When I thought about the title for this blog, I first thought of the title “Gym dedication”. However, a great teacher once told me, “I teach physical education, ‘Gym’ lives down the street.” The term ‘Gym’ derived from the word gymnastic but a workout can take place anywhere, not only the gym and consists of more than just gymnastics. In fact it’s all about physical health and education where you are learning skills to make healthier choices everyday.
Working out is beneficial for ours minds and our bodies – e.g. general cognition, sleep, energy levels and emotion regulation. Many don’t dispute the fact that working out is beneficial. The trick in it all is ACTUALLY DOING IT! Starting a workout plan is one thing but keeping at it, that’s the real Challenge! And let me tell you, dedication to a workout plan is hard work! Anyone who says otherwise is not telling the whole truth.
My favourite activity is watching Netflix in bed while snacking. It has taken me some time to get into exercising regularly and even every once in awhile I have to remind myself to stay dedicated to my workout. I have to connect with my goals, stick to the plan, and take pleasure in the benefits experienced.
These are some strategies that help me stick to my routine and hopefully they will help you stick to yours too.
10 Strategies to help you stick to your workout
- Ain’t nothing to it but to do it: Any workout counts! Getting on your feet is the hardest part. Making the effort should be given some credit. Put on your workout gear and get into position. Remember that you can stop at any point if you wanted too, so put your mind at ease, get started and follow through with your routine. Get to it!
- Aim for a great workout week: Aim to start your week right with a workout. Whether you consider Sunday or Monday the start of your week, certainly do not miss that first day. It makes it easier to stick to your plan throughout the week.
- Make your workout convenient: Pick the gym that works with your schedule or pick a convenient location you can fit in a workout – e.g. a basement, a backyard, or a living room with a T.V. for a workout video. You don’t need a ton of space or a ton of money.
- Connect with your goal and be realistic: Just because you might have a gym membership, does not mean you actually go to the gym. And that body that was once in great shape that not even a big mac combo could change in University days, may not be in the same shape today. So be realistic about your habits and what requires modifications. Be ready to work for your goal.
- Make time, because you only get what you put in: All of us may not have the time to schedule gym time, to drive to the gym, spend an hour or two working out, take a shower, and then drive to the next venue of our day such as work or home. So try a 20-minute walk! If you’re giving it your all, there is no reason to go longer than 20 minutes. One of the best forms of cardiovascular exercise is walking outdoors involving hills or walking in sand. If you cannot do more, take a walk!
- A winner never whines so never be too lazy: Sometimes we get too comfy and we feel like we have no energy for a workout. Keep in mind, exercise boosts energy. For example, when I finish my workout, I leave with way more energy than I did going into the workout.
- Ease in: Don’t set yourself up for failure. I tried this workout video once, and my friend who is in great shape and is very involved in physical health and education said, “Follow the smaller girl who is doing the simplified moves.” I was slightly offended and continued with following the main guy but was skipping some moves and taking rest breaks. The second time I did it, I followed the smaller girl and was able to execute every move, follow the angles and felt the extent of the workout in its entirety. After doing this a few more times, I was ready to follow the main guy.
- Don’t get used to one continuous motion: Once you’ve gotten used to a routine, try to avoid simply going through the motions. If you’re doing 5 leg lifts one day, try doing 6 or 7 the next day and the same can be applied for your workout frequency.
- Try not to skip two days in a row: With this strategy in place, you’ll be surprised how much more time you spend working out over the course of a month. If someone skips two days in a row because they had a lot going on, they might not feel like they should continue on with working out for that week and start fresh another week, that’s ridiculous! If you skip a day such as a Friday or a Saturday, ensure you exercise the next day- no excuses. If you miss a workout, try compensating on an off day!
- Love the feeling: Remember that your workouts can help you feel more calm and potentially help you to sleep better, feel energetic in your busy day, and feel happier overall due to changes in work stress, poor eating, etc… Think about why you’re working out and make it personal.
Overall, no one would honestly say workout dedication is easy starting out. Every now and then we need to reconnect, evaluate, and look forward. Hopefully, the 10 strategies presented will help with making healthier choices for everyday lives.