Let’s be honest—working out is NOT easy. And even if you successfully get into it, it’s more difficult to maintain it. There are just some days when you cannot resist binge-watching your favorite series instead of jogging around your neighborhood for half an hour. When this happens, here are some tips to help you stick to your workout.
1. Set a REALISTIC goal.
Aside from tracking your progress, setting a goal can help boost your motivation for working out. If you can see positive changes, it’ll be easier for you to stop yourself from taking another free day from exercising. However, it is important to make attainable goals. You can’t start working out and decide that you should lose 50 pounds in just one week! You have to create goals that are not too difficult to discourage you and not too easy to bore you. You can even ditch the usual goals like how many pounds to lose or how many push-ups done. Try setting interesting goals like taking the stairs to your office during your afternoon breaks. These small, realistic goals can help keep your energy up for workouts.
2. Start small.
It is always important to ease in to any kind of workout. If you strain yourself too quickly, you’ll hurt yourself. Aside from that, you’ll also lose interest in working out. So, it’s important to start small. Before you sign up for a marathon, make sure you jog around your neighborhood first. You can also start doing your workouts at home before deciding to join a gym.
3. Plan your schedule.
You can still have a social life even if you have to block one hour of your day to do your workouts. It is important to prioritize your workouts alongside with your career and social life. The key is planning. Do not push aside working out just to accommodate a last-minute hang-out. Remember that there are ways to ensure you get your work out and still make time with your friends. If you’re going to watch a movie after work, why not squeeze in your workout during your lunch break? Better yet, why not wake up a little early so you can work out before coming to work? Planning around your workout may be tough at first, but once you get into the groove, it won’t be as bothersome as it was. Also, sooner or later, people around you will understand your dedication and start adjusting themselves to accommodate your workout schedule.
4. Buddy up!
Encourage a friend to work out with you. Invite your friends for a leisurely jog before dinner. Having your friends with you during your workouts makes it a lot more fun! Friends can provide motivation so that both of you reach your own goals. Aside from helping you with pass the time in gym, your friend can also be your progress buddy. He/She can help you be more accountable with your work out plans. When you know that someone’s watching, you’ll be less likely to skip leg day.
5. Mix some exercises.
If you keep using the same workout routine everyday for two straight days, you’ll definitely get tired of working out. Try doing different activities to mix up your workout. You can jog every Mondays and then do yoga on Thursdays. You can also replace your usual workout exercise with other physical activities like playing badminton or salsa dancing. This way, you keep your motivation during workouts and you get to learn new hobbies and activities that suit you.
6. Keep things interesting.
Aside from mixing up exercises, you also have to keep your interest in working out. Try looking for a club or an event that you can join. Learn more about the workouts and activities you’ve been doing and planning. Read fitness articles and magazines. Follow your fitspiration’s Instagram or Facebook account. Check your friends’ progresses and contribute by giving your own tips and suggestions. This way, your interest in working out will not only focus on your fitness goal.
7. Write a fitness journal.
Document your journey. Write down your goals and achievements for the day. Include the high points and the low ones, too. In your best days, write down motivational statements for your future self. When you’re down, you can pick yourself up by reading it. List down things that made you NOT want to work out. After some time, you might be able to see a pattern. You may be able to see that certain habits demotivate you from working out. When you do, you’ll know better to avoid doing it.
8. Reward yourself!
Ah, the great motivator. Don’t forget to spoil yourself for having a done a good job. Just make sure that your rewards are not contradicting to your fitness goals. Don’t reward yourself with a big greasy burger after just completing a 5-km run. Instead, reward yourself for waking up early to workout by having a massage afterward. Seize every chance to reward yourself and soon you’ll look forward to working out!
Everyone will have their lazy days, don’t be too hard on yourself. It’s nice to take a break once in a while. Just remember to go back out and do some push-ups. Now, drop and give me twenty!
Featured Image from The Proposal courtesy of Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures