Beginning an exercise regime can be exciting. This is when you look forward to the benefits of exercise, including the boost to energy levels, improving sleep and mood, and reducing depression and stress. You can’t wait to lose a few pounds, have your clothes fit better, and improve your health and appearance.
But your excitement wanes after a few sweaty sessions at the gym. You no longer look forward to putting on your gym outfit, and the thought of working out fails to motivate you. Eventually, you slip back to your old habits and decide that working out isn’t for you.
Many of us recognize this pattern and know first-hand that good intentions don’t count until they are put into action. You have been well intentioned, but your mind probably wasn’t. You need a smart approach and the right mindset to start, and to stick to an exercise regime. You have to know why and how to exercise and to come up with a plan. You also need the motivation to stick to your plan regardless of any difficulties you might encounter.
Embarking on your fitness routine isn’t the challenging part – the challenge is to persevere until you reach your goals. The key to exercise is for you to engage physically and mentally. To succeed, you need the right techniques to overcome mental barriers, discouragement, and low self-confidence. You’ll also need to be consistent in your workout regime.
Luckily, you can learn how to start and stick to your fitness plan. Here are some tips to help you build consistency and make exercising more fun and less intimidating.
Start small and set reasonable goals
The larger and more unrealistic a goal is, the harder it is to achieve, leading to demotivation and discouragement. To avoid this, make your goals small and achievable at first. Instead of aiming to run 5k on your first day, try jogging around a park for a few minutes. Every time you meet any of your goals, increase them to make them more challenging. That way, you’ll stay motivated to stick to your regime and will soon achieve your goals.
You need to dress appropriately for any fitness activity you take part in. Poor clothing and shoes make the risk of injuries, such as sprains and fractures, more likely. If that happens, you might start to associate exercising with pain, leading to a lack of enthusiasm.
Compression clothing offers extra support and improved blood circulation as you exercise. These types of clothes also help to prevent injury and aid recovery. There are different forms of compression clothing for various parts of the body, making it easy to buy what you need. You can buy a calf sleeve, for instance, if your calves need extra care, or elbow sleeves to support your upper arms.
Choose an activity you enjoy
Another brilliant way to stay motivated is to choose an exercise activity that you enjoy. You don’t have to limit yourself to going to the gym, especially if you don’t like it. Get creative with your fitness plan by adding dance classes, yoga, rock climbing, or any other activity that appeals to you. Make sure that you vary these, to avoid monotony.
Make exercising a social activity
Exercising as part of a group can help you stay accountable, and increases your chances of sticking to your regime. Either join a local fitness group or start one with your friends or family. Some people find that taking part in competitive sports, such as tennis or basketball, increases their chances of sticking to a regime. Find what you are comfortable with and then keep doing it.
Remember to reward yourself when you reach any of the fitness milestones you’ve set. This boosts your morale and encourages you to aim higher. You can start by setting some manageable goals and keep a fitness log of your progress – this can be a journal or video diary. You can also take regular body measurements to keep track of your progress. When you meet a goal, give yourself a reward, such as a spa day, to recognize the hard work you’ve put in.
Starting an exercise regime and sticking to it can be difficult. The key to success lies in your consistency and determination. The tips above can go a long way towards keeping you motivated but the rest has to come from you. Get started today and make changes to live a healthier lifestyle.