Just getting started can sometimes be the hardest part.
Humans are creatures of habit, and breaking those habits and starting something new can be tricky. It’s easy to say you’re gonna start that new workout routine tomorrow, but then your friends call you up, and that new Netflix show just came out, and whoops, there’s work tomorrow, and- well, you get the idea. To help you circumvent life’s little obstacles to fitness, here’s a few tricks you can try.
If you promise something to yourself in exchange for regular exercise, you’ll be more motivated to do it. It’s simple behavioral science; for example, if you meet your goal for the month, you’ll buy yourself that new video game you wanted, or you’ll go out to that nice restaurant you’ve been wanting to try. Just be careful not to reward yourself unless you actually deserve it. If you’re concerned about that, enlist a friend or family member to hold onto the reward.
Find Workout Buddies
Speaking of friends, exercise can be quite the social activity. From little competitions to simply chatting while doing reps, having someone to pal around with while you get in shape can help the process run a little more smoothly. Just make sure your friend knows not to push you too far past your limits; there’s a fine line between friendly motivation and peer pressure.
If the hardest part for you is getting yourself into a gym setting, try setting up a situation where you need to be in the gym. If you have a home gym, leave something vital to your morning process in it. Once you go in to get it, well, you’re already there, you might as well work out. Another good idea is to leave your running shoes closer to your bed than your regular shoes. They’re there first, so put ’em on first, and get out there.
Make it Fun
Why were you always so eager to run around on a playground as a kid, but don’t like running around now? Because when you were a kid, it was fun. It’s fun when it’s fun, to quote a certain puppet. Find a way to make physical activity fun, and you’ll be all too eager to do it. Play casual sports or try learning famous dance routines.
Motivate, Don’t Guilt
Above all else, remind yourself that you’re exercising because you want to, not because you need to. Health is a state of mind; if you’re only exercising out of some guilt-induced obligation, the process is going to be excruciating. Health is its own reward, and it’s a reward that you deserve.