After a couple of days away from the gym it’s hard to start an exercise habit again. Even more when weeks or months have passed. How can you start an exercise habit again and maintain it? It’s not easy and it requires a lot of dedication. You need to have the motivation to start the habit again. I believe the hardest part of starting an exercise habit is just getting out the door. But once you form the habit, getting out the door becomes much easier. Here are some tips that can help form an exercise habit once again and maintain it.
1. Make it Fun
When you exercise and feel bored, you need to change it up and try a new program that works for you. If going to the gym bores you, then try outdoor running. If outdoor running isn’t for you than you can try a fitness class. I suggest you explore different exercises and different classes until you find something that you enjoy and feels right for you. There are many, many programs that you can try. It ranges from fitness classes, jogging, cycling, boot camp classes, boxing, and many more. There many options to choose from.
2. Schedule It
Just like any other activity and meeting we schedule, scheduling exercise in your calendar will help you get it done. Treat it like any other important meeting you have. If you are doing fitness classes write down the time it starts and which one you are doing each day. If you are working on weight lifting, write down which body parts you are focusing on each day. Write down how long you will be there. If you miss it, reschedule it with the rest day you had given yourself.
3. Team Up
This can be done by having a work out buddy, an accountability partner, or a personal trainer. This will help you be accountable for exercising. It will give you a reason to make it there and you can each motivate each other. It will also help you commit because you are checking in on each other.
4. Start Small
One of the mistakes we make when starting an exercise habit is to start big- leading to sore muscles. I know I have made the mistake of thinking I can start with a tough workout only to be extremely sore for two days. In turn, I skip working out for those two days and fall into not starting my exercise habit again. Start small for a week and increase the intensity as you feel more comfortable.
5. Don’t Break The Habit
Habits only become habits if we don’t stop breaking them. If you want to make exercise a habit, you can’t stop! Even if you don’t want to go, feel tired, or lack motivation-head out the door. Believe me, that is the hardest part. There hasn’t been one workout I have regretted doing when I’m done, but I have regretted staying home every time. Going even when you lack motivation will feel rewarding afterwards. You will be more energized, you will feel better, and you will feel stronger. There are so many benefits to working out and keeping an exercise habit. You will find that taking care of your body will be beneficial to you in many ways.
It’s not easy to start an exercise habit. Many times I’ve had to start over. I suggest you don’t quit trying! Even if you fail, start again. It doesn’t even need to be Monday. Just keep going. Keep scheduling it. Sooner or later your exercise routine will be an easy habit just like washing your teeth each morning!
What did you do to form an exercise habit?