It doesn’t take much to decide to sit on the couch all day and watch the latest binge-worthy TV shows. But to get your butt to the gym, you often need a million reasons. This pattern will repeat itself if you don’t watch it. According to the US Department of Health and Human Services, adults need 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity per week to stay healthy. Those who’ve already developed a fitness routine can easily meet this requirement. For those who haven’t, this seems like an uphill climb.
What to do when stress gets in the wayPerhaps your day-to-day routine is stressing you out, preventing you from exercising. We get it. Between work, social commitments, and responsibilities at home, who has time to exercise? There are plenty of fitness advice and wellness products and services floating around which may persuade you to finally begin your fitness journey. Many people may even tell you to “just do it!” But oversimplifying the challenges of exercising isn’t going to help. Developing the habit of exercising is a highly personal decision, and what worked for others may not work for you. If you’re feeling conflicted about why you need to develop a fitness routine, remember that you’re doing this for yourself. And once you find your rhythm, you’ll realize how satisfying it is to have a fitness routine that works for you and that you can stick to. If you have difficulty getting motivated, these pointers can help:
- Ease up on the rules – Don’t be too hard on yourself if you fail to work out on Monday for an hour like you said you would. Trying to live up to difficult expectations and hard and fast rules may end up with you giving up altogether. Instead, start small. Spend 30 minutes brisk walking or light jogging once or twice a week. Get started and commit to it.
- Buddy up – Partner with someone who needs the motivation boost as much as you. Better yet, buddy up with someone who will push you to achieve your goals, like a professional trainer. Solo workouts are fine, but it can be exciting and motivating to develop a fitness routine with another person.
- Don’t be afraid of a little competition – If you’ve been spending 15 minutes on the treadmill, challenge someone to run longer than you. Compete even with yourself and break your own record. These sound like empty motivational slogans, but anything that can get you started is good!
- Don’t exercise only to look good – Ripped abs, toned arms, and massive shoulders may make you eye candy. But when you make your exercise all about how you look, you may end up getting frustrated when you don’t immediately see the results you’re aiming for. Looking fabulous in swimwear is a nice reward, but setting micro goals like losing 10% of your total body weight can be more invigorating.
- You have a routine, just not one that gets you in shape.
- You had a routine that didn’t work out, and you need a new one.
- You want a fitness routine that’s right for your body.
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