A daily exercise routine is a great way to keep your body moving, strengthen your muscles and build a strong foundation for life. But getting started can be tricky. It’s important to set a routine, prioritize your time and be clear about your goals so you can stay motivated and make fitness part of your everyday life.
Create a goal
Before you start any new workout, it’s important to have a specific reason for doing so. Whether you’re looking to tone up for a wedding, get ready for summer or simply feel good in your own skin, having a goal can help motivate you.
Find something you love to do and add it to your routine
It might seem counterintuitive, but if you enjoy what you’re doing, you’ll more likely stick with your fitness program. Try yoga, a gym class or a ballroom dance routine to make your workouts fun and rewarding.
Do a warmup
It can be tempting to skip the warm-up when you’re working out, but it’s essential for your body to properly prepare. Warm-up exercises are active movements that help flex and stretch the muscle groups you’ll be using during your workout. Examples of warm-ups include jumping jacks, squats, lunges and forward leg swings.
Focus on form instead of speed
When you’re just starting out, be sure to slow your pace to make the most of your training sessions and avoid injury. This will also help you build a healthy exercise habit that’s easy to maintain.
Identify an obstacle
If you’re feeling tired during the day, it might be difficult to get up and go to the gym. But by identifying an obstacle you can overcome, it’s much easier to find the motivation to go to the gym, says SIX3NINE trainer Jessica Thompson. She suggests imagining what the obstacle is and then making a plan to deal with it.
Do something new
It’s also a good idea to change up your workout routine periodically to prevent boredom and burnout. Take a different class at the gym or join an online group exercise program. Or do something different at home, such as riding a stationary bike or going for a walk on a scenic trail.
Find a dedicated space to work out
This doesn’t need to be a large area, just one you can easily move around in. It can be anywhere in your house, but it’s best to avoid a cluttery or uninviting area so you’ll actually want to go in and get your work done.
Set up your clothes in a designated place for you to put them on before you begin your workout. This will force you to get up and dress when it’s time for your exercise, making it less likely that you’ll fall back asleep or decide not to do your workout because it’s already too late.
Use time blocks to schedule your activities
You may be tempted to skip a workout when you have other things to do, but it’s easier to fit a session in if you make it part of a regular routine. Write down all of your tasks, including your fitness ones, and assign them a block of time in your calendar.
Milena Estêvão is a YouTuber passionate about sharing her experiences (challenges, successes and motivations) in the fitness activities she is involved in.
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