Struggling making exercise a routine? A lot of people start exercising with “all or nothing” attitude. You decide to make a lifestyle change; buy a gym membership, go there eagerly for 3 to 4 weeks and then everything stops for some reason, for a long time… We´ve all been there. For the sake of health benefits and healthy lifestyle, it would be smarter to always do something, in the long run. How to make exercise a routine then?
I´ll tell you a secret… There are no secret tricks, you just need to commit. You must believe change is possible. This is a key for a habit to stay changed.
How to make exercise part of your weekly routines?
Make it easy
It can be easy. Is the closest gym to your house too far away? Buy a kettlebell or other free weights and do your workouts at home easily. There are plenty of good workouts on Youtube! Set the bar low enough and start small. Whatever it is, start with something you can definitely do effortlessly.
Choose a sport that you like
Remember that you can choose the form of exercise that you do. You are the only one who really knows what works for you. Make it fun! If you don´t like going to the gym, you are most likely not going to make it a routine. If you enjoy dancing, you are definitely going to go to the dance classes every week.
Make a weekly plan
Plan your workouts for the week on Sundays. Decide the days when you are going to exercise and stick to the plan. If exercising 4 to 5 times a week sounds too scary, aim to do it 1 to 2 times. Do what you can, consistently.
What do you want to achieve? How do you track your progression? By setting goals and succeeding in your achievements, you get more positive experiences that boost your self-confidence and you are more likely going to keep going… And gradually you can set your goals even higher!
It can be a healthy smoothie after your workout or buying new active wear. Someone enjoys the adrenaline after a workout and that´s enough. What´s your reward? It´s up to you!
There is never going be a perfect time to start. Such a thing doesn’t exist. You´re always going to make excuses. What is really stopping you? Remember, you are not lazy, you are just possibly starting from zero. Just start!
Be nice to yourself
Exercise shouldn´t be a punishment. Exercise should be done because you care about yourself, your life and your future. Small steps every day! Do the best you can at the time. You should never be disappointed on your performance; 15 minutes slow jog is always better than being a couch potato. Stumbles and failures are going to happen, it´s normal. Don´t be too hard on yourself. If they happen constantly, try something new or go slower.
Also, don´t compare yourself to others. Everyone starts from somewhere. The girl running on a treadmill next to you might have already been running for 5 years and it´s your day 1. You are doing it for yourself, not for anyone else. 🙂
How to get started
Place your active wear in your bag so it´s already there and you can easily go and exercise in the morning, on your lunch break or after work.
Place your running shoes next to your bed so you can just jump into them the first thing in the morning.
Buy a kettlebell or other free weights and create a little workout corner at your house.
Join classes. Make it social and fun! 🙂
Have a little snack (a banana for example) in your bag at all times so being hungry is not the excuse why you skipped a workout.
Hopefully this text helped and inspired you!
Jonna Haataja is a wellness coach and personal trainer from Finland. She currently lives in Perth, Australia. She is passionate about healthy active lifestyle, nutritious food, exercise, yoga and helping others. Follow her on Instagram: @jonnahaataja.