We all know that exercise is good for us. It reduces the risk of heart disease. It helps us maintain a healthy weight. And it has a positive impact on our mental health. Yet for so many of us, our plans to stay healthy by adopting an exercise regimen fails regularly. To make matters worse, this is not like school where somebody is always checking for your homework. Thus it is easy to fall off the wagon.
The start and stop cycle gets frustrating and eventually we give up working out altogether. It does not have to be that way. In this post, we will discuss 5 simple tricks that will help you stick to an exercise regimen.
Here are 6 simple tricks that will help you stick to an exercise regimen.
#1 – Set attainable goals
One of the reasons people fail at sticking to an exercise regimen is because they don’t set attainable goals. You don’t need to work out 2 hours a day, 7 days a week to derive the benefits of exercise.
It’s easy to watch popular weight loss shows and think that losing weight will happen only if you do intense exercise routines. Intense exercise routines are not sustainable. You will burn out quickly.
Instead, start with something you’re comfortable with. If you’re just starting out, activities like walking on a treadmill, swimming or cycling can be easy and yet very effective ways to get you in the habit of exercising everyday. As time goes on, you can gradually include more complex exercises.
#2 – Be accountable to someone
Having someone you are accountable to will keep you on your toes. This could be a spouse, a friend or even a group of friends. A lot of recent fitness trackers allow you to exercise in the form of friendly competition with friends.
Certain exercise apps also have communities on social platforms like Facebook that allow you to interact and cheer each other on towards your respective exercise goals.These are beneficial because research shows that we are more likely to do things or engage in a behavior when there are others around us doing the same thing.
#3 – Reward yourself along the way
Have you worked out for four weeks in a row? It is okay to do something to reward yourself for sticking to the regimen.
#4 – Have a rest day (or two)
Exercise is great but the truth is that it tires our muscles out. This is why exercise experts suggest to have at least 1-2 rest days per week where you don’t exercise at all.
This gives your muscles an opportunity to rest and repair. You are more likely to get up and go when you have a rested body.
#5 – Boost the results of your exercise by making healthy food choices
You can sabotage your exercise regimen by making bad food choices. If you’re exercising regularly but then as soon as you get home it’s fatty food and sugar galore, you are going to gain all the calories you just burned back. And then you are going to get discouraged when you realize that despite your exercising efforts, you are not maintaining a healthy weight.
You can greatly boost the results of your exercise regimen by eating foods that are:
- Low in saturated fats such as olive oil, safflower seed oil and walnuts
- Low in sodium (salt)
- High in protein such as eggs, fish and poultry
- High in essential vitamins and minerals
- Green leafy vegetables
These foods also have the added benefit of boosting your metabolism and helping you burn fat faster.
#6 – Use the scale sparingly
This sounds counter-intuitive but let’s stick with it for a minute.
The moment we start exercising regularly, we naturally have the urge to step on the scale to see if we’re indeed losing weight. When we don’t see those numbers go down, it can be discouraging and prevent us from moving forward with an exercise regimen. The problem with that is that while exercising may not reflect on the number you see on the scale for weeks, you are gaining a lot of benefit from engaging in frequent physical activity.
Those benefits include:
- The release of the group of chemicals in your brain called endorphins which are proven to provide people with a mental sense of well-being.
- More blood flow to various organs of the body including the brain. This increases alertness.
- The release of tension in your muscles that would otherwise feel cramped.
Exercise has benefits that extend beyond weight loss. So don’t let the number on a scale stand in your way.
Closing Thoughts on Exercise Regimen
As employees, staying healthy is key to being productive at work. Yet while we all know that exercise does us a world of good, it can be hard to stick to an exercise regimen. In this post, we’ve uncovered 6 simple tricks that will help you stick to an exercise regimen.
Enjoyed this post? Share it with someone else who might be needing that extra push to stay consistent with their exercise regimen.