3 Ways to Find a Workout You’ll Actually Stick With
The alarm would go off at 5am. I’d hit snooze for just five more minutes, which turned into 10, then 20 — then suddenly I’d worked myself out of time to go to the gym rather than actually worked out.
A few years ago, this was my daily struggle. I found myself in a slump — both mentally and physically. I’d just recovered from hip surgery, which ended my burgeoning running routine, and I’d gained weight and lost muscle in the process. Workout videos at home had worked for me in the past, but with spotty regularity and prior to moving into a second-floor apartment. In an effort to be more consistent and not have my downstairs neighbors hate me, I decided to join a gym.
1. Try new things and listen to your body
Maybe the idea of crushing the cardio machines for an hour makes you want to cry, or maybe yoga is just a little too yin for your style. Don’t sign on the dotted line at a studio or gym just yet, there’s no need to rush it. Try a variety of classes or workout formats until you find the thing that you get jazzed about. Not all of us are going to find the experience exactly thrilling, but hopefully you’ll at least find something that makes it easier for you to get up and go.
2. Pick a time to workout and remove all obstacles
Humans make thousands of decisions a day. That many choices can lead to which makes it difficult to say yes to the things you know you should, especially at the end of a long day. By making a game plan for fitting in your fitness the night before, you’re less likely to talk yourself out of it when it’s time to make the choice to go or not to go. Make sure you have your gym clothes in your bag, ask your roommate or partner to walk the dog, and even meal prep dinner so you don’t have to take the time to cook after your workout is done.
3. Shift your mindset to remain accountable
If you’ve attempted to create a workout routine before, you know that saying you’re going to do it is the easy part — actually making it happen is where the real challenge lies. When we say we want to overhaul our habits, it can feel daunting.
Rather than boldly trying to go from zero to 100, simply commit to showing up for yourself for five days in a row, then extend that commitment a few days more, and then a few more after that. Before you know it, you’ll look up and realize that you’re in a routine. When you stop trying to tackle it all at once and instead take on your goal in small spurts, it will shift your mindset. This removes the pressure to make a drastic lifestyle shift, and instead becomes an incremental daily choice.
Changing our habits is hard, and the pressure to just “toughen up” and make it happen is often not effective. Give yourself some grace and pare down the steps to reach your goals. When you do, you’ll be surprised to see that less really is more.