Over the years I have noticed that when you stop exercising it feels very difficult to get back to it. There are some things that we all can do to make the transition from not doing sports at all to regularly exercising that will make the transition much easier.
There are many tips out there but how you go about this really depends on how you are and how you feel about sports. I think it is worth it to spend some time thinking why you want to do a particular sport and what benefits (apart from losing weight) it will bring you. I personally think this is the secret to sticking to a sport routine. An example of this is that I love to swim but I enjoy to do it mostly alone as it give me time to just reset mentally so to speak. Another sport that has the same effect for me is running or jogging especially when the weather is mild.
Other activities that I enjoy are Zumba, because it is so fun! On the other hand, Yoga and Pilates are more relaxing for me and I enjoy that these are group activities. The best way to get active is to make it part of your life and in order to do that you must find some enjoyment in it. You will find below my top ten tips of advice so you can continue with your sport routine for a very long time:
1.- Go for what you enjoy most
Decide what are the sports (start with 2 activities) that you like the most and stick to it. Why 2? Because if you vary the activities you will get less bored and two different activities will help you to get fitter faster as well. If you have not done any exercise for a very long time maybe it is better to start with one activity and then to choose something else when you feel more confortable. But choose something that you enjoy doing even if they told you that it won’t make you lose any weight at all, just for the activity in itself. This will increase your motivation to practise the sport again..
2.- Get the outfits & the gear
If you don’t like to exercise chances are that you don’t have the correct gear and outfits. It helps a lot to have the proper gear!! You should get clothes that you like to exercise with. Invest in some cute outfits that you like, good trainers or the gear that you need to do that sport regularly. When I started to swim I noticed that I needed two swim suits instead of just one in order to be able to swim regularly as they don’t dry as fast as I thought. But it is important to think in those terms when you get the gear you need to commit to one sport regularly.
If you want to exercise right after work, invest in a bag that you feel comfortable taking to work with you everyday and think about the little things that you may need once you are there.For cute outfits, check Pinterest for motivation!
3.- Decide when you will exercise & commit to it
Have a good thought on when you will do the sport you choose and block that time out from your schedule. That means that you must commit to say no to invitations or things on that particular day at least for the first month. You will see that once a month has passed you will feel more motivated and it will be easier to just swap the day of exercise.
4.- Start small (not many days of sport and shorter sessions at the beginning)
Don’t commit to much on the first week as you don’t want to make it so hard that you will stop exercising altogether. So commit to 50% of what you would like to do to start with. And increase to 100% after 2 weeks.
When you are exercising also commit to shorter sessions so start with 15 or 30 minutes for the first two weeks. The point of these two first weeks is just to get you into the habit, it is not so much bout the exercise. But mind and body are very connected and exercise is just as much about training the mind as it is to train the body, so give it the attention it deserves.
5.- Prepare your bag the night before and have some outfits ready for the week.
This is a super easy trick that will make your motivation stronger in those moments early in the morning when you are in a rush to get to work and you don’t feel like thinking what to wear for the gym or you don’t find that towel for the swimming pool. If you have your bag already prepared you only need to take it and go to work. That easy.
6.- Get music you love- Download a few playlists
This tip is useful when you workout and when you think you are tired to work out. Every time you feel tired to exercise just take your headphones and listen to some of the playlist you use for the gym, or to run or for the sport of your choice. You will see that this alone will make you feel like doing it. The reason is that music helps us to remember things in a much faster way than images or anything else as it connects with our emotion so to speak. If you listen to music when you workout and feel good after the exercise, when you listen to the same music you will feel like doing it again just to get that rush.
Music is great for motivation in general.
7.- Give yourself a target and put it in writing
Put your goals in writing and set a target for the week and for the month. Start small but set your mind to achieve this minimum target. If you don’t achieve it, review why you think you didn’t get there and put the resources or the effort in place to achieve your goal next time. I may share some of my bullet journal entries at some point in future post as this works very well for motivation too!
8.- Mix it up
Once you get comfortable with exercise, you should mix it up with another activity so you don’t do the same thing all the time. This will help you to stay active and avoid you getting bored or feeling stuck. It will also help you to feel more energised as we all need a bit of variety for motivation.
9.- Go with a buddy
This helps when you are stuck in a rut and not able to get out of it. But I don’t recommend putting all your hopes into this basket. It feel good to go with someone but one should find the motivation in oneself to get moving especially if you want to exercise in the long term. So if you want to go with someone to do this sport I think that is a good idea, but find time in your schedule to practise some sport by yourself as well.
10.- Say to yourself: I am only going for 10’ and then I can go.
This is good advice for those days when you don’t feel like doing exercise at all. Imagine one of those winter days when it is so dark after 4 pm and it is cold outside. It is much easier to stay at home, but in those situations it is a great thing to tell yourself: hey , I am going for ten minutes and if I am so tired I just come back home. Of course if that is the case, honour yourself and go back home, but you will see that many of those times you will exercise just fine and will fell fantastic after the training session.
What other things you do to stick to your sport routine? Would love to hear your thoughts. Comment on the section below 🙂