Developing and sticking to a new fitness routine can feel overwhelming but it is actually much simpler than it sounds. The first step is to define your fitness goal. No matter what your reason, defining it from the start, and making it incredibly personal and relevant to you, is how to begin creating this positive habit in your life. Here are some simple ways to help you meet your personal goals:
Find an Accountability Partner
If you can find someone with whom you can share your goals and they can share theirs, you’ll both be in better condition to continue a routine and hold each other accountable. It may be as simple as a morning walk or run before the day gets started, or an evening walk after dinner. If you’re looking to increase the intensity, step it up a notch by optimizing your walking routines so you can get the most from them.
If you want to set up a routine you do alone, you should still share your goals and plans with people who are close to you. They’ll help to cheer you on, especially on those days when you want to skip it.
Choose Activities That You Enjoy
Whatever exercises you decide to focus on, make sure that you enjoy them, so it’ll be easier to adopt exercise as a habit. Try new activities until you find your niche. Hiking and biking are great ways to have fun and benefit physically too. Pilates and yoga are also excellent options.
Yoga, according to the American Osteopathic Association, is a fantastic complete workout, which can help you increase muscle strength and tone, reduce weight, and increase energy. It is also relaxing, involving deep breathing and meditation. Moreover, it is easy to implement simple yoga poses that you can even do at home as soon as you wake up in the morning, before starting your day.
Join a Class
Find a gym near you that offers a full schedule of classes to enjoy the benefits of group fitness classes. Join a gym that is convenient for you, ideally near where you live or on your commute to work.
Plan and schedule your classes into your calendar in advance. Want an invigorating workout? Try a cycling or cardio class. Do you like the idea of yoga but need more help? By taking yoga classes with an instructor, they can teach you the poses, ensure proper form, and that you’re spending the right amount of time in each position.
Visualize Your Routine and the Results
It’s important for you to feel like you’re having success in creating your new habit and achieving your goals, even while you’re just getting started. Visualize yourself doing your routine, as well as what it will be like once your habit is already formed, and you are benefiting from it. The more vivid and real your visualizations, the more quickly it will be accepted by your subconscious and become automatic for you. If your goal is to have more strength and energy when interacting with your children, picture yourself participating in the activities you want to do with them.
Set Goals and Reward Yourself
Set clear and impactful smaller goals that you can measure, and that will help you reach your desired benefit. For example, say you have spent a month going to your class twice a week and walking with your partner before work three days a week. Check in with yourself after that month and look at how you’ve progressed and set up rewards that you look forward to when you succeed in carrying out your habits effectively.
If your heart was set on those new running shoes you’ve been eyeing, buy them after a month of carrying out your new routines successfully. This will positively reinforce the actions, and help you continue on the positive path you’ve been working on, and ultimately, help your new fitness habits stick for life.
Rachel Rudibaugh-Arreola is a Phoenix resident. She works in digital marketing and loves learning new things.