Why do you think most successful people have a fitness routine?
Well, it’s simply because mental fitness and physical fitness go hand in hand! The number of minutes it takes you to finish a TV show can be spent exercising, the hours you spend on Instagram and scrolling the web can be spent exercising.
This does not take away from the fact that starting an exercise can be extremely daunting and difficult, especially if you have been living a sedentary lifestyle. But, just like passing NECTA mathematics, it takes baby steps and determination. Doctors actually recommend we get 150 hours of exercise each week, that’s approximately 30 minutes of exercise for 5 days.
In reality, 30 minutes of exercise in a day is not much at all, but most of us still struggle to consistently achieve this for the long haul. So, we’ve got the tips that will get you to exercise and stop the typical excuses of ‘I don’t have time’, ‘it’s too hard’ and ‘I’m too tired’:
1. Lower your expectations
Many of us expect to go to the gym for 2 hours and come out looking like The Rock, within 2 weeks. What happens is that we get quickly demotivated, as we push ourselves too hard too quickly.
So, don’t set expectations of how hard you’ll work out or what your body will look like – or you’ll just disappoint yourself. Instead, focus on building up the routine of working out and your stamina. Focus on pushing yourself as hard as you can for 30 minutes, and then gradually increase the time or intensity of your workouts over time. Just like many things in life, great change does not happen overnight.
2. Find a fun way to work out
The gym is not for everyone, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t exercise. Briskly walking for 30 minutes is exercise; so is playing a sport like basketball or soccer or swimming. Find the thing that moves your body, and makes you sweat.
To help you, here is a list of alternative things you could be doing instead of going to the gym:
- Walking around your neighborhood
- Workout DVD’S
- Jumping rope
- Working in the garden
- Running the stairs
3. Have a teacher
Working out is a skill that needs to be learned. People often make the mistake of signing up to a gym without knowing how to properly use the equipment, or the necessary exercises their bodies’ need.
It’s totally okay to ask for help, we are not innately born knowing how to use exercise equipment that frankly, looks like weird contraptions. So join a gym that has an in-house trainer. And if you are not gyming, use exercise workout videos with instructors.
4. Reward yourself
If you managed to exercise on a day when you really didn’t feel like it, then give yourself a reward. This does not necessarily mean a dinner for two for yourself, it could be a small sweet treat, buying jeans you really wanted or watching your favorite show.
Simply put, giving yourself a pat on the back when you stay on task will help you stay on track.
5. Eliminate all obstacles
Okay, so there are those days when nothing is going right, you’re in ten places at once and literally, have no time or energy to work out. To opt out of working out on those RARE days is fine. But, when these days become more and more frequent and you find yourself missing days in a row, then there is a problem.
Prepare ahead for all that might get in the way of you not working out, get your gear in order the night before, carry a gym bag so that you don’t have to go home and possibly feel lazy. Also, be honest with yourself, do a self-assessment of whether you:
- Are you a morning person or an evening person?
- What time of the day do you have the most energy?
- Would you exercise better with a workout buddy?
6. Build a routine with triggers
You know it’s time to get up in the morning because you set an alarm. You don’t just automatically wake up from your sleep. So, develop the same habit of exercising – set daily reminders that help you build a habit.
Don’t just expect to be self-motivated, that can only take you so far and you will definitely find excuses to get out of it. Other things you can do is have your exercise clothes somewhere easily accessible and viewable.
For instance, in your car or close to your bed or outside your closet, you could even sleep in them the night before and be ready to go in the morning. Whatever works for you!
7. Remember the bigger picture
You are exercising for a reason, and it is not just for the abs. It’s for your health. All the other stuff that comes along with it like increased concentration, a nice physique, and more energy are simply benefits.
Great benefits at that, but the most important thing is your health. Which is something we may take for granted when we are younger, but as we get older we realize how important and immeasurable good health is. So keep that in mind and in perspective for when you feel like giving up.
Set yourself up to win
The biggest reason why people don’t exercise is not because it’s hard or painful, but because they set high expectations without creating tactics to help them meet these goals.
Don’t get ahead of yourself, results actually take time and you should put your focus on actually managing to exercise when you said you would. Start slowly, and build your routine to your schedule and temperament. The more you do it, the easier it will get and the faster you will see results.