7 Tips for Sticking to Your Regular Exercise Routine

Maybe you work an eight-hour day in a cubicle with no natural light and you can’t stand your boss. Or maybe you’re changing diapers, washing endless dishes, and moonlighting as an unpaid taxi driver driving across the country for a ballet class every day. You can fit fitness into your routine and you can stick to it. Hundreds of thousands of people do it every day. What’s your excuse?

On average, it takes 21 days to develop a habit, so why not make your habit an exercise routine? [tweet this]

Here are seven simple tips for the everyday busy person to stay true to their exercise routine:

1. Mark it in your calendar with blood/quill/permanent marker

Ballpoint pen will do, but no pencil. (Joking, of course. Kind of.) When you have a gym date written down on your calendar or in your agenda like you would with a doctor’s or dentist’s appointment, you will be less likely to break the appointment.

2. Start slow and increase frequency

Don’t sign up for every aerobics class, hot yoga practice and running club that is humanly available…you will want to curse the human who invented exercise while you’re laying on your couch icing your knees and heating your back from overworking your muscles! If you’re just starting to get into fitness, start slow and commit to exercising three days a week. Maybe it’s a five-kilometre run through your local park once a week, a yoga class, and strength training at your gym. Don’t overwhelm yourself.

3. Create a goal

Sometimes it is easier to stay committed if you have a deadline. Whether it be your obnoxious cousin’s wedding, a beach vacation, or a half-marathon, having a deadline can help you stick to your exercise routine. Don’t have a specific event in mind? That’s okay – aim for another tangible goal like a feat of strength or speed, such as doing 20 push-ups or running a 25-minute 5-kilometre race.

4. Find an accountability partner

This could be a friend, a family member or a significant other. I wouldn’t recommend your dog, but hey, it could work. If you’re having trouble making it to your gym or ungluing your rump from your couch, an accountability partner can help you stay committed to your exercise routine by providing support and making exercise more enjoyable. Be open and honest with your accountability partner: text or call them when you’re feeling lazy and want to spend the night with Chinese take-out. Accountability partners can help to provide that extra boost of positivity and motivation when your tank is running low.

5. Make a Fitspiration Board

Yes, some of you may smirk at the idea of this, but for those who are more visual, fitspiration boards can boost motivation and provide inspiration for staying committed to your fitness routine. Create a board with images of role models and inspirational quotes. Purchase specialized markers for windows and write positive messages on mirrors around your home. Position the board somewhere where you will see it every day like in your bedroom or bathroom…not the darkest corner of your basement. Crabby roommates? Compile a digital album of motivational quotes and images on your phone or computer to look at when you’re feeling low. Or start a Pinterest board, like this one by My Virtual Mission.

6. Know and understand that patience is a virtue when it comes to seeing results

Popular fitness magazines are always promoting “quick and easy” tips for getting fit, when in actual fact, it takes time and dedication to achieve most fitness goals. Know and understand that you will probably not see rippling muscles and a lean stomach with a month of being active. Be patient. Keep working. Stay committed to your goal. Visualize your success. You will have off days, everyone does: just remember your goal and the reason why you are exercising. Stay optimistic.

7. Dig deep inside yourself and really want it

You could read a thousand articles with 50 tips on how to get abs or how to look like a lean, mean fitness machine, but you must have that inner drive to improve your physical fitness and overall well-being. The power of a positive mentality in exercising and fitness is just as important, if not more, to the improvement of physical health.

Are you ready to stick to your routine? Start a mission now to stay on your goal.