Divide your fitness goals into small steps to avoid exercise errors that cause injury and exhaustion. Look for things that fit your lifestyle. The first step on the lifelong path to healthy physical activity is to identify what works for you. Think about what types of activities fit your lifestyle, time constraints, budget and physical condition.
Don't forget to consider what you like and what you don't like. Instead of focusing on the total time of your workout or on an intimidably high amount of volume you expect to achieve, redirect your attention to the next 30 seconds, Zadeh says. On days when you're really struggling to motivate yourself to work out, encourage yourself with a small reward system, suggests Mansour. Think of small ways to pamper yourself: get a 10-minute neck massage, for example, or watch an episode of your favorite Netflix show and take advantage of those rewards when you continue with your daily routine.
Perform strength training exercises for all major muscle groups at least twice a week. Try to do just one set of each exercise, using a weight or resistance level heavy enough to tire your muscles after approximately 12 to 15 repetitions. The secret recipe for sticking with your workout routine includes just a few key elements, according to a major new study. We spoke with top fitness experts to learn about the mental techniques they use to help clients follow an exercise routine and meet their fitness goals when they feel overwhelmed, discouraged, or unmotivated for some other reason.
Commit to doing your first workout of the week, month, year or whatever program you've chosen, and you'll feel much better and want to continue enjoying the incredible benefits of exercise. Often, the hardest thing to figure out how to follow an exercise routine is simply going to an exercise center or space and not the exercise itself, Kellen Scantlebury, DPT, CSCS, founder of Fit Club NY, explains to SELF. You may want to try out certain types of equipment at a gym before investing in your own equipment. Re-perform your personal fitness evaluation six weeks after starting your program and then again every few months.
However, in reality, depending on your current fitness level, refining that movement may require weeks or even months of constant hard work. One of the successful interventions included a feature that allowed users to know that more Americans are exercising than ever before and that getting in shape is a growing trend. Or, you might be pleasantly surprised to discover that you're exercising just the right amount to meet your fitness goals. Mark Beauchamp, professor of exercise and health psychology at the University of British Columbia, said that previous research highlighted the important role that social structures play in people's ability to adapt to behavioral changes.
Some ways to do this include giving yourself a new sports shoe or sportswear when you've reached small milestones, the latest portable device, or even a trip to celebrate the best moments along your fitness journey. When you do something on a consistent basis, it becomes a habit, and once you make exercise a regular part of your routine, it will be much easier to stick to it. Don't schedule exercise after dinner if you know that's when you always have to help the kids with their homework, unless you think the whole family would benefit from a rest and a brisk walk. Consult your doctor before making any changes to your diet, sleep methods, daily activity, or exercise routine.
If you want to make exercise a habit, you should stick to your training plan even on days when you find yourself making up excuses. Maybe it's hearing the beep that marks a mile on your fitness watch when you run that target distance for the first time without stopping, or feeling the grass under your feet as you stretch afterwards.