How many times have you decided to start some type of workout plan only to stop after the first few weeks?
This is common, especially if you don't enjoy the type of exercise you just signed yourself up for. We decide we’re going to start running because we know it will help us to get into the shape we want to be, and then quit after a week of running everyday because running is boring and we’ve never enjoyed it. You may love running and if you do keep it up I’m just using this as an example.
If the goal is to find a workout regimen that works for us and is sustainable why do we seem to pick activities that we don't enjoy? Im not saying you’re going to enjoy every part of your exercise, especially if you're after intense results, but it’s a lot easier to stick to a routine that you like. There are so many ways that you can move your body, yoga, lifting weights, running, swimming, sports, pilates, dance, etc. Find exercise that makes you excited instead of makes you dread working out. If you like what you're doing and look forward to that time you're going to be way more likely to stick with it and get the results you want.
If you haven't worked out in a long time and you’re setting up a new schedule for yourself to work out for an hour, 6 days a week, you might make it through the week, but I doubt you’ll stick to it. Your body will be sore, your will power will be exhausted and you're probably not going to be looking forward to another week of that pain. If you start out slow and set up a plan to workout 2-3 times a week for 30 minutes and adjust the workouts from there, you will be more likely to stick with it. You're not going to get the results you want if you burn yourself out or hurt yourself in the first week back at it. Take things slow and ramp up the intensity when your body is ready.
Creating a sustainable exercise routine that you look forward to each day is what we’re after. By getting those small wins and growing each week we get stronger and healthier and create the habit of working out. I know I’m in a good exercise routine when I don't have to think about my workout for the day. It goes into my calendar and I do it, just like brushing my teeth it becomes a habit. At first it will be challenging, but if you can create a habit of exercise you will be thanking yourself for years to come.
Exercise has become a regular part of my day. I look forward to my daily workout and actually enjoy the process, but it wasn't always that way. I found workouts that were quick and effective and that I enjoyed doing. I currently use Beach Body On Demand to facilitate my workouts, this service allows me to stream workouts on my I-pad so that I don't have to think about it. When it’s time for me to workout I press play on the workout scheduled for that day and that’s it. I’ve found that the simplicity of not having to think about what exercises I'm doing that day removes any resistance I have around working out.
If you want to introduce a sustainable workout routine into your day, start with a little bit of exercise in a form that’s fun for you or at least not dreadful. Stick with it and listen to your body, if you're doing to much off the start dial it back until you feel comfortable and then ramp up. The goal is not to go hard for a week and then stop, the goal is to make exercise a part of your lifestyle because that is how you get the results you've always wanted.