It’s no secret that sticking to a consistent workout routine is much easier said than done. If you’re anything like me, you know that it’s easy to get motivated and sprint out of the starting gate. However, as soon as you start skipping out on workouts, that seed of motivation quickly withers away just as fast as it sprung up.
Trust me, I know how difficult it is to start working out again after taking a (sometimes embarrassingly long) break. But you know what? I started running again, and I’ve kept at it! I know that creating healthy habits isn’t easy, but I did it… and here’s 5 ways you can to:
1. Stop the excuses. Just stop.
There are many different reasons you probably give as to why you can’t seem to consistently workout. And to be honest, I’ve given every excuse in the book. I’m too busy. It’s too hot outside to run. It’s too cold outside to run. I’m tired today. I’ve got so many other things I’ve got to deal with right now. Oh, and my personal favorite: I don’t feel like it.
We can think of a million different reasons as to why we choose to skip our workout. But that’s exactly what they are: excuses. So why don’t we start with being honest? Often times we put exercise on our “to do” list, but it’s never the top priority. Sure we may have things we have to do like work, school, taking care of the kids, or paying the bills. But you know what? Your health is a priority too! In fact, you can’t even accomplish any of those other tasks if you aren’t healthy enough! So let’s stop making excuses and start being honest with ourselves, would you take that first step with us?
2. Set a (realistic) goal.
Ok, maybe you’re one of those people who has “running a marathon” written down on your bucket list. But if you’ve taken a month off from working out, saying you want to be in marathon-running shape a few weeks down the road is probably unrealistic. And if you don’t stay on track or keep a consistent routine, discouragement is unavoidable.
Setting a realistic goal is a great place to start. A 26.2 mile race may take a few years to build up to, but how about 3.1 miles? If you want to start running, find a 5K race going on in your area. And if the race supports a great cause, well then that’s even better! There are always great races posted on websites like Runner’s World or Active! Not into running? Try a push-up or sit-up challenge. See how many you can do today, and then do as many as you can again tomorrow. Record the number you do each day and see how quickly you can improve!
Want to work out to lose weight? Start by setting small weight loss goals. Dropping a few pounds each month isn’t too hard and it can really be encouraging. However, you shouldn’t convince yourself that you’re going to fit into a two-sizes-too-small dress by the summer. Not everyone loses weight at the same rate or in the same places, so don’t set yourself up for discouragement. Take it at your pace and see what works best for your body. If you keep up a healthy routine, you may not only start looking slimmer, but also feeling more energized!
3. Count on accountability
Let’s be honest, we slip up a lot. Having a workout accountability partner can be the key to consistency! Whether it’s a spouse who wants to workout with you, a friend who shoots you a quick text, or a child who wants to tag along with you to the park, having that friendly face encouraging you can really help push you to the next level.
So write it on your calendar, create a Facebook page, or just ask some of your close friends to keep tabs on you. It’s harder to skip out on exercising when you have others watching!
4. Don’t dread it
Ok, so maybe you don’t like exercising. Or, if you’re being honest, you have a deeply rooted hatred of it. But you know what? Don’t you usually feel so much better after a good workout (well, after you finally catch your breath and stop sweating)? If you’re sitting in your car trying to decide between hitting the gym or Dunkin Donuts, think of that post-workout feeling. Yea, it may be tough to step on the treadmill, but once you get going it’s really not as bad as you thought!
And yes, we all have those days where we struggle to get through a simple set of crunches, but don’t be discouraged. Just think, at least you pushed yourself to get up and do it! Take some time afterwards to stretch so that tomorrow may be a little easier!
5. Make a game out of it
Believe it or not, working out can actually be enjoyable if you make a game out of it! Create a running playlist on Spotify or Amazon Music with your favorite pump-up music. Choose certain songs that you will run fast to and others that are for a light jog. Put them in a specific order or just shuffle them up and see what happens! Are you into zombies? Download the Zombies, Run! game app that will transplant you into a different world where you won’t be running to workout, you’ll be running to survive!
And did you know you can get rewarded by working out? Walgreens Balance Rewards allows you to earn points for maintaining healthy behaviors that you can then use to save money! Charity Miles is another app that will make a donation to charity for every mile you run… how cool is that?!
So, what’s next?
It’s time to stop saying “one day I’ll start working out again” and finally make today the day. There are always a million reasons not to do something, but why not push past those excuses and start creating healthy habits now? Are you ready to take the challenge?
Were you encouraged by these 5 tips? We’d love to hear about your own journey toward health! Send us a message or leave a comment for a chance to be featured on our site!