A healthy lifestyle is more than just the food we put into our bodies, it’s also how we move them. Exercise should be a part of a healthy, well balanced lifestyle but sometimes it’s hard to figure out how to get into a workout routine. I am sharing 5 tips on making exercise a part of your daily life!
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How do you begin working out?
The first thing you need to do if you are just starting out is talk to your doctor. Make sure you are cleared for exercise and are able to do the activity you are wanting to do. Once you get the ok… here are 5 tips to making exercise a routine!
- Find an activity you love
We are all busy and have a lot on our schedules. Time is too valuable to waste on doing an exercise that you hate. I don’t like to play sports. I’m awful at it and much prefer going to a Bar Method class, yoga, walking outside or going for a run. My husband doesn’t love to “exercise” but he loves sports. He enjoys playing softball or basketball and walking the golf course (plus he’s cheap so he doesn’t like to waste money on a cart;) ) My point is this, exercise is going to look different for everyone. If you hate running but you are telling yourself that is the only way to move your body… you are wrong. Keep trying new activities until you find the exercise that makes you happy! I LOVE my Bar Method workout and never drive to class dreading the workout. Find an exercise you don’t want to skip!
*Bar Method also offers online classes, you can check that out here if you don’t have access to a studio.
- Schedule your workouts
Since I go to a studio I have to reserve my classes ahead of time. When I do so, it automatically puts it into my calendar as an appointment. This has been a game changer for me. No more, “I’ll get to the gym when I have time”. My exercise schedule is planned 2 weeks in advance and in my calendar. I am intentional about sitting down and comparing my schedule to when classes are offered and making those classes a priority. Even if you don’t have to schedule your workouts, start putting it in your calendar like it’s an appointment you aren’t going to miss. Learn to make yourself a priority by putting yourself on your own schedule.
- Find a workout buddy
Having a friend to meet at the gym, or wake up early and walk with is so helpful! When you have someone else counting on you to be there, it’s less likely you’ll skip your workout. And, whenever I go on a walk with a friend we get so busy talking I’ve forgotten how long we’ve walked! I have some of my best conversations with my friends on walks! Don’t have a friend who works out with you? Invite someone to try it with you and encourage them to make exercise a priority, too. Or, make a new friend at the gym! One of my closest friends is a girl I met at a yoga class at a gym I used to belong to. We were always going to the same class and before long, we were getting together outside of the gym and our kids became friends. You can find friendship and inspiration anywhere… just keep looking for it!
- Change it up
If you’ve been doing the same exercise for a while and you are bored… change it up! Visit a new studio, search for a groupon and visit a new studio or buy a workout DVD. When I started my weight loss journey I was only able to walk and when it was cold outside I did Leslie Sansone DVD’s… I loved them! They seemed so cheesy at first to just walk in place, but they are a great way to get started. Plus, no one saw me working out and I did it in the privacy of my home. If a gym or studio isn’t comfortable for you, or if you can only fit in a workout at home, try a workout DVD. There are so many to choose from.
- Focus on the activity, not the outcome
I’m going to make a bold statement… keep reading. Don’t exercise to lose weight. Don’t exercise to get a six pack. Don’t exercise to fit into a pair of jeans. Exercise because you love to treat your body well and your body loves to move. Many of those outcomes will happen if you exercise, but try not to make them your primary focus. Sometimes we can get so wrapped up in the details of losing weight or the size of our jeans that we miss out on the benefits of exercise and what it is doing for our body in areas that can’t be seen. Remember that even if you feel like your workout isn’t getting you anywhere, your body appreciates you moving and being active on the inside!
How many days a week should I workout?
This answer is different for everyone, and I want to encourage you not to get too wrapped up in this either. Once you are in a workout routine you’ll know how many days your body can handle it. My advice is to not start your workout routine with a goal of 5-7 days a week, that’s unattainable for most and sets you up for failure. Also, your body needs time to adjust to your new habit.
Set a realistic goal. My recommendation is to start exercising 2-3 days per week if you are just starting out. As exercise becomes a habit, you can increase the days per week you exercise.
What is my #1 tip for how to get into a workout routine?
JUST START. Sometimes the fear of trying something new can prevent us from taking the first step. I challenge you to take the first step today.
Walk into that gym you’ve wanted to try.
Call a friend to go for a walk.
Buy an activity tracker and start tracking your steps.
Just start. Your body will be so thankful you are making it a priority.
And just in case you haven’t been told today, you are worth the time it takes to become the healthiest version of yourself.
Know someone who could use these tips? I’d love for you to share this with them.
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Bar Method Photos taken by Rebecca Peters Photography