7 TIPS TO MAKE EXERCISE A DAILY HABIT
I'm one of those people who actually likes working out and I'm motivated by the feeling of "Yes, I did that!" -- I've literally been exercising for almost 3/4 of my life -- but in the past couple of years there was one big problem: my lack of consistency. I was doing a 30 minute workout three days a week and calling it a workout. But I was getting no results, no benefits from it besides the fact that I could always say I exercised every week.
I had to face the reality that unless I was consistently working out (meaning at least an hour, six days a week) I would never reach my fitness goals to look and feel my best. I also like to eat the things I like, I do make many healthy choices, yadda yadda yadda, but I love french fries and chocolate too. The look thing is important but the feeling of being physically strong and do things I once thought I couldn't are major for me.
It took a while, but now that I've started working out consistently it has become a part of my lifestyle. Here are 7 ways that have helped me make exercise a habit — maybe they’ll help you too.
1 — Schedule your workouts on your calendar.
I read something once that has really stuck with me over the years. It was "treat your workout as if it is the most important meeting of your day." So now, I literally put my workouts into my Google calendar. The reminder pops up on my iPhone daily, and helps me mentally prepare for doing what I've got to do.
2 — Get enough workout clothes for a week.
I sweat. I am a sweaty mess after hitting the treadmill and don’t always have time to do my laundry in the middle of the week. Not having clean workout clothes or towels is a dumb excuse to miss a workout. Just get enough gear and clothes so that you don’t have to worry about it. And actually, I need more leggings…
3 — Go somewhere convenient.
You're so much more likely to go to the gym if it’s near where you live or work. Make it as easy as possible to go.
4 — Pay for it.
This might not work for everyone, but if I’m paying for something, you better believe I’m going to go. Who wants to waste money by not going to a workout?
5 — Get a workout partner.
If you just don’t feel like going, but your friend is counting on you, you're so much more likely to keep your workout plans. My mom is my workout buddy and it's been so much fun doing this together.
6 — Organize your workout gear before you go to bed.
In the morning, I've got a kid to get ready for school, so I'm already rushing. Having my sports bra, t-shirt, leggings or shorts, GymWrap, and sneakers organized just makes the process easier. It’s like telling yourself you are committed to working out the next day, and all you have to do is grab your stuff and go.
7 — Figure out your favorite workouts and do those.
While I'm not a traditional athlete like so many in my family, as I mentioned, I love working out. I've tried everything from gyms to workout DVD's (yes, way back I was doing "Buns of Steel" and all those trendy workouts), spin classes, boxing, yoga... All this experimenting and adding variety to my exercise routine is good because I tend to get bored easily, and it also helped me figure out exactly what I like and what works for my body. But it can also be distracting. What workout am I doing today? Do I like this? Maybe I should try that new fitness trend?
Trying out new forms of fitness is fun, but I personally find that when I have a workout plan, the results come sooner and better. So what I'm doing now is the treadmill at the gym along with the Tracy Anderson Method. I discovered her about six years ago and her combination of dance cardio and muscular structure work makes sense to me. I know, people hear dance cardio and think, oh yeah, dancing, that must be soooo hard, but you really have to experience it to believe how challenging it is and the results... just look at Jennifer Lopez and Tracee Ellis Ross, they do Tracy Anderson. Her style is different, powerful, graceful, sexy and strong.
Having a go-to workout means I know what I'm doing day-to-day, but also challenge myself within the catalogue of routines she has available online and in DVDs, and also know I'll love the way I look and feel.
These are just the things I do and hopefully you found some takeaways for your fitness journey.
Do you have any good tips?