with exercise. If needed, review documents while on the treadmill, elliptical or stationary bike. You get the idea.
- Choose to be less sedantary. Stand when answering the phone at work or doing other small tasks away from the keyboard. Take 5 minutes several times throughout the day to do some stretches or even do some cheater pushups on the edge of your desk or some squats. Choose a distant parking spot. Choose stairs over an elevator or choose a bathroom on a different floor. It is truely amazing how much these things can keep your metabolism boosted!
- Set realistic and attainable goals. If you have a large overarching goal, break it into smaller goals that are easily measured in shorter intervals. Set mini rewards for attaining those goals - prefereable rewards that aid your fitness further like new workout wear, a fun new water bottle, a massage etc.
- No guilt! Do not get mired down in guilt if you miss a workout and don’t meet your goals. Acknowledge it and move on and perhaps figure out a way to prevent the stumble from happening again (BTW, this applies to dietary changes too).
How about you? What helps you stick to your fitness routine, or really any new routine?