For some, it’s not the actual act of exercising that’s the most difficult part of keeping up with a regular exercise routine, but more so the effort required to make it a consistent habit.
Of course, whether your goal is to lose weight, increase your fitness or simply better your overall health and wellness, consistency is essential for success.
Below Jamie King, a NASM and Yoga Alliance certified instructor, ultra-marathoner, and CEO and co-founder of SweatGuru, shares expert tips and tricks that will help you learn how to make your exercise routine really stick.
1. Become a morning person.
In her experience, King says she’s found that morning is the best time for fitting fitness into any schedule. “You’ll find that you have fewer excuses to not work out than you might have in the evenings,” she explained. “I mean, be honest, when was the last time you skipped a workout for drinks with co-workers, dinner with friends, family time on the couch, etc.? If you can get up and squeeze in even 30 minutes first thing in the morning and just make it as routine as brushing your teeth, you’re more likely to stick with it.”
2. Commit to it.
OK, so obviously this is easier said than done, but it’s also an integral part of the process. King explains, “Be honest with yourself about how much time you have and are going to be willing to give and plan your workouts accordingly. At the beginning of each week, look at your calendar and see when you have 30 minutes, 45, or maybe even an hour and plan your workouts based around your schedule. Make it work for you and then commit to it. Pencil it in and make it something that is non-negotiable.”
3. Be realistic.
“If you know you have trouble getting up in the morning but want to try morning workouts because you have difficulty sticking with your workouts in the evenings, start slowly,” King said. “Start by waking up 30 minutes earlier and squeezing in a quick workout at home and then try inch by inch to give yourself a bit more time until you’ve established a routine and can let your body adjust to your new schedule. Everything takes time,even finding a routine.”
4. Set goals.
King says that having a goal, a race, or some kind of event in mind can help to boost your motivation, hold you accountable and increase your performance by encouraging you to work harder.
5. Find a buddy.
For some people, working out with a friend is the best form of motivation, King says. “It keeps you accountable and on track.”
6. Be a little OCD.
According to King, the more “OCD” you are about your workout routine, the more likely it will stick. “If you’re going to be OCD about something, you might as well make it productive,” she explained. “If you’re going to become a morning person, great. Make your workout and healthy pre- and post-workout meals part of our plan. You’ll set yourself up for success the rest of the day if you start the day out strong.”