Can’t stick to your workout routine? Even Stylist’s fitness editor Meriam Ahari knows the struggle of committing to exercise is real. Follow her simple tips to ensure fitness becomes a permanent part of your lifestyle.
The hardest part of getting strong is taking the first step, but a close second is committing to your workout regimen long-term. We have a tendency to “go hard” right before a special event, but it’s easy to get knocked off course once the pressure of that event is gone.
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How to kickstart your fitness and exercise regime
The key to making fitness a permanent part of your lifestyle is to view it as non-negotiable, much like brushing your teeth every day. Here are easy ways to stay dedicated to your healthy habits.
Put it out there
According to Forbes, people who write down their goals are 1.2 to 1.4 times more likely to achieve them. So focus on putting your goals down on paper and specify how you intend to achieve them. Be sure to hang the list up somewhere – I recommend the fridge or a mirror – so that you can see your goals every day. This acts as a daily reminder of the promise you’ve made to yourself.
Use the buddy system
Not only will you cheer each other on through difficult sets, but you’ll celebrate one another’s victories too. Plus, catching up with a friend gives you something to look forward to at the end of a tough class.
Keep it interesting
Working out is like reading a book. You won’t want to do it unless you’re enjoying it. Find a physical activity that doesn’t feel like exercise, like a friendly game of tennis, a meditative hike or salsa lessons with your significant other. For those who get bored easily, ClassPass is a great way to switch things up by trying new workouts.
Set micro goals
Sometimes it’s easier to work towards a bunch of smaller goals versus one large one. Sign up for a 5K, half-marathon or “fun run” (like Tough Mudder or The Color Run). For some of us, having a foreseeable deadline in our calendar makes it easier to commit to a routine. Once you’ve mastered your personal milestone (whether it be doing your first headstand or adding five pounds to your deadlift), it’s on to the next – so you’re constantly working toward new and attainable goals.
The go-hard-or-go-home mentality is as effective as crash dieting. It’s inevitable that you’ll burn out and want to quit. If you struggle to find time in the day to work out, start with just five minutes until you can build your way up to an hour. Or ease your way into a beginner’s yoga class rather than get put off because you can’t keep up with the advanced headstands. Starting with the basics will give you enough confidence to take it to the next level – when you’re ready to.
Promise not to beat yourself up over things like enjoying a cupcake or skipping out on class when your cramps are killer. It doesn’t mean you’ve thrown away all your efforts just because you decided to take a rain check. Being in the right frame of mind to tackle your goals is important, so when you feel like passing, keep calm, carry on and try again the next day.
What gets you amped? Is it a killer playlist? An inspirational podcast? An image of a your favourite Instagram influencer? Whatever it is, reach for it whenever you even hesitate putting those trainers on. An interesting idea for audiobook lovers, find a book that you’re really stoked about, but make a rule that you can only listen to it while you run.
Fit your lifestyle
Most importantly, be realistic. A lasting routine is one that is convenient and habitual. For example, if you keep using traffic or the weather as an excuse to bail on the studio, then invest in online workouts. If money is an issue, there are plenty of free YouTube or app workouts. If you attend events often or meet clients after work, exercise in the morning to get it out of the way. Don’t have weights? Use a tin of beans. Think of every excuse in the book and find a solution for it.
Need a community of people to help you stay on track? Sign up for Stylist Strong, a fitness brand specialising in strength training specifically tailored for women. Our classes are designed to build both physical and mental strength in a smart and informed way.
So, whether you’re a beginner or already have strength-training experience, Stylist Strong has a class to suit you. Come and try our strength-based classes at our own purpose-built studio at The AllBright Mayfair.
Follow @StrongWomenUK on Instagram for the latest workouts, delicious recipes and motivation from your favourite fitness experts.