Thursday, June 28, 2012

Making exercise a habit

When you first start working out.  You have two thoughts:  You are either really excited at the possibilities of a new body or you dread it from day one.   First you should find our what motivates you.  Make sure the motivation is for YOU and not for someone else.  You have to want this.  You have to do the work. You have to make this a habit.  Find things that are fun.  Running is not fun for most people and quite frankly it is hard to get out the door even for experienced runners.  Also do not start with videos like Jullian Micheal's.  She is FABULOUS for those who have been working out awhile, but for beginners she is a total de-motivator (at least for me she was.  very very hard in the beginning).  But exercise videos and really any home work out can be great and easily made into a habit.  Especially if you do it first thing in the morning.  I am not a morning person, but i drag my butt out of bed every day at 5:30.  Why? Because it is the only time of the day that is consistent in my life.  I know that I can always set my alarm an hour/hour and a half  earlier in order to fit in a work out.  I cannot control after work or any other time of the day. There is always something that can pop up that needs your attention or makes you decide to forgo that work out.  So if it is working out at the gym, attending a morning boot camp or working out at home. Do it in the morning.. so that it becomes a habit.  21 days is all you need for your mind and body to expect to work out in the morning.  Now without a work out I feel odd. My body and mind crave them.

Ways to keep motivated and keep this habit up
1.  Keep switching up your activities.  Do spin class one day, and kickboxing the next.  Find things that are fun for you and that make you want to do them, even if they kick your bootie.

2. Exercise with a  friend if you need extra motivation.  The fear that you will let them down will keep you on a routine.

3. Make exercise a priority in your life.  Do not let it fall to the wayside.  Make a commitment to yourself and keep that commitment.

4. Exercise even if you are tired, sick, had a long day, did not go to bed early enough, whatever your excuse, suck it up and work out. See #3

5.  Exercise in the morning and if you really really really really just cannot do that, then I have two suggestions.  A. Try to do it in the morning, but have an evening work out planned, right after work in case you over slept (this is what I did until I finally got used to getting up in the mornings)  or B. just work out after work, and do not let anything else interfere (more difficult and takes a lot more determination and will power)

6. Keep a journal or log of all activity.  Log cleaning the house, your exercise routine, yard work, etc.  By keeping track you are accountable to you.

7. Do not look at the scale, but look at your other indicators.  Your clothes are fitting a little less tight.  You can get into your skinny jeans and they are loose.  Weight on the scale will come off, but not for the first few months, and not if you do not decrease your calorie intake as well as work out. It is a fine balance and one a lot of people have issues with.

8. Go for a walk.  walk with friends, a dog, to dinner.  Just keep your body moving

9.  Do not just sit in front of the tv.  Work out while your favorite show is on.  Get on that treadmill or bike while you watch.  Do squats and lunges and other calisthenics  during commercials.

10. Reward yourself.   Do not gorge on food as that is counter productive, but reward yourself in other ways.  Buy a new running shoes or a new swimsuit when you hit a goal or can work out for 30 days in a row.  Treat yourself to a massage or pedicure. Buy a new work out video.  Does not matter what it is, as long as it helps you with your goal.

Making exercise a habit is never easy.  If you can find what motivates you and can keep it up, you are on your way to a new improved healthy lifestyle that you can keep up for a lifetime.   Good luck!

Have a  very fit day!

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