Secrets to Sticking with Your Workout Routine
Installing new Habits of Health takes time and conscious effort. Your body is programmed to find and sustain a routine, which will make living a healthy lifestyle easier in the long term, but in the short term you will need to be mindful of the daily choices you make. I’ve written a lot about reprogramming your habits (you can download my free e-book on the topic), but when it comes to building specific habits a few extra insights might give you the edge you need to find success.
Starting a workout routine is an exciting opportunity to transform your health. When Habits of Healthy Motion are a regular part of your routine, your body is better equipped to prevent disease, you have more energy, and your mind is more engaged. Despite the potential rewards, I’ve seen little challenges derail the best of intentions.
With a little bit of planning, you can prevent these problems before they start and stay on your path to Optimal Health. Whether you are an exercise guru or are about to start a new program, here are a few tips that can make your workout routine last:
- Get the right equipment. If you are starting a new exercise routine, use the appropriate gear, and talk with an expert to make sure everything fits correctly. For example, a good pair of running or walking shoes can prevent injuries and joint pain. If you’re hurting, it won’t be a surprise if you talk yourself out of going on your morning jog!
- Take care of nagging problems. Do you get blisters from a long run? Try a little bit of tape to prevent them from forming. Does your back hurt after a game of basketball? Talk to your physician for a physical therapist about some preventative exercises you can do to strengthen your support muscles and ease pain.
- Be a form fanatic. If you’re brand new to an exercise program, work with an expert for your first few sessions (at least) to learn the proper technique for your new movements. A personal trainer or qualified instructor can teach you how to exercise safely and efficiently. We don’t want an easily avoidable injury knocking you off course!
- Have a back-up plan. Sometimes life happens and you can’t get to the gym, but that doesn’t mean that you take the day off. Instead, have a workout routine planned that you can do at home (or in a hotel room!) without weights or machines for those unexpected days. The workout might not be intense, but at least you are staying on track with your exercise schedule.
- Get a workout buddy. Everyone has off days, which is why having a support network is a critical component of Optimal Health. Find a friend (or join a group class) that will help to hold you accountable to your goals. Sometimes a small push from someone you respect is all you need to get off the couch and into the gym.
All of this advice sounds pretty simple, right? That’s the idea! These tips are so accessible that many people often blow right by them. And then, after a week or two of starting a new program, they take a week off to let a blister heal or because they strained their neck lifting a weight with poor form. If we can prevent these little problems from becoming big excuses, building new Habits of Healthy Motion will be much easier.
So get off the couch, and start moving!