We all start exercise plans with the best will in the world, and we tend to start well. But by the end of that first week, the beginning of the second, perhaps even the end of the second week, our will to succeed is flagging. Muscles burn, the weather is not great, and the thought of an extra half-hour in bed is just too tempting. After all, we think, as we turn over and snuggle back into the pillows, we can make up for it tomorrow… Instead of allowing this to happen – and letting your daily exercise slide once shortens the odds on it happening again – here are eight tips to help you never skip exercise.
1. Work Out on the Way to Work
Make your daily exercise part of your commute. Depending on the distance and your fitness levels, walk, run or cycle to work. Getting yourself a good pair of running shoes will make sure that your feet and ankles thank you, even as you tone up and feel healthier and stronger – and all just to get to work! You can arrange for a lift home after work, use public transport, or double up your exercise if the commute is not too onerous – the key is to be flexible after your daily allocation of exercise is done.
2. Work Out Before Work
Similar to the above point, this tip refers to calling in at a gym before work. By allocating a set time to leave the house that includes anywhere from half an hour, to an hour and a half for exercise, you can sign up with a gym that you will sure visit five days a week. Pretty soon, you will feel out of sorts and ill if you do not get your morning dose of endorphins that can help you power through to lunchtime. It is an odd fact that exercise gives you energy once you have boosted your basic fitness, but it is true!
3. Record Yourself
No, not working out, unless you are some kind of masochist – or in perfect condition! Keep a record of the exercise you do each day, whether it is cardio, road running, or stretches. Keeping a notation of how much exercise you have done will quickly build up into an impressive record – one that you will not want to spoil lightly!
4. Put Money on It
Leading on from the above point, why not place a bet on yourself to do X number of days, reach a target weight, or get to a certain milestone? There are online sites that allow betters to partner up against challengers, betting that they will or will not achieve some personally determined target, and you are sure to find someone to take the bet, giving you a nice nest-egg along with a sense of accomplishment when you get there!
5. Howdy Partner
If gambling is not your thing, get a buddy instead. Team up with someone who has similar goals and motivations to yourself, and solemnly promises between you that you will stick to your daily targets come what may.
6. Let It Be Fun
If you loathe running, even the finest runner shoes which runners need in the world are not going to make you love it and want to do it every day! Fitness training comes in many shapes and forms, and you might find that you actively make time in the day for a swim, for example, while making excuses to not run to work, simply because you love swimming and dislike running. Professionals from runnersneed.com suggest to allow your preferences to guide your choices, as we all tend to be better at doing things we like, and it is easier to keep yourself on track this way.
7. Timetable It
Having a clear, designated time in your day when your exercise will take place makes it much easier to stick to. Just as no one expects you to step away from your job during working hours (exceptional circumstances excluded, obviously!), if you have a clear time when you will be out of the house or in the home gym, and not to be disturbed unless absolutely vital then you are more likely to left alone to get on with it. Having a noted time also helps you to get into the right headspace for exercise. You may not be consciously thinking about it, but unconsciously, your brain will be ‘planning’ for the physical activity, and when the hour arrives, you will feel prepared and ready to go.
8. Reward Yourself
It is fitting that it is the last of these exercise tips that talks of rewarding yourself for a long unbroken record of exercising every day. Whether you are into athletics, running or a team sport, attending training regularly can become a chore, even if your fitness levels are high and you are enthusiastic about the pastime, doing anything every day can begin to feel stale and boring. Get around this by planning a series of rewards that you will allow yourself for each milestone you reach.
This can be every ten days, once a month, or graded – with a small prize for weekly milestones and more impressive ones for yearly targets being met. Having something to look forward to and knowing that there is something fun to be attained after that one, can go a surprisingly long way to keeping your mind focused.
These eight tips can be followed in their entirety, or you can choose the ones that work best for you and your lifestyle. Instead of looking for negatives: no gym in the area, too much or too little distance to work for a decent work-out, look for work-arounds. There is always a way you can achieve your exercise goals if you want them hard enough!