So you’ve been toying with the idea of starting a new fitness routine, but you have no idea how to motivate yourself…or stay motivated. You’re not alone. Getting into an exercise regimen and actually sticking with it can be extremely challenging. Sometimes the thought of stepping onto a treadmill can be downright horrifying. But you can do it, I promise – just keep these tips on how to start a fitness routine in mind and you’ll be on your way!
1. Write it in your schedule.
This may seem silly, but exercise is just as important as any other event you have in your planner, if not more important because it’s for your health. Make time for it.
2. Try everything – don’t limit yourself to one kind of workout.
Try that spin class, yoga class, or new interval workout you saw online. Who knows, maybe you’ll find a new fitness routine you love, or you’ll find that you enjoy constantly mixing it up.
3. Get to know fellow gym-goers/employees/instructors.
If you start to form relationships with other people at the gym, chances are they will begin to notice if you’re not there. This might be that little push of accountability you need to motivate you to make it to the gym. Who wants to deal with coming up with an excuse when you run into your spin instructor on campus?
4. Splurge on some new gear.
Not only is this important for you to stay safe and comfortable while working out, but feeling good when you workout can make it more appealing. So go ahead and buy that cute new gym outfit…just be sure to show it off at the gym.
5. Set goals…small goals.
Even if it’s as small as running for an extra minute on the treadmill or going to one more yoga class a week, give yourself a goal and set new ones once you meet the previous one. You’ll always have something to work for.
6. Give it another try.
So you hated that Zumba class you took or couldn’t stand downward dog. Don’t throw in the towel yet, give it another try. Maybe it was just that class or the instructor, but don’t judge something off of one experience.
7. Think about how you’ll feel afterwards.
You’ve probably heard it before but, it’s rare to walk away from a workout regretting it. Next time you workout, take a moment to notice how you feel at the end and remember that feeling. When you’re lacking motivation, try to remember that feeling of accomplishment and health.
8. Realize that starting a fitness routine doesn’t mean you have to live in the gym.
Workouts don’t have to last two hours to be effective. Sometimes 15-20 minutes is all you need to get your heart rate up and a good calorie burn. Ever heard of something called high intensity interval training (HIIT)? These workouts focus on getting your heart rate up in a short amount of time. If you put your best effort into those short workouts, you can get all of the benefits of a longer workout in a fraction of the time.
9. Find a workout buddy.
Whether it’s your roommate or a girl you just met in class, finding someone to workout with can be a great way to stay motivated. You can push each other and probably have some fun too. It can also be comforting to have a familiar face in a new environment.
10. Don’t compare yourself to others!
It can be super intimidating looking around the gym and see the girl doing clean and presses (what are those?) or the guy who can hold a plank for five minutes, but ignore them. Focus on yourself. Your fitness journey is your own just like that guy’s fitness journey to a five minute plank is his own.
Remember, results don’t happen overnight. Fitness is a journey and one that you should enjoy.