Here's how to get back into your fitness routine and stick to it!
If you’re like most everyone, you start every new fitness routine with good intentions but run out of motivation somewhere along the way. You try your best to stay interested by reminding yourself that summer is coming but that’s just not enough some days. Don't give up, because exercise is essential to achieving many health-related goals, such as lowering the risk of heart disease, hypertension and type 2 diabetes.
Here are a few suggestions to help you get back into your fitness routine, and stick to it:
Shake Things Up
Cardio, weights, shower, repeat. If your usual workout makes your eyes glaze over while your body goes through the motions, it’s time to try something new. Try a yoga or Zumba class at your local gym, snowshoeing or hiking at a nearby wilderness area, or get involved in a morning boot camp. Mixing up your activities will banish monotony. Focusing on activities you enjoy will help take your mind off the fact that you are exercising, and will make it easier to make exercise a part of your day.
Get Instant Gratification
Ok, it’s not exactly instant, but staying focused on small victories along the way can help keep you excited about exercise. People who have long-term goals are less likely to stick with a workout unless they allow themselves a pat on the back for short-term wins along the way. Try to increase the number of sit-ups or push-ups you do each workout. Increase the incline on your treadmill and see how long or how fast you can go. Think about achievable daily, weekly or monthly goals that will keep you motivated and go for it.
Whether it’s your favorite movie clip or YouTube tutorial, find something that motivates you and gets your adrenaline pumping. Visual stimulation can serve as a powerful motivator, so find something that works for you and bookmark it. If you find yourself hesitating before your next workout, pull it up and set it to repeat.
Find a Partner
Working out is more fun when you have a partner. Not only do they push you to do better through a bit of friendly competition, they help keep you accountable as well. If you don’t show up to the gym, beach or track, you’re letting your partner down. This alone can get you out of bed in the morning.
Just Do It
When all else fails and you still don’t feel like working out, take a deep breath and just do it anyway. Gather your steely resolve and carry on. You can do it, and you'll thank yourself later!
Have you found an effective way to revive or maintain your interest in exercise? We’d like to hear about it in the comments below.
Tommy Parrish, MS, ACSM-CCEP, is the director of the Covenant LifeStyle Centre in Lubbock.
This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your health care professional's instructions.