We’ve all been lectured on how to exercise by that physical education teacher who was in worse shape than us, the cousin who turned his life into a gym, the friends who notice we can’t make it through even watching sports without falling asleep, our partners who want us to get healthier and anyone else we brought the subject up to. Exercise is always something people talk about but few put it into action. We’ve all done it, that first day is so amazing and we do everything we can to get through it. We’re so proud of ourselves and we know this time will be different and that we’re going to stick to it for good this time. We go to bed that night trying to figure out how to even enhance the workout because we killed it on our first day.
Then comes day two. You feel sore, tired, less enthusiastic and less cheerful as you normally do. This is our body saying too much too soon as it tries to recover from the shock you put I through the day before. Keep in mind, your body still wants you to workout, but it wasn’t ready for what you put it through the day before and it needs to recover. We may try to go for another workout, but we notice it’s not as fun and rewarding as yesterdays. Next comes the excuses; work got in the way, it’s raining, you have to run errands, it’s your aunt’s birthday dinner or something else. We’ve all used them, some of them were legit and some of them were made up.
So, what’s the answer. If we are doomed to fail then why even try? Actually, we’re doomed to fail because of the plan, not the goal. The goal is to get healthier, but the plan is to do it all at once. We need to build a plan based on what we know, what we have an interest in, what we can do and what we want to do. Focus on these things:
- What form of exercise do you enjoy? This is a simple question and often one we do not think of enough. Exercise can be fun, not just work. We don’t play basketball because we want to be healthy or because we think of it as a responsibility. We play it because it’s fun and that’s why we have more energy for it than just running. Pick activities and exercises you’re excited about and it won’t feel like a commitment.
- When can you do that exercise? This is important as you need to be flexible. Yes, you may be able to exercise in the morning or after work but there will always be those days where something comes up. Be flexible and try and pick a time each day, not just a time that’s supposed to work each day.
- How to enhance your capabilities for that exercise? Having fun playing basketball or swimming laps? Track your progress and then start working on how to get better. Think about it this way, if you enjoy playing basketball but you want to get better at it, you will play more basketball or maybe start doing more cardio and lifting weights between games. If you pick something you’re passionate about you’re going to want to be better and get better.
- How to make it even more of a routine? Getting people involved is always a great way to make something more of a normal hobby. Why? It’s easier to give ourself excuses then a friend or family member. If you are playing basketball with friends each week you will not want to let them down and they will feel the same way as well.
None of these ideas require you to drink tons of protein shakes, get a gym membership, wake up two hours earlier each morning or buy thousands of dollars-worth of gear. All you need to do is answer these questions yourself and you will be well on your way to getting exercise back in your routine.