You should be exercising…
The doctor told you, your friends told you, the internet told you…
But have you done it yet?
We know, we've been there.
The pandemic closed down a lot of gyms and many people lost their regular exercise classes. They just couldn't get into the groove to start exercising on their own and fell out of the habit.
It's okay, you can start exercising now and get yourself back in the groove. Or jump in the groove if you've never been there.
It can seem overwhelming, with so many choices and opportunities. It's a big change to your lifestyle, incorporating this new thing.
Let's take a look at three ways to get you started and find what you enjoy, so exercise becomes a part of your lifestyle, not something extra you do.
Find Your Why?
What's the deep gut reason for you to exercise? Why do you want to do this in the first place?
If you're just supposed to exercise, chances are you're not going to keep up with it. Being told to do something rarely forms a long-term habit.
So, you need a good reason why you want to exercise. What's driving you?
If it's your health, why do you want to be healthy? Do you want to run around with the kids or grandkids? Do you want to do some sports or a hobby you haven't been able to? Is there a trip you want to take and you want to be able to enjoy it?
Fix that idea in your mind, because that's the only way you're going to get over the excuses.
And the one excuse most people use for not exercising is that they're just too busy.
But, you always make time for things you find important. So, discovering the why for your exercise routine will give you the reasoning to overcome the busy.
Aim For Three Times Per Week – No More
Once you get a good reason, you probably want to jump right in. That's good, but is it sustainable?
Take that excitement and focus it into working out three times a week. That's a good balance between working and resting that gives your body a chance to recover and build muscle. Then, once you get used to it, you start expanding and do more classes if you want.
Going slower allows you to do it right. Avoiding injury should be first on your list. For example, many people jump into weights and end up hurting their necks.
Change up the different classes you do. Think of it almost like dating, you're trying to find the most compatible teacher and class that makes you feel the best and gives you the greatest benefit. You might try something you never thought you'd like and end up falling in love with it.
And make sure whatever you do is fun. For example, it always looks great to do an aerobic exercise, but if you dread going to class, you're going to find every excuse not to go.
Set A Reward and Timeline
The rest of your life is very long and daunting if you plan on doing something you don't exactly want to do. So when you decide to start exercising, set your goal for one, three, or six months. This gives you a definite goal to work towards, something tangible and relevant for you to latch onto.
We also recommend setting workout goals for every month, as well. Maybe this month you want to be able to lift the 5 lb weights regularly. Or you want to be able to run a mile. Or it could be a weight loss goal, such as 5 lb or 1" off of your waist. If you can see the results of your exercise, you're more likely to do it.
We recommend this goal: to exercise three times a week every week in the month. Then, at the end of the month, reward yourself.
This could be something like going to the movies or something completely indulgent, like getting ice cream. Be sure to choose something you really want and you can do. That way, it gets you to achieve your goal and gives you the satisfaction of completing that goal.
Once you discover what exercises you enjoy and start setting your goals, then you're going to find yourself achieving those goals. Eventually, exercising and working out becomes a habit, something you look forward to doing and actively make time for.
Life will always try and get in the way, but if you have a good reason for exercising, you set reasonable goals for your workout, and work toward your goals with rewards, exercise can become a part of who you are.