It’s hard to find the time to workout. That’s why you have to make the time to workout. Getting in some exercise every single day, whether it be for 20 min or for 90 min, will make life better, guaranteed. You’ll have more energy, you’ll feel more confident, you’ll be more productive, you’ll sleep better… The list goes on and on. Keep reading for 10 tips to make you feel better & increase your odds of working out:
1) Get into a routine
Wake up at the same time every day, even on weekends. Try to eat your meals at the same time every day. Go to bed at the same time every day. Your body craves consistency and adapts to whatever routine you put it through. If you follow an early to bed and early to rise routine, you’ll ensure you get enough sleep so you can accomplish everything you want to each day.
2) Set up a rewards system
Incentives are proven to work and everyone loves a reward. Set up a rewards system that you know will motivate you to keep the workout grind going. If you love buying new workout clothes, allow yourself to buy one new item each month if you completed x number of workouts. Go online and shop for workout apparel and bookmark your favorite workout items for motivation. If you have a sweet tooth, allow yourself a tiny dessert each day to reward yourself for a day of healthy eating and working out. A small bite of a cupcake or a piece of chocolate won’t derail your efforts. Depriving yourself will.
3) Try new things
Did you know most gyms and studios offer free classes for first-time visitors or even a free period? Take advantage of this in your area and try out new things! Get out of your comfort zone. Never done spin? Why not try it out? Never done CrossFit? Just do it. You’ll never know if you like something until you try it. Plus, switching up your workouts is super great for your body. Adding some variety into your workout routine will help you burn more and get out of any rut or plateau.
4) Find a workout buddy
The best way to stay accountable is to enlist the support of friends or family. Schedule time to go to the gym, go take a hike, or take a workout class with a friend. If you both commit, you’ll feel bad bailing. The thought of your friend knowing you’re skipping a workout (again!) will keep you from cancelling. Workout plans with friends are just as important as lunch dates with friends. You wouldn’t want someone to cancel on you, so don’t cancel on them!
5) Put it in your calendar
Schedule your workout just like you would an important meeting or flight. Each night before bed, look at your schedule and take notice of the time you have chosen to workout. Whether it’s before work, mid-day, or after work, plan accordingly. Prep for your workout just like you would a meeting. Gather your workout clothes, sneakers, water bottle, post-workout snack, etc. Don’t let anything get in the way of making that workout happen.
6) Change your mindset
Working out shouldn’t be looked at as a chore. Think of your workout time as your “me time” or “alone time.” The time you take to workout should be all about you. Keep your phone in the locker room. Don’t check emails. Listen to your favorite music, get in the zone, and pay attention to how great your body feels while you exercise. That post-workout feeling is heavenly. You feel accomplished and so good about yourself.
7) Find your optimal time and stick to it
Once again, routines are everything. Find a workout time you can commit to and stick to it. You know yourself. If you’re not a morning person, don’t try to schedule morning workouts. You’ll be miserable just trying to get up so early each morning. If you like staying up late, bring your workout clothes to work and head to the gym straight from the office. Or, if you’re lucky like me, your work uniform is workout apparel, so you have no excuse. Make it as easy for yourself as possible.
8) Don’t forget to eat
Nutrition and fitness go hand in hand. Many people believe, and I agree with them, diet is everything. Food is fuel. As cheesy as it sounds, it’s true. What you eat directly affects how much energy you have and how you feel. If you got sufficient sleep but you’re sluggish and slow all day, I can guarantee it’s because you ate some food you know you shouldn’t have eaten. Treat yourself, as necessary, but really try to focus on only feeding your body healthy, whole foods. You’ll notice a difference in your mood, your body, and your energy almost immediately.
9) Redefine what a “workout” is
A workout doesn’t have to happen in the gym or a yoga studio. Any time you move you’re working out. Play sports, chase your kids around at the park, go swimming, go dancing with your girlfriends, take a long walk on your lunch break. Adding these things into your everyday routine will increase your odds of working out consistently. Anything is better than nothing. There’s a quote I love that goes something like, “even if you’re going slow, you’re still lapping everyone on the couch.” SO TRUE.
10) Set goals for yourself
Setting goals will keep you motivated long-term. If you’re a runner, sign-up for a race in a few months. If you like lifting weights, make it a goal to up your weight by 5 pounds every month. If you’re a workout class junkie, like me, make it your goal to attend 3 classes every week instead of 1 or 2. You’ll feel really great about yourself when you accomplish your goals. Plus, that satisfaction will push you to challenge yourself and set even bigger goals. Was that 5K a breeze? Schedule a half-marathon. You’ll be amazed by what you can do.
So, there you have it: the 10 tips to you keep you on track all summer long.
About the Author:
Mathews McGarry is passionate about many forms of strength training, and spent years lifting, dragging and flipping all manner of heavy objects. After graduating from the Faculty of Health Sciences, he started writing about his experiences, and sharing tips for better life. Check out his website ripped.me and follow him on Twitter.