Jumpstarting your workout routine is easy. Momentum is on your side, you’re excited; frankly you’re ready and raring to go. Two weeks in though, when your energy begins to fade and you’re reaching for a donut instead of a jump rope it may be time to reconsider your methods. To help you stay on track with your daily workouts we’ve comprised a list of the top five habits of highly consistent exercisers. Take a look:
The Same Time All The Time: Consistent exercisers turn physical activity into a daily habit. An easy way to do the same is by rigidly incorporating it into your day-to-day. That means, just as you would brush your teeth every morning, or shower, or eat breakfast, you should workout. Keeping your workout routine scheduled as you would anything else, and being uncompromising about it (even on vacation) will help your body predict it and crave it. Having exercise as part of your daily routine will ensure a habitual adherence to it. When starting out, make sure you find a time that you can always stick to—whether that means waking up an hour early, or going straight from work to the gym.
Enjoyment Before Variation: While adding variation to your workouts can help prevent stagnation, it shouldn’t be your first consideration when starting a workout routine. If you find something you enjoy doing, stick with it. Consistent exercisers, exercise because they like to. To avoid plateauing add variation to your go-to workouts through simple shifts in difficulty. If you’re a runner, switch between different routes and mileage, hills, versus flat lands as a way to mix up a daily workout.
Before or After Work: It’s physics. Just as an object in motion tends to remain in motion, you need the momentum from your morning or day to encourage you to workout. Studies suggest exercising when you first wake up, or immediately after work. Those that put the gym between their house and work are more likely to workout consistently than those who stop before or after work to go to the gym. Let momentum help you stay on track.
It’s a Gradual Process: Building a habit takes time, just as breaking one would. Although science has debunked the adage that it only takes 21 days to build a habit, it can still be a good starting point. Aiming for three weeks, working out 3-5 times a week can help your body build up its strength quickly and safely. Don’t push yourself too hard from the get-go, or you’ll associate exercise with pain and not progress. Set realist goals for a realistic time frame to give yourself some positive proof of your hard work. If running two miles three days a week is your ultimate goal, start with just 10 minutes a day and gradually build up.
Make it a Lifestyle Change: We’ve all heard this before. In order to loose weight and keep it off, or find an exercise you’ll stick to, you have to change your life not your habits. To a degree this is true, but it doesn’t have to be as hard as it sounds. A lifestyle overhaul can be daunting, but over-thinking and precise planning can actually do more harm than good. Consistent exercisers build physical activity into their lives by opting for evening walks instead of happy hour, or afternoon hikes instead of lunch out. If you try to build in exercise or changes that don’t meld with your day-to-day, not only will you find them difficult to actually achieve, but if you miss one it could result in an all-or-nothing mindset, where you find it hard to get back on track because of a few missteps.
How do you workout day after day? Let us know by commenting below or on our Twitter. As always, stay up to date with all ThrivePass news by following us here or on LinkedIn and Twitter.