My top 5 easy ways to make exercise a habit
Yeah!! Summer is officially here! But as I look around the almost empty gym I realize many people have taken a break from their fitness goals. All too often the initial enthusiasm of the new year's resolutions dies down as we get distracted by other things happening in our lives ( Kids home from school, travels, family gatherings...) so people tend to throw in the towel.
As someone who works out everyday I am glad to say I am part of the many who do manage to hang in there, and would not trade my workout routine for anything else.
Looking back at my own fitness journey and some of my long term clients I can point out what motivated them and myself to keep up with our routines.
So what's the secret? The answer is pure and simple; Once we were no longer concerned with exercising for better looking legs, or awesome abs, but more about feeling good, healthy and strong our priorities changed. If you're wondering how you could become one of us Forever Fitness Faithful (FFF:), I have compiled my top 5 ways for making Fitness a habit in your life:
1. Do a variety of activities you enjoy
From my personal experience and from helping many of my clients, I have learned that you should only do what you enjoy most, if you hate running but would rather ride a bike, do that! Change up your workouts so that you don't get bored. I always advise my clients to incorporate 4 main types of activities : endurance (cardio, brisk walking or joggin, dancing, spinning, kickboxing), strength ( resistance training, circuit training, Tabata..), flexibility ( Yoga, stretching upper and lower body), and balance ( standing on one foot, Taichi, Bosu training).
2. Commit to one other person
Once you have a workout buddy who is waiting for you to go to the gym and workout you will be more likely to commit! Working out with a friend or a family member will keep you accountable and is so much more fun! You could also hire a certified personal trainer who will meet with you each week, keep track of your progress and design a program that will allow you to reach your goals.
3. Exercise first thing in the morning
Most of us think that we are not a "morning person" but experts agree that a morning schedule is best. Workout before work or before the kids are up, take a shower and you will feel energized for the rest of day! I love working out first thing in the morning because when I take care of myself first take better care of everyone else.
4. Make exercise a priority
There is no way around it! Take charge and plan your workouts each week; if you mark it in your calendar its like an appointment you are making with yourself. Bosses don't cancel on themselves:)
5. Log your activity
Keeping track of your daily activity will motivate you to reach your goals! One of my clients uses her Fit Bit; she keeps track of which workouts burn the most calories and how many days during the week she was active; all the data syncs into her phone so she is able to get a clear overview of what she has accomplished each week. You can also write down which workouts you plan on doing whether its cardio, strength, balance or flexibility so that you can make sure you incorporate all four.
Making behavior changes is hard but commit to doing it for 4 weeks straight. Experts say it takes 21 days of doing the same thing over to turn it into a habit. Arm yourself with my 5 tips and see healthy change happen!