We all know how healthy it is to have a regular workout schedule and to move our bodies as often as we get the chance. However, very few of us actually manage to follow a regular exercise schedule. Some of the main reasons we fail to do so involve the lack of time or money, health issues, or reluctance to attend a gym due to self-trust issues.
According to The Guardian, the hardest part of exercising is taking the first step and finding the motivation to keep going. The good news is that there are certain things we can do in order to shift our perception of exercising and begin regularly incorporating it into our lives.
So, here are the top 5 tips for maintaining a regular workout schedule.
Set realistic goals and start slowly
If you’ve never been an active person before, don’t expect yourself to be able to work out daily or sustain high-intensity sessions. Most likely, you won’t pull it off, and if you do, it won’t last. Instead, aim at gradually incorporating movement into your daily schedule. Begin with easier activities, such as brisk walking for 15 minutes, or doing ten squats every day. Then, when you feel ready, take it to the next level and take a 30-minute walk or add 10 more squats to your routine. The rule of thumb is that whatever you choose to do, no matter how little, is better than nothing. And if you do it as often as you can, it will eventually turn into a healthy habit
Manage your expectations and be kind to yourself
If you plan to begin working out and expect to enjoy and feel motivated during each and every session, think again. The reality is that some days you will enjoy it, while other days you will dread every moment. And that’s normal. But the key is to not give up. When you should be exercising, but don’t have the motivation, focus on how you will feel after the workout.
At the same time, don’t be too hard on yourself if you won’t be able to carry out a very intensive workout. Listen to your body and do as much as you can, without over-exerting yourself. Remember, even a little bit of movement is better than nothing, but sometimes it’s just better to take it easy and rest.
Choose the right place and timing
One of the best ways to make sure that you stick to a regular exercise schedule is to pick your time right. If you set the goal to work out every morning, but you are not a morning person or you are usually too busy getting the kids ready for school or beating traffic, failing to achieve your goal is guaranteed. Instead, before deciding on when to work out, think about the time when you are most likely to not be interrupted by other things or when you are usually free.
At the same time, choose a convenient place where to perform your workout. If you don’t prefer exercising from home, make sure the place you choose to go to has a pleasant atmosphere and that you feel comfortable there. Also, it would be ideal if it also was easily accessible, so you won’t spend too much time getting there or returning home.
Make it pleasant
Working out doesn’t only come down to weight lifting or running on a treadmill for hours on end. To make sure that you create a workout plan that you can easily follow, choose activities that bring you pleasure. Join a dance or Zumba class, go running in the park or book a tennis session, whatever floats your boat. But make sure you like it. In this way, it will be much easier for you to exercise more often.
Make it social
Perhaps the best advice of them all is to have a “partner in crime”. Work out with your friends or join groups of people interested in the same physical activities as you. This will greatly increase your chances of working out on a regular basis and fully enjoying it, while also meeting and socializing with other people.