When it comes to exercise and setting an exercise routine, it’s important to go into it with the right mindset, first and foremost.
For example, only exercising to lose weight or look a ‘certain way’ is not only unsustainable, it’s also a mindset riddled with guilt and negative self-belief. Over the long-term, that is only going to affect your mental well-being.
Moving your body has many benefits for both your physical and mental health, so try to focus on those as a whole.
Your diet also goes hand in hand with physical activity. Whatever your body goal is, what you eat plays the most significant role in the results you achieve.
Here at Equalution, our nutrition coaches will put together custom meal plans and daily targets based on a detailed questionnaire you’ll answer upon signing up. This ensures you can reach your health goals sustainably. Plus, you can still eat all the foods you love, like pizza, pasta, burgers and ice cream!
Check out our Equalution program here.
Now, as for how to stick to an exercise routine, we’ve got some helpful tips for you so read on below.
Find your exercise ‘style’
Think of working out as picking the clothes you like to wear. Everyone has their own unique style they are drawn to!
So it may take some trial and error to find out the ways you prefer to exercise, which will then help your motivation levels moving forward, and therefore stick to the routine.
Work your way up
You don’t have to dive straight into an hour-long HIIT workout straight off the bat – unless you want to!
Building up your fitness level takes time, so allow yourself to start slow and work your way up. Even if you’ve been exercising for a while, but you might be lacking motivation, really ease into your workout. Whether that means doing a longer warm-up or lighter weights at the start and building up from there.
Make the time
We all have busy schedules and sometimes fitting exercise into them can seem like a low priority.
But setting the same time each day, to fit in your exercise, will help you to create the habit over time. Then soon enough, it’ll feel like it’s part of your schedule. Just like brushing your teeth!
Also remember you don’t have to exercise for hours to make it count. Even if one day you can only fit in 10-15 minutes of movement, that’s still better than nothing.
Find a buddy
If you’ve picked a type of exercise that you can do with another person or even a group, get them involved!
Exercising with friends not only makes things more fun, but also increases the chances of sticking to your exercise plan and keeping motivated overall.
And it could even save you money! For example, some gyms and exercise classes have discounts for referring or bringing a friend.
Use a reward system
We mean this within reason!
On days when motivation is lacking, give yourself enough of a reward that’s going to get you to your workout. Whether that’s treating yourself to a beauty service, like a facial, or even to binge-watch your favourite Netflix show after dinner!
We do recommend avoiding associating food or alcohol with rewards as it can be counterproductive both mentally and physically. It can create a poor relationship with food/drinks and can take away our ability to decipher whether we are craving them or not intuitively.
You can also try writing a list of things that bring you joy outside of food and beverages – like tickets to a gig, buying a new outfit, etc.
Rewards can also be intangible! Like the endorphin-fuelled, accomplished feeling you get when you’ve completed a workout. They’re great to focus on too.
Don’t compare yourself
Your journey is never going to be the same as anyone else’s – and vice versa!
Comparing your results or skill level to someone else isn’t productive and can be really damaging to your motivation, and your mental health.
It’ll start to create a negative association with exercise and mean you’re more likely to stop doing it, or doing it as frequently.
No matter what exercise you choose to do, ensuring you’re doing it in a safe way and with the correct form will prevent any injuries that may also mean you can’t exercise for some time.
Incorporating warm-ups, warm-downs and stretching into your exercise routine will also help you prevent any injury and give your muscles time to adapt and rest.