We all know that it’s important to stay consistent with exercise for maintaining both our physical and mental health. Countless research studies have shown that participating in regular physical activity is one of the best lifestyle choices you can make to live a happy and healthy life. Although it is tough to fit in the time to workout when you already have a millions things on your plate, it is definitely possible. We’ve helped some seriously busy professionals and parents implement a regular exercise routine with these simple, yet effective strategies. Try them out!
Tips for How to Stay Consistent with Exercise
1 – FIND YOUR MOTIVATION
Finding your motivation to work out is absolutely essential in order to stay consistent with exercise. Most people can vaguely describe why they want to work out (to lose weight, to prevent heart disease, to look great in clothing), but rarely do people take the time to really dig deeper to discover why exercise is important to them.
Take the time to find out what your specific motivation is for working out, write it down and reflect on it daily! Put a sign on your fridge, set reminders on your phone, keep a sticky note on your bathroom mirror. Make sure it is very specific and compelling enough to actually motivate you. Here are some examples of how to make a specific and compelling motivational statement about exercise.
- Bad Example: I want to exercise regularly because it makes me feel good afterward.
- Bad Example: I want to exercise regularly because I want to lose weight.
- Good Example: When I take the time to exercise before work, I am more productive, less stressed, and feel inspired to eat healthier.
- Good Example: Exercising on the weekends is one of the most important acts of self-love that I can do. I feel empowered, energized, confident and accomplished when I workout.
2 – EASE INTO IT
One of the biggest challenges for starting a fitness routine is all of the pressure we put on ourselves to perform at our best. It’s great to challenge yourself, but we find that most people psych themselves out from even stepping foot in the gym because they feel like they aren’t capable of doing a perfect workout and so it’s not worth even going.
The reality is that most people aren’t good at things they don’t do regularly. If you haven’t worked out in a while, you can reasonably expect that you won’t be great at it. Guess what, that’s OK! Moving your body in any way, whether it’s walking or doing a full blown cross fit workout has a positive impact on almost every system in our body. Have an open mind, start with something small, and work your way up to where you want to be one day at a time! Instead of committing to daily 60 minute treadmill runs at 6:00 am, try setting yourself up for success by making more realistic goals that are in line with where you are at right now. This helps avoid failures and boosts confidence to keep going.
3 – DO SOMETHING YOU ENJOY
It is much easier to be consistent with working out if you find an exercise that you love to do. If you actually enjoy what you are doing, you will feel excited to workout instead of obligated.
- Try an Exercise Class: My favorites are Soul Cycle and Hot Power Yoga, but there are a million different options out there. Class Pass is a great option for exploring different classes in your area. Try something that piques your specific interest and keeps you motivated to come back.
- Go Outside: Getting out and exploring your environment is a great way to stay motivated and decompress. Try riding your bike, hiking, or going for a walk and notice how calm you feel after – my favorite natural anti-anxiety cure is exercising outside.
- Join a Team or Group: Many people grow up playing organized sports, but stop playing after high school. Joining an adult sports league (doesn’t necessarily have to be sports, there are running groups, hiking groups, etc.) or taking lessons of your choice is a great way to stay consistent with your workouts, make friends, and have fun! Meetup is a great way to find local exercise and sports teams and groups.
4 – SCHEDULE IT
Be systematic and plan your workouts. Look at your calendar and see when, where, and how much time you have to exercise on certain days. Put it on your calendar and block off that time! We plan all of our workouts on Sunday, put them on the calendar, and adjust whenever we need to throughout the week.
5 – PAY FOR IT
Invest in yourself! If getting healthy is a priority for you, spend some dollars to help get you there. If you are motivated by saving money or not wasting money, paying for some aspect of your exercise routine is a great way to stay consistent.
- Pre-pay for your exercise classes in advance.
- Buy yourself some new workout gear (I just bought myself these wireless headphones and they are game changing)!
- Buy yourself a new workout gadget, like a fitness tracker, heart rate monitor, and/or exercise machine (has anyone tried the Peloton bike? It seems like such a great option for busy parents).
- Paying an expert is probably the best thing you can do to effectively and efficiently reach your fitness goals. Hire a trainer if you want hands-on help at the gym or try working with a health coach if you need help staying consistent with your workout of choice.
6 – DON’T DO IT ALONE
Accountability is one of the most effective ways to achieve your goals. Try these ways to implement accountability so you can be more consistent with your workouts.
- Work out with a friend or loved one.
- Join an exercise or sports team or group.
- Track your activity and be active with online exercise communities like Fit Bit or My Fitness Pal.
- Work with a health coach or personal trainer.
7 – MEASURE YOUR PROGRESS
Nothing motivates a person more than seeing progress being made. Write down your accomplishments every month so you have evidence of all the great stuff you have done. We recommend noting outcomes and behaviors that you have accomplished, both big and small.
- Outcome – I can now run 5 miles
- Behavior – I schedule my workouts in advance every week
- Outcome – I can make it through a spinning class without feeling like I’m going to die
- Behavior – I’m waking up at 6:00 am 2 days a week to exercise
- Small win – I figured out a workout that I enjoy
- Big win – I completed my first 5K