Guide To Creating Effective Exercise Routines and Habits

The first quarter of the year is over and you can’t believe it. With a sinking feeling, you realize you haven’t met any of those fitness goals you set yourself at the beginning of the year.

Oh, you started out well enough, agonized over what fitness equipment to buy, even read all the trusted treadmill reviews out there before making your purchase but somehow, something went wrong. Your treadmill now sits gathering dust at home, those pesky pounds are yet to be shed and your frustration and desperation are increasing by the day. It’s clear you need to come up with a more effective and sustainable exercise routine but how to go about it?

Don’t throw in the towel yet. Here are some pointers to help you up your fitness game:

Get Your Head In The Game

Your attitude determines how far you’ll go in your fitness journey so align it with success. Instead of thinking how hard exercising is, think of the benefits you’ll gain. Apparently, 73% of people give up their fitness goals before achieving them. Decide not to be part of this statistic. Prove them wrong by sticking to your guns this time around

Do What You Enjoy

You’ll be more reluctant to work out if exercising starts feeling like a drag. A better plan is to do what appeals to you. If you loathe the idea of going to the gym, workout at home. If jogging isn’t your thing, go swimming instead. The more fun your workout is, the more motivated you’ll be to keep at it.

Pencil Workouts Into Your Schedule

It’ll be easier to commit to your exercise routine if you make it part of your schedule. Think of it as an appointment with yourself and don’t let anything interfere. Remember routine is key here. Research shows that it takes an average of 66 days (sometimes as little as 18) to form a habit. So speed things along by working out at around the same time each day until it becomes second nature.

Quality Trumps Quantity

If you have a crazy schedule, it can be hard to squeeze in time to get fit. Instead of trying to exercise for one hour straight, break your workout sessions into smaller chunks. HIIT workouts can come in handy here, helping you to blast away calories in 10-15 minutes of intense exercise interspersed throughout your day.

Rope In A Fitness Partner

When you’re tempted to bum out on the couch instead of hitting the gym, a fitness partner can lead (or guilt trip) you in the right direction. You see, it’s much harder to bail out on an activity if you have a standing appointment with one of your friends. You can get similarly motivated by signing up for dancing or yoga classes or even a tennis game. Chances are you’ll workout longer too if you take part in group activities.

Fuel Your Body

Your body has to have the right fuel to burn if you want to get the most out of your fitness schedule. Avoiding greasy foods and snacks will help you stay alert and energetic throughout your exercise sessions. A balanced diet will also go a long way towards helping you get that toned physique. Additionally, drink enough water to ensure that you stay properly hydrated as you exercise.

Switch It Up

Complacency is the enemy of fitness. Doing the same activity every day is the fastest way to get bored, increasing your likelihood of abandoning your regimen. Keep things fresh by frequently switching up your routine. For instance, you can do yoga one day, swim the next and go to the gym the following day. This way, you get to exercise different muscle groups in your body while remaining motivated enough to carry on with your fitness plan.

Work With Your Body

Some people are comfortable jumping out of bed to pound the pavement in the wee hours while others prefer ending the day with an intense gym session. Everyone’s different. Figure out the best time for you to workout then build your fitness plan around it. Working with your body clock guarantees better results than working against it. Above all, be consistent and faithful to your fitness schedule.

Keep Your Goals Real

Remember that zeal you had when you first started working out? Well, it probably fizzled out because it was unsustainable. Instead of pounding the treadmill for hours at a time or aiming to lose over 50 pounds in one week, make your goals more achievable. For example, you can begin by aiming to exercise for half an hour every other day and building up from there or losing 3 pounds every week. Setting a rigorous routine from the get-go only increases your chances of burning out or worse, suffering an injury. So pace yourself and set realistic, achievable goals.

Track Your Progress

Tracking your progress throughout your fitness journey can help you stay motivated. You can either keep a fitness journal or use one of the many fitness apps available to record your progress. Most people prefer to keep a log of the weight they’ve lost but using a tape measure to track your hip and waist measurements works just as well. In fact, the latter might be more accurate since you might gain weight as you build muscle but still end up losing fat and shedding inches around your hips or waist.

Reward Yourself

Remember to celebrate small milestones as you strive to keep up with your exercise regimen. There are lots of ways to reward yourself for achieving your goals. You can spring for a new outfit, treat yourself to a pampering session at a spa or go out with your friends. There are even apps that will pay you to exercise. To avoid rolling back on the gains you’ve made, opt for non-food rewards.

If you want to achieve your fitness goals, you have to quit making excuses and start making time to work out. There’s no way around it. So purpose to make exercise an important part of your life and watch your health and happiness improve.