We partnered with ProForm on this infographic on how to build a fitness habit, and then we shared how to fit healthy habits in the craziest of schedules. Today Kevin Jones is back with this piece on how to build a fitness habit that sticks. Kevin is a freelance writer and fitness instructor/consultant, writing for companies such as ICON Fitness for both the NordicTrack and ProForm brands. Connect with Kevin online on LinkedIn and Twitter.
Being able to make time for fitness is no easy feat. But just as your other responsibilities are part of everyday life, so should your healthy lifestyle. In order to incorporate fitness into your daily schedule, we’ve provided five tips to help you start from scratch and make strides, week after week, until working out is as second nature as breathing.
1. Start Small
The best way to get into your own personal fitness rhythm is to start small. Your first fitness goal is to create a fitness schedule. Whether you go five times a week after work, work out every morning or mix in a little bit of both, find a plan and stick to it. The sooner you commit to a set schedule, the easier it will be to stay on top of your training and goals.
2. Take Small Steps
Now that you have a set schedule in mind and have started your workouts, you’ll need to find ways to bring progress to your goals. One of the most common fitness phrases is “Go hard, or go home.” Forget that. Think shorter workouts, lighter weights and lower intensity on workout equipment such as treadmills, the elliptical or stair climber when you start off. Big weights and fast speeds look fun, but unless your body can handle that level of work, starting off too big and not being able to fully succeed might turn you off from fitness.
3. Break It Up
Once you’re in your rhythm, it’s time to group your habits to keep you on top of your game. Know what works for you in terms of scheduling. If you know you only have 30 minutes to work out every Friday, find a fast-paced workout online to help you stay on top of your goals while giving you the freedom to handle other life priorities.
4. Remove Any Excuses
Nothing is guaranteed to work as planned. Be sure to have your safety net available when things don’t go exactly as you want. If you miss a workout on Wednesday, it’s not the end of the world. There are four more days to end the week that need your attention. If you eat a slice of birthday cake, enjoy it, and be sure to make healthy choices the next time you eat.
5. Patience Is Key
Step back and take a look at your fitness plan. Does it make sense for your life? Does it give you time to handle everything you need to? If not, find ways to switch things around. The less pressure you feel to get things done, the more you can focus and succeed. Most importantly, be patient as you start off and juggle things around to find the perfect schedule for yourself.
All habits take time to become concrete. Once you set your goals, pace yourself, make adjustments and in no time you’ll feel healthier, stronger and you’ll look amazing.
What’s your fitness habit? —Kevin Jones