UNITED STATES—Working out can significantly transform your body, whether you are seeking a change as a New Year challenge or simply leveling up your physique, strength, endurance, or health in general. However, staying consistent is the part many of us struggle with. Here are a few tips to make it easier.
First, you must lay out a list of short and long-term goals. One of the best ways to stay motivated is to have an end goal in your mind and to know that every minute you exercise is getting you closer.
Don’t get too bogged down in these goals either; they can be straightforward, such as just wanting to run a mile or two comfortably or being able to do 20 push-ups without stopping. Whatever those goals may be, make them clear and, more importantly, achievable.
Try Different Workouts & Exercises
If you haven’t exercised much before, knowing which movements, machines, and equipment to use can be overwhelming. To make it easier, use the first couple of weeks of your routine to try them all out.
Nowadays, dozens of practical ways exist to build stamina, make your biceps bigger, lift more, etc. This step is to find the exercises and movements you are most comfortable with. Think about it like eating at a restaurant, you are more likely to go back regularly if you know there are multiple dishes you enjoy.
Do Exercises You Enjoy
Speaking of enjoyment, don’t let a YouTube video or a random “fitness influencer” decide which exercises are best for you. If you don’t like using the bench press, what are the chances of you benching regularly?
Find the exercises you enjoy the most, then research their benefits and how they can be combined into a routine. While this takes effort, the reward is having a workout routine you will love doing.
Keep It Simple
In the age of so-called “influencers” trying to stand out from the crowd, your social media will be full of videos of people doing exercises you have never seen before. These are a part of multi-hour routines that most people don’t have time for.
Don’t use this as a blueprint for your workouts. This partially goes back to doing the exercises you enjoy; if you love the activities and your routine fits into your schedule, this will work for you. Always keep it as simple as possible.
One mistake many people make is going too hard and full force into a regime and then being sore, tired, and unmotivated to continue at that speed. To combat this, utilize mini-workouts on the days you don’t want to do the entire program.
A mini workout can range from just doing half of your usual sets or reps to a different workout, such as doing an hour of yoga. The goal here is to keep your body moving and to “stay in the groove”. Stopping for extended periods makes it harder to restart.
Mix It Up Regularly
While many people can easily get up every day and do the same movements and exercises and simply raise their weight, run further, etc., workout boredom can become a massive factor in demotivation for many others.
If you are getting bored, don’t be nervous to mix your workout up. If you are bored with your shoulder and back exercises, try pull-ups; if you don’t want to run, use the rowing machine. Not only does that add a new challenge, but it breaks the repetition that can cause boredom.
There is a reason why everyone, from pro athletes to the dad who does a marathon once a year, all take rest days when working out, your body needs it. Fatigue is another factor that can quickly lead to demotivation.
At first, aim to work out for at least three days a week, Monday to Friday. When you get fitter and stronger, aim for five times. This will give your body enough time to recover and leave you feeling great each time you want to exercise.
Track Your Progress
Finally, tracking your progress is a brilliant way to see your changes and maintain your motivation. This is particularly true when losing weight, as many people get discouraged when their weight stops dropping fast, and they forget that muscle weighs more than fat.
This is why using the scale shouldn’t be the primary way to track your progress. Instead, keep track of your cardio times and distances, how much weight you are curling or benching, or how many pull-ups you do. While you can still track your weight, your physical performance will likely show more tangible improvements, and your motivation will skyrocket.
Implement Simple Steps for Consistency With Exercise
Staying motivated to work out can and will be difficult. However, using these tips will help you stay on track and make exercising far more enjoyable in the long run. Break down the task into what is manageable and appealing to you, and remember to rest and allow yourself to improve gradually and naturally over time, with dedication.