Getting in shape can be hard. Some of us just aren’t blessed with the athletic gene or maybe we have serious trouble getting our head off the pillow on those early mornings we swear we’ll get up for a run. As it turns out, developing and following certain routines can make the whole process a whole lot smoother – you might even find yourself enjoying those sweat-it-out sessions more than you thought. Here are 10 simple habits you can develop to teach yourself to love exercising:
1. Get feedback
Getting real-time feedback and results on your workouts can give you the motivation you need to push forward in your exercise routine. Wearable devices like the Fitbit Charge HR and the Garmin Vivosmart will give you instant information about things like your calories burned and heart rate so that you can focus on taking your workout to the next level.
2. Do what you enjoy
It’s as simple as this – if you hate running, don’t do it. Taking part in a type of exercise you actually enjoy (even if it’s just a little bit) will help you actually want to get out of bed in the morning for that 6 am swim. If you’re not sure what you enjoy, try a few things out – yoga, pilates, tennis – the options are endless!
3. Have a fitness buddy
Having great friends can make everything better, including working out. If you have a buddy that you workout with on the reg, you’ll be less likely to skip out on classes or sessions and shooting the breeze with a pal while you sweat it out can add some fun as well.
4. Get outside
Connecting with nature can be a really invigorating way to enjoy your workout routine. Try an early morning cycle through your neighborhood, a brisk hike or search for an outdoor yoga class. Being surrounded by nature will make you feel more energized and mentally peaceful while you put in work on your fitness goals.
5. Give yourself wiggle room
Life happens. Missing a day of your workout isn’t the end of the world, and having this mindset is key in keeping yourself from being discouraged. If circumstances out of your control (like working late) mean you have to miss your step class, just tell yourself you’ll get back on the track the following day.
6. Don’t focus on your weight
Spending all your workout moments thinking about the weight you are or aren’t losing will do nothing to help you keep moving forward. Workout and enjoy the increase of energy or muscle, but don’t get preoccupied with the number you see on the scale. Oftentimes, when you’re not thinking about your weight, the pounds melt off much quicker.
7. Non-traditional is good
Exercising doesn’t mean you have to be lifting weights in the gym or running laps. Everything from volleyball, gardening, and martial arts to dance classes count towards your goals. It’s alright to step out of the box in terms of how you get your workout in.
8. Pump up the jams
Music is a fantastic motivational tool. Not only does it distract you from feelings of fatigue, but you’ll workout longer and with more focus when you’ve got your favorite tunes blasting in your ears. Try putting together a high energy workout playlist and plugging in the next time you hit the gym.
Reinforce your routine by setting up a reward system for yourself. Having trouble getting yourself up for your before-work jog? Make a deal with yourself that if you get up and run every day, you’ll treat yourself to a delicious meal at your favorite restaurant at the end of the week. Whatever it is, pick something that will get you moving.
10. Dress the part
Indulging a little bit in new sports apparel, headbands and shoes can help you feel ready to workout. When you feel good about yourself and what you have on, i.e. some new running kicks, you’ll feel more motivated to get going with your training.