I used to hate exercising. Hated it. And now I love it and is it truly a part of my life. So how do you make working out a part of your life forever?
When I hated exercise
When I was young I pretty much hated every kind of movement. I didn’t like cycling to school, even playing outside would be too much sometimes. I’d rather would sit in front of the telly. I hated PT in school and would always be one of the last to be picked in group exercises. I did dancing which I loved, however I did it 1 hour a week and sometimes my parents had to force me to go. Yea me and working out weren’t a great couple.
How did I make working out a part of my life forever?
So how did that change? Well I as a person changed in general and I became healthier and more conscious of how living a healthy lifestyle created a better and happier version of me. Not that that is helpful at all because how do you get into that place? And girl, I can still relate because I am getting back into that place myself again because I fell of the bandwagon due to my health issues being PCOS and hypothyroidism.
Doing a workout that you love
One of the things that I learned is doing something that I love. This can be tricky because of the following reasons. I know I love dancing but getting into classes that I like with teachers that resonate with me is also important. Don’t be afraid to try out different classes, teams and gyms of the same type of workout to find something that you love doing. Because then it won’t feel like you are working out.
Make working out fun
If you have found a workout that you love, you also need to make it fun, otherwise you need to drag yourself to the gym. When you are doing a class with a teacher you like, the class probably will be fun enough. When you’re doing it on your own, you need to make it fun yourself. Things that help me is a great and motivational playlist. I’ll make my own HIIT workout with exercises that I like doing, combined with tougher exercises that I find online to progress. For me the diversity is key and fun.
Switch it up
As I mentioned, diversity is key. Think about when you follow a class. A teach will mix things up as well. Not only to keep your mind fresh, but also to progress your body. Your body will not get fit when you always do the same thing. It will know the trick. So change up the exercises you are doing, do a different class or workout every once in a while. Even running in a different area is already good. Or do an interval training instead of a long run that you usually do.
Plan your workout
Even though you have workouts now that you love, we all know the dreading feeling of not wanting to go and exercise. The I’d rather stay in bed that go out in the cold to go to the gym. And once you’re there it’s all good. I find that I often won’t go if I didn’t commit to it as if it’s a meeting. So I schedule my workouts and classes. I put them in my agenda and make time for it. Because I do not want to miss or be late for a meeting. So look at your schedule and look into realistic times and dates that are realistic for you to plan a workout. Also planning the workouts on the same day and time will create a habit and in time it will be easier to commit to.
Go with a friend
Still too hard to exercise? Ask a friend to be your training buddy so you can hold yourselves accountable in going. Obviously you need to be on the same level so that you both won’t bail every time there is a session and it also helps when your fitness levels are slightly the same or hers is better. In that way you will be extra motivated to perform well during your workout.
Track your results
Nothing is more fun and rewarding than progressing your results. So take pictures every month to see you much your body is changing. Measure yourself. Track how many push ups you can do in 30 seconds, how far you can run in 20 minutes, how many kilo’s you can lift in a squat, etc. Writing this down will motivate you to keep going and to progress so that you can lift more, be faster, be fitter and of course be healthier.
Concentrate on the endgame
What do you want to achieve by exercising? Like really? What is your personal goal? Write down what you ideally want to achieve. And then write it down in one sentence as if you have already achieved it. What also can help is to make it more specific and to write down the baby steps that you need to take to get to your endgame. Okay, you want to be fit and lean. So what does that look like? Will you get there by running 5k in 20 minutes? Will you get there by doing 8 burpees in 30 seconds? Or will you get there by lifting 50kg in squats? Whatever it is, write is down to make it more visual and look at it regularly and repeat it out loud so that you really feel it. In that way you feel great, you feel energized, you will look better and feel better longterm.
What have you done to make exercise stick forever with you?