Let’s get real. Committing to a consistent fitness routine is tough. No matter how hard we try, life just seems to get in the way. If you feel like getting to the gym is an ongoing struggle, you’re not alone. Between juggling careers, family and social obligations, sticking to a fitness routine can often become an afterthought.
With 2020 well underway, now is a great time to check the pulse on your fitness routine. Do you feel like you’re on track to meet your goals? Are you moving your body daily and seeing improvements in your overall strength? If the answer is no, then chances are your fitness routine needs a tune-up.
Here are five simple strategies to help you create a sound fitness routine that will become an integral part of your lifestyle.
Commit to a specific time
Take a good look at your day-to-day schedule. What time do you normally wake up? When do you feel your best? What time of the day does stress usually pile up? Factor in these answers to determine what time is best for you to hit the gym. For some of us, knocking out a workout first thing in the morning is ideal. For others, getting to the gym later — maybe after the kids have been dropped off at school and all the morning chaos is over — is best. If you feel like your schedule is still too busy to make it to the gym, then consider doing a time audit. Find those pockets of time that you might waste watching Netflix or scrolling social media. Allocate that time to the gym instead. Whatever time works best for you, just commit to it and make it a priority!
Eliminating any potential distractions that may prevent you from making it to the gym is crucial. This could look like laying out your clothes the night before and placing a full water bottle in the ‘fridge. Or, this could look like talking with your partner beforehand to make sure they know to handle household duties the next morning so you can make it to your workout. Establishing a “prep” routine is just as important as establishing a fitness routine.
A solid fitness routine is equal parts physical and mental. Getting in a good mental state before your workout begins can reap major rewards during the workout itself. Especially on days when you don’t feel like moving your body, it’s important to visualize yourself tackling a tough workout and feeling great about yourself — even if you don’t hit a PR. Before your week begins, visualize yourself making it to the gym and feeling good in your clothes. Visualize yourself meal-prepping and making good nutrition decisions. All these visualizations can contribute to massive success!
Workout with other like-minded people
There’s an old saying that you are the average of the five people you hang out with most. It’s like osmosis. When you spend an hour every day with other people who are working to improve their bodies and minds, other areas of your life begin to improve. You start saying no to happy hour drinks because you know you need to hit an early morning workout. You begin talking to yourself in a positive tone because you hear other people encouraging you through a workout. Surround yourself with like-minded people who value fitness and your own fitness routine will inevitably improve.
Be ok with not being motivated
It’s easy to begin the year with lofty ambitions. Your goals are fresh and everyone around you is also talking about their resolutions. The hard work, however, really starts on a random Wednesday when you’re feeling groggy and all you want to do is turn on the television and tune out the world. This is when you need to remind yourself that it’s ok to not be motivated. Go to the gym anyway. Crank up your go-to jam, put on your favorite workout outfit and just move your body. To put it simply, embrace the suck! Motivation comes and goes. Some days you’re on fire and others you’re not — and that’s ok. Just get your heartrate up and move your body.