Here are a few tips to start your exercise again and stick to it.

Ah, this is the time of year when people fill the gyms to start exercising…..again. Yes, it is the New Year in all its glory. Now I (used to but don’t now) and a lot of other regular gym-goers make ‘fun’ of these people for their fashion sense and their lack of gym sense.

The videos of these misadventures usually end up on YouTube or America’s Funniest Home Video.

But I promise I’m not responsible for any of it.

Due to lack of knowledge, results, and motivation, a lot of these people flame out a month or two later only to start the whole process again the next New Year.  But if you’re starting again or looking for tips to make your exercise ‘stick’, I have your back, front, side, and everything in between.

Hang on that sounds weird.

You know what I mean right? God, I hope so.  

Anyway, where was I? Yes, exercise tips to make exercise stick in the New Year or any time of year. Here I’ll lay out a bunch of tips that you can implement to make it easier for you to stick with exercise. Now every tip here will not work for you. Mix and match to find what works best. Let’s get into it.

Keeping It Simple

1.    Layout your training clothes the night before or pack and bag the night before and put them in a visible place. This will help keep exercise in the forefront of your mind the next day.

2.    Schedule your exercise like any important appointment. For me, it’s at 11.00 am Monday, Wednesday, and Friday like clockwork. This helps keep the routine and habit.

3.    Don’t underestimate the power of walking. It doesn’t burn a ton of calories, but the health and stress reduction benefits are great. Make it a habit to walk at least 10 minutes per day.

4.    A little over the long haul works best. Don’t think you need to make it up all at once. Just do a little each day that moves you closer to being healthy and fit.

5. It’s okay to miss a day, don’t beat yourself up for it. Just don’t miss twice. Your health and fitness are not an all-or-nothing proposition.

6.     Have another reason for exercise other than vanity. When you’re not getting the instant results, you desire it helps to have another reason.

7.    Put some skin in the game. Buy a gym membership, hire a coach, or buy some home exercise equipment. When you make a commitment to yourself, you’re more likely to stick with it.

8.    Please make it easier for yourself by asking for help. This may take the form of asking the trainer at your gym for tips to work around an injury or exercising when you have limited time. Enlisting help from your spouse or loved ones, so you carve out a little time for yourself for health purposes. Because when you don’t ask, the answer is always no.

Training Tips 

1.    If you haven’t been to the gym in a while stick to the exercise machines. Alternate between upper and lower body exercises for six-10 machines working between eight to 15 reps. The range of motion is fixed, they’re easier to use and you will not get as sore.

2.    Stick to fundamental human movements. What are they? They are squats, pushing, pulling, hinging, and carrying some weights in your hands. This is what you need to focus on all the time including when you are starting again.

3.    Find a method of exercise you enjoy. For me, it is strength training but for you, it might be something different. When you enjoy it, you’re more likely to stick with it. It might require some experimentation, but it will be worth it.

4.    Go with a friend. A study published in the Journal of Sport and Exercise said exercise adherence is directly related to having support. So, knowing your friend has your back can help you stick to your fitness plan. (1)

5.    Focus on the process and not the end goal. For example, Concentrate on exercising 3-5 times a week OR a performance goal like doing your first chin up, push-up, or running a mile. When taking your focus off the end goal and concentrating on the process, you’re more likely to achieve your goal, sometimes without even realizing it

6.    Test yourself to find out what you really need from exercising. Measure your waist. Is it half of your height? If no fat loss should be your focus. Perform a push-up plank. Can you hold it for 2 minutes? If no you need to focus on strength. If both pick one and stick to it until you reach the 2 minutes or recommended waistline.

Miscellaneous Tips

1.    Don’t make big changes to your exercise and eating habits at the same time, Choose one and nail it before moving to the next one. Can you change both? Sure, but it is hard work and may lead to failure, Better to stick with one.

2.    Practice this simple mindset switch. You don’t have to do it; you get to do it. That person in the wheelchair would love to go for a walk.

3.    Where ever you are in your fitness journey it took you a while to get there. Don’t expect to turn it around in an instant. Remember the old cliched saying ‘Rome wasn’t built in a day.’  Whatever you’re doing to improve your health stick with it.

4.    The only way to fail at this fitness thing is to quit. Don’t quit and refer to point 4 in keeping it simple.

5.    Have a bottle of water around you to keep drinking water in the front of your mind. Sometimes hunger is a sign you’re dehydrated. Drink water first before you eat something because it’s pretty handy to know the difference between the two.

6.    Don’t play the comparison game.

Wrapping Up

There are many different ways to improve your health and fitness and it doesn’t matter which route you take. What’s more important is you stick with it and do a little over the long haul. No matter if you’re starting to exercise again or you’re well into your exercise journey the key to success is consistency and never quitting.

You’re not a quitter, are you?

If you’re in need of an exercise program to get you back on track click here.

2 Comments

  1. Monica A

    Great article, coach!

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