Whether you’ve met your weight loss goals or are still working on them, it’s important to develop good habits and routines to help you along the way. After all, you don’t want to be one of those people who work hard and finally reach your goals, only to quit working and inevitably fall back into back habits.
You might be surprised to find that most people who start a workout regime quit within six months! So what’s the secret behind those who do manage to stick to working out for the long haul, meeting their health and fitness goals year after year? It’s simple — they make a habit out of working out and staying fit. That’s the secret. And here’s how you can make fitness a habit for you…
When trying to establish a meaningful workout regime, consistency is key. You can’t workout once or twice a week and expect to get model thin, let alone reach your health and fitness goals. Consistency is the most important component of a successful workout routine. Whether it’s training for a half marathon or strength training, you need consistency with your workouts. This could be as simple as working out every other day, or doing a session of yoga every morning before work. The sooner you incorporate working out as a regular component of your day-to-day life, the easier it’ll be to make working out a habit.
A good rule of thumb is that once you start a workout regime, don’t go more than three days without working out again. If you let too much time go between working out, you will have a hard time building endurance and muscle mass. And it will be extremely difficult to consider working out as a habit rather than an inconvenient task you need to pencil into your day.
Hold yourself accountable.
It’s easier to quit something when no one is holding you accountable. It’s easy to push workouts off with mental promises to yourself that you’ll get to it later. We all know how this goes. It’s Saturday morning, and you decide to skip your morning run in favor of sleep, but tell yourself that you’ll run later. You won’t, but you tell yourself that you will so you’ll feel better about choosing to sleep instead.
If you want to develop a good workout habit, you’ll have to put an end to bad habits like this and hold yourself accountable. You can do this by paying to run in a half marathon to motivate you into training consistently so that you don’t end up wasting that money. Get a personal trainer or a workout buddy. You will be more apt to work out if you have something or someone that you don’t want to disappoint or let down.
Establish a routine.
This cannot be stressed enough. Good habits are easy to establish if you stick to a regular routine. Plan out your day — or even week — in advance. Decide on whether you’re going to do morning workouts, lunch workouts, or evening workouts. Will you workout every day, or every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday? These are important things to consider when you’re working on hashing out a routine. Without planning out a routine schedule for your fitness goals, it’ll be easy to skip a workout, and even easier for your workouts to get lost in day-to-day events. Pencil in your workouts and commit to them just as you would a staff meeting or a lunch date.
Keep your eye on the prize.
Don’t allow yourself to get bored or distracted. If you find yourself getting tired of a workout, change it up and try something new. Are your workouts getting too easy? Challenge yourself with a new activity. Incorporate some high-intensity interval training (HIIT) in with your strength training or jogging regime. Try adding a day or two of weight training into your schedule if you typically do more cardio, and vice versa. Try a fun workout class, like Zumba or yoga. After all, it’ll be hard to stay motivated and interested in your workouts if you’re doing the same thing all year long. Don’t be afraid of trying new things, just be careful to do activities on your own fitness level. Avoid activities too challenging and advanced, so you don’t hurt yourself.
Watch your form.
One component of developing a healthy fitness habit many people overlook is form. Making sure you have good form, no matter what type of activity you’re doing, is important to ensure so you’re getting the most out of your workout and will also helps you avoid injuries. This is especially true of activities like yoga, pilates, kickboxing, etc. If you don’t take the time to learn proper form and technique, you’ll just end up wasting time instead of seeing progress in your fitness goals.
Jot down some goals.
Set long-term and short-term goals for yourself, and keep them realistic and specific. Simply telling yourself you want to lose weight isn’t good enough. How much do you want to lose? What’s your target weight? Set goals that you can measure and celebrate when you reach those goals. It’s much easier to stay motivated if you have a realistic, measurable goal to work towards.
There you have it — a list of important steps you can take to establish a good habit of working out so you can reach your health and fitness goals. What are you waiting for? Get on your feet and start burning those calories!