MOVEMENT: 5 ways to stick to your workout
No doubt it’s challenging to squeeze a workout into a schedule that’s full of appointments, meetings, and family obligations. So, first of all, cut yourself some slack! We all miss a workout every now and then. But don’t let an exception become a habit. Commit to taking care of yourself by building consistency with these tips.
- Set precise and vivid goals.
The single most effective way to stick to your workout is to identify your drive — also known as your why — for training. Be sure to make it specific and vivid. For instance, getting in shape is a good goal, but getting healthy and fit to be able to play with your kids is a better goal. Then break it into small goals for long-term success. Small wins keep you focused so you can reach your larger-scale goals that much sooner.
- Build in some accountability.
Start with something simple, like marking your workout on the calendar. It might feel a little strange making a proverbial appointment for yourself, but blocking this time for yourself and others will help you stick to it. Also, it can’t hurt to tell everyone what you’re doing. You won’t skip if you know someone is going to ask about it later. Convincing someone to be your workout buddy is even better.
- Build momentum.
An hour in the gym and 10 at a desk does not make an active lifestyle. Move more all day and you’ll find you have more energy for your training, which will give you extra energy to jam on important projects, and so on. It’s the kind of snowball effect you want to get rolling. So even starting with small stretch breaks can help if you’re not up to full workouts yet.
- Rest, recover, repeat.
One of the main reasons people skip their workout is because it hurts. If you’re terribly sore from doing anything, you probably won’t go back, right? That’s why it’s so important to reduce soreness from the start by including recovery in your training plan. Think of it as an investment in your next workout. Flexibility and regeneration work will help you feel fresh for your next session.
- Keep expectations reasonable.
Manage expectations — your own, that is. Understand that your body has grown to feel comfortable at your current activity level. And going too hard too fast will shock your body into thinking there’s a problem. So ease back if your body seems to be fighting back or is extra resistant to change. Remember, it’s a marathon, not a sprint.