It’s a new year, which means many people are trying to establish new fitness and workout routines. For those routines to stick and become beneficial habits, it’s important to execute them daily.
Unfortunately, this can be easier said than done.
If you’ve ever tried to implement a new workout routine, you know that making exercise a daily habit can be difficult. The good news, however, is that you’re not alone.
In this blog, we’ll share our top tips for making working out a habit and building healthy fitness goals for years to come.
Let’s dive in.
6 Tips to Make Exercise a Habit
Whether you’ve never worked out before or you’re just getting back into it after years away, these tips will help you make exercise part of your everyday routine:
1. Set An Appointment & Plan Your Time
Figure out whether it’s easier for you to work out in the morning, afternoon, or evening, and set aside some dedicated workout time each day.
Some people find it’s easiest to work out first thing in the morning before the rest of the family is awake and the day’s demands begin. Others prefer lunchtime workouts or a trip to the gym after a day of work.
If you’re unsure which workout time you prefer, feel free to experiment. Try working out at various times of the day and note when you feel more present and productive. Once you’ve found your “sweet spot,” block off that time each day and use it to focus on your fitness goals.
If you don’t set aside a specific time each day, you’re likely to put off your workout until you’re less busy or until you have more energy. This leads to skipped days and a failing fitness routine.
2. Set Reminders
Once you’ve set aside your designated workout time each day and established some attainable fitness goals, it’s time to hit the gym. To keep yourself accountable, set a reminder each day.
When the reminder pops up on your phone or email, stop what you’re doing and work out. Don’t allow any delays or procrastination. When you treat your fitness like the priority it is, you’ll enjoy better results and more integration of the new habit into your daily life.
3. Start Small
Establishing new goals can be challenging, and it’s important to tip the scales in your favor. With this in mind, start small. Set attainable, realistic workout goals and focus on meeting them every day.
For example, instead of aiming to walk for an hour each day, start with 15 minutes, and work your way up. Instead of committing to a 60-minute strength training session five days a week, do a 20-minute workout three days a week.
Starting small serves two critical purposes:
First, it builds positive momentum. When you meet your small goals, you’re more likely to believe you can also complete your larger goals. Second, it allows you to build your fitness safely and responsibly instead of doing too much all at once.
4. Prep & Pack Your Gear The Night Before
Successfully creating and maintaining a new fitness habit has so much to do with removing barriers – be they mental, physical, or logistical.
One of the best (and easiest) ways to do this is to gather and pack your gear each night. Instead of throwing a gym bag together ten minutes before your group class is scheduled to start, prepare it the night before.
Make sure you have clean gym clothes, shoes, a water bottle, a post-workout snack, and anything else you need to enjoy a successful workout.
That way, when it’s time to sweat, all you need to do is grab your bag and go – no stress or last-minute excuses needed!
5. Find Workouts You Enjoy
Make sure you’re taking part in workouts you enjoy. It’s hard to make fitness an everyday habit if you hate what you’re doing or if it doesn’t work for your body. With this in mind, experiment until you find a type of fitness that works for you.
Many people enjoy small-group or personal training sessions, which provide accountability and community all in one. Others enjoy mixing their workouts up: taking part in a small group class with a friend one day, and heading out for a long walk outside the next.
There’s no one-size-fits-all rule regarding what works here, but it’s important to consider your preferences and habits to build a routine that feels right.
6. Give Yourself A Rest Day
It’s crucial to establish attainable fitness goals, but it’s also important not to overdo it. Even elite athletes training for the world’s premier competitions give themselves rest days, during which the body gets to recuperate and recover.
Another thing to consider if you are doing weight resistance training is that muscle repairs and grows during your recovery period, not during the actual training. Therefore, the recommendation for the optimal rest time is at least 48 – 72 hours between workouts for muscle recovery and strengthening.
The reasons you need rest after resistance training include:
- Resistance training causes micro-tears to muscle fibers.
- After training, the body repairs the torn muscle fibers by synthesizing new muscle protein.
- Each time this breakdown/repair process occurs, the muscles adapt by growing bigger and stronger.
With this in mind, choose at least one day a week as your designated rest day. You can also do a complete body workout on a day and rest weight training. Another way to vary your workout could include alternating body parts on alternate days-like do legs one day, and upper body the next day.
On your rest days, you can plan movement or activities that are gentle and restorative, like a leisurely walk, a gentle bike ride, or a yoga class focused on stretching.
When appropriately executed, rest days help prevent injury, strengthen muscles, and keep you energized and excited about your new workout routine.
Enjoy Your New Routine!
Starting and maintaining a workout routine can be challenging and intimidating. Fortunately, leveraging the tips in this article can help you integrate the new routine without overwhelming yourself or burning out in the early days.
By setting attainable goals, removing barriers and obstacles, focusing on rest and enjoyment, and intentionally carving out time for yourself and your fitness, you can enjoy a healthy new fitness habit that improves your life for years to come.
Need help finding the workout or community for you? Alloy provides personalized small group personal training to help keep you motivated and on track with your personal goals.. Find a location near you today and become part of the Alloy family!