Most of us have experienced it: we make excuse after excuse for not going on a run or hitting the gym, but once we actually finish our workout, we think, "That wasn't so bad!" For many, the hardest part of maintaining a regular exercise routine is motivating yourself to start exercising. There are so many things that get in the way — sleeping through alarms, extra-long doctor's appointment, or deadlines at work can keep us from staying motivated in order to make a once-off workout a regular routine.
If you are looking to start or maintain an exercise routine but haven't been able to stay on track, it may help to think small. Here are a few tips for tricking yourself into exercising more and creating an exercise routine.
- Have a standing date with a workout buddy. Busy schedules mean some friends can get the shaft. If you feel like you need a little more quality time with a bestie, try setting up dates that only involve something active so you can socialize while you work out. Associating the weekly workout with something fun may keep you from dreading it.
- Vow to do one active thing each day. Does the idea of booking it to the gym every day sound daunting? Start off small by making little goals for yourself each day. Whether it's taking a walking break every few hours or rounding up the family for an easy weekend hike, start making goals that sounds fun and easy to do so you can ease yourself into an exercise routine.
Read on for more tips for tricking yourself into exercising more!
- Blend fitness with chores. Maybe you're dreading both, but once you've set your mind to scrubbing those floors or tackling that mound of laundry, go one step further by doing a few sets of lunges, squats, or a quick set of jumping jacks in order to burn even more calories. The sense of accomplishment from both completing a workout and keeping your place sparkling clean can motivate you to do it regularly!
- Make the most of the rest of Summer. Summer means soaking up the sun for many of us, which can mean days spent in backyard barbecues or on the beach. Instead of treating the outdoors like your couch, think of fun things you can do that don't involve merely sitting (and eating). Gather up your friends for a game, test out the waters, or take a stroll on a nice day. Remind yourself that Summer will be over before you know it, so make it count!
- Don't forget to reward yourself. Set exercise goals for yourself, whether it's being active three times a week or upping your mileage, and give yourself healthy rewards if you reach your goal. Always trying to score the best daily deal online? Tell yourself you can scoop up a half-off massage if you hit your goal. Or treat yourself to the latest blockbuster at the end of a very active week — you'll get the benefit of being able to do something fun as well as the motivating boost from knowing you accomplished a goal.