It’s almost Spring & that means that it’s the perfect opportunity to start incorporating a new healthy habit into your life: EXERCISE!
Easier said than done, right? I know! Exercise isn’t something that comes naturally or easy for most people (or for anyone really), until it becomes your lifestyle! Only then does waking up for a workout or heading to one after a long day at work or school feel natural & not like a task you dread!
But wait, how do you get to that point? Here are some tips & tricks that have helped me on my journey towards making fitness a part of my daily routine!
- Don’t compare yourself, your progress, abilities or success to others. Focus on YOU & your workout. Everyone has “firsts” & started somewhere. Nobody started out as mentally or physically strong as they are today & no two people have the same abilities, body or strength. Don’t strive to be the person next to you. Strive to be the BEST YOU.
- Don’t push yourself beyond your limits. Only you know them. Respect them & listen to your body. Your limits will vary from day-to-day & even, from hour to hour. Pushing yourself beyond them makes you associate working out with negative feelings & behaviours & teaches your mind to hate it because you see it as suffering as opposed to creating happiness & energy. Get to know your body: Take breaks if you need them & push hard when you can!
- Set realistic, attainable goals that won’t discourage, demotivate you, impose unrealistic standards & set you up for failure. Instead of the “all-in” approach, adopt the baby steps one. Take things slow. Let your body & mind ease into it & let it become a routine & lifestyle.
- The way you’ll feel after a workout will justify getting up to get there EVERY DAMN TIME. No matter how lazy I feel in the morning or how much I just don’t want to get out of bed or leave my house at night for my second workout of the day, I ALWAYS justify getting my butt off my couch or out of bed knowing how amazing I’ll feel after! Sometimes, I walk into a workout feeling anxious, stressed, on edge or just not like myself but EVERY TIME I LEAVE, I’M A DIFFERENT PERSON, in the best possible way!
- Pack your gym bag the night before & put it in your car so you’re not tempted to skip the gym after work/school or somewhere in the house that’ll motivate you to get up & go in the morning.
- Wear clothes & shoes you feel good & comfy in & that provide good support! Don’t wear clothes that make you feel critical or self-conscious of your body & don’t dress for the gym just to fit the part.
- Make your schedule on Sundays to keep you accountable, give you something to look forward to & help structure your week & feel like your life is organized & on track.
- Change up your workouts to stimulate different muscle groups, prevent boredom, plateaus & overuse injuries. When you do the same workouts, your body gets so used to it that it becomes inefficient. Challenge your body in ways it isn’t used to so that you work harder as your body adjusts to new activity.
- Be patient. Don’t expect results overnight & don’t get down on yourself if they come slower than you want them to. There is no such thing as a quick fix or magic formula. You won’t lose 30 pounds or get a 6-pack overnight. Be mindful & aware of that Part of being patient is setting realistic attainable goals & commending yourself for progress, even when it’s little!
- Be consistent to foster a routine & a lifestyle. Drop the quick fix & short-term result mentality & be in it for the long run.
- Don’t workout out of guilt to compensate for food consumption. Work out, first & foremost, to feel good & don’t reduce food consumption because you’re exercising.
- Workout at your optimal time, whenever you feel you have themes energy. Listen to your body’s clock
- Most importantly, HAVE FUN!