You are now very aware of the benefits of exercising. You have established your exercise plan and follow it religiously. You know that exercise will benefit your heart, weight, metabolism, overall health and will help you sleep and feel better. You look better, you feel better, and are healthier. But as the days and weeks passed, you find your initial enthusiasm waning and now it’s a pain to get started every day. In fact, working out every day now begins to feel like a chore.
I always tell my clients that, while getting started on a routine exercise habit is the hardest part, it is even harder to stick to this routine and continue it at the same pace or even increase it. Exercising does not have to be strenuous and something you feel you ‘MUST’ do. Unless you enjoy your workout, you will feel tired, unenthusiastic and will eventually stop exercising.
Here are some suggestions to put some fun back into your exercise routine:
Workout as a Group
Find people to be your exercise buddies. Pick friends who are full of energy, and who you look forward to exercising. Exercising with friends will motivate you to get out of bed and meeting your exercise goals every single day. That way you can connect each day and talk about your progress, struggles, and the fun you’re having on the program.
Play tennis, golf, soccer, softball or any other sport. Find a sport that you used to play when younger and take it up again. Choose a team sport when possible to add some socialization.
Use Portable Music Players or your phone
Get yourself a tiny music player and download some audio books or music or simply use your phone. Listen to your audiobook chapter by chapter or listen to your favorite music while working out. This way, when you think about exercising, you can be looking forward to hearing the next chapter in your novel or your latest downloaded music.
Get some New Shoes
Go exercise-fashion shopping. Start with your shoes. Go to a good running or fitness store and have a salesperson help you find the perfect shoe. Once you’re bored with showing off your new shoes, go back for some new shorts, shirts or other exercise gear.
Keep a chart Your Statistics
Create a wall chart and log your exercise activity, vital statistics (weight, measurements, best times, maximum lifts, etc.). Keep a record of every detail of your exercises for a minimum of a month. There are countless apps that do this; however, I prefer doing it the old-fashioned way. You will feel great as the information is displayed next to your desk.
Try and Mix it Up
Don’t do the same exercise program and routine every day or couple of days. Be bold and try and mix it up. As an example, if you normally run only on the treadmill, try and run outside on nice days, you may even enjoy it more. If you mostly do weights, try and take a week off your weight lifting routine and do yoga or even a Pilates class instead. When you start to feel your exercise program becoming a bit of a rut again, find something else to do. Take up kickboxing, cardio dance workouts…the options are endless!
Measure Don’t Weigh
Don’t get disheartened if your weighing scale is not showing much difference in weight. Chances are if you are training hard, your weight could be staying the same. This is because you are adding muscle while at the same time losing fat. Another possible reason for the loss of weight is that it usually takes to lose substantial weight. So, don’t look at the scale every day; rather take some measurements. The measuring tape measure will normally show the changes well before the scale does. The areas to measure are your chest, upper arms, stomach, waist, upper thighs and calves. Make sure that you always measure in the same place each time. Include these measurements in your chart and enjoy watching the progress to keep you motivated.
TV, Videos, and Music
A little bit of distraction may help make the workout feel easier. Get a tiny music player and load it up with inspirational or dance music, watch TV shows while on the treadmill or put in your favorite movie and watch 1/2 of it each time you exercise. Soon, you’ll look forward to your exercise time.
Relaxing is important
At the end of the exercise, give yourself 5 minutes of relaxation. Just lie down on your back and let your body sink into the floor. Close your eyes. Relax. Feel the effects of exercise in your body. Look forward to the deep relaxation that can come after physical activity. Feel good about yourself.
In addition to getting the extra vitamins and endorphins that sunshine provides, exercising outside is free, simple, more sociable and burns more calories cause you’re dealing with the wind, the heat, and uneven terrain. Besides, getting outside is a great addition to a regular home workout program.
Creating new habits is the hardest part, it is even harder to stick to this routine and continue it at the same pace or even increase it. Exercising does not have to be strenuous and something you feel you ‘MUST’ do. Unless you enjoy your workout, you will feel tired, unenthusiastic and will eventually stop exercising.