Not being able to start an exercise plan or not sticking to a plan you started is one of the most common troubles.  Our Instagram post this week featured this issue. In this blog post we’ll extend on that post and give you more detailed tips on how to start and stick to an exercise routine.

1. Start slow

Working out shouldn’t be an all-or-nothing effort.  Pushing your limit too much can be detrimental rather than beneficial in the beginning.  Start out with shorter exercise durations like 20 to 40 minutes per workout and work your way up as you feel comfortable.  High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) can be a good way of getting a good exercise done in a short amount of time.  

2. Welcome the process 

You didn’t get out of shape in a week so expect that it will take longer than that to get in shape.  Try to be in peace with this process rather than trying to fight against it.  If you focus too much on physical appearance goals, sticking to the routine can feel more dreadful than it is.  In order to prevent this try focusing more on how good working out makes you feel and focus on consistency.  

3. Set a certain time for exercise

Reserve a certain time of the day just for exercising.  Once you start working out during that time avoid any work or personal distractions.  By doing this you can turn working out into a time where you get away from your daily worries and reset.  

4. Expect setbacks

Don’t beat yourself up trying to be perfect.  You’re probably going to miss a workout or two and it’s totally okay.  Just because you missed the first two workouts of the week doesn’t mean you can’t work out for the rest of the week.  Just pickup from where you left off and readjust.  Many of us give up on working out just because we’re falling behind.  If you ever find yourself in that situation remember that your goal is getting better over time, not being perfect all the way.  

Image showing alternative way of working out.  A group performing yoga

5. Find something you like

Finding the right type of exercise is crucial for consistency.  Going to the gym isn’t the only way working out.  Different types of workout like dancing or hot yoga can burn as much calories as a session inside the gym.  Try out different types of exercise at the beginning of your fitness journey to find what works for you the best.  Also creating a mix of different exercises for your weekly schedule can prevent you from getting bored of working out.

6. Find the best time of the day for working out

Working out in the right time of the day can be the key for your consistency.  Many people prefer working out early morning because there’s less time constraints and it boosts their energy for the day.  Other may prefer working out in the evening where they don’t have to get out of bed in the morning cold.  Even working out in your lunch break is a good option.  Best way to find which time serves you the best is again trying them all.  Once you find the time that complements your daily schedule best, working out can become a habit much easier. 

7. Get cool workout gear

Sometimes the motivation we need can come from the outside rather than inside.  Many people find working out more desirable once they have special workout gear like training shorts or fancy shoes.  Although if you’re going to get new gear we encourage you to shop mindfully and opt for more sustainable options.

8. Create weekly schedules

Set yourself weekly goals and plan out your workouts at the beginning of the week.  This way you avoid getting lost in your daily tasks and have a clear vision of the week.  Also once you start crossing off the workouts you completed it can give you motivation to do more.  Creating weekly schedules also helps the way you look at working out.  Creating a 3 month schedule in the beginning may make exercise a bigger task than it is. 

9. Find a workout buddy

Having a workout partner, especially someone who works out regularly can help you stick to your schedule.  Also having a partner in your fitness journey can help you push through.

workout buddies fist bumping.  Find a workout buddy to stick to your exercise routine

Author: Levent Düşünceli

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