Make Your Workout Routine Sustainable
Far too often we struggle with finding a workout regimen that we are willing to stick with for the long term.
Courtney Cornwall, Outrun Gravity
of Americans who have never worked out believe they are too unhealthy to even start exercising
admit to feeling anxious and overwhelmed when thinking about trying to “get in shape overall”
feel intimidated by the number of fitness classes and workouts
Similar to avoiding fad diets that aren’t realistic and working on developing healthy dietary habits that are sustainable for life, we want to embrace a sustainable activity or exercise regimen that is enjoyable, easy to stick with, and gets our body moving in ways that benefit us.
Consider, what drives you to move your body?
Do you have weight loss goals? Goals to build muscle? To rehab a body part after injury or surgery? To socialize and be a part of something bigger? To see how you can manipulate your body and physique? To reach your body’s athletic potential?
Many of us also have genetics and family medical history working against us such as cancers, diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease. Maybe your motivation is to reduce your risk of acquiring a disease or health condition which seem to be so overwhelmingly prevalent in our circle of family and friends these days.
There are so many amazing reasons WHY we should engage in exercise and activity beyond simply reaping the health benefits. Define your meaning behind movement. Do you have one? Maybe you have multiple. Or maybe you are one of the many who feel overwhelmed when thinking about exercise because you feel you are too far out of shape to even begin… No matter what current shape you are in, you can always begin somewhere. Creating, defining, and owning your reasons behind moving your body can help you cultivate a sustainable exercise plan.
CrossFit. HIIT training. Powerlifting. Endurance running. Pilates. Yoga. Cycling. Zumba. Ju jitsu. Instagram workouts. Magazine workouts. Beach Body. P90X. Or how about that morning YMCA class your neighbor attends every morning that she swears by …… how on earth do we determine what to try and what to stick with?!
Remember, a training program that is great for your friend may not be ideal for you and your body. In today’s society, we often have to go through some trial and error to find workouts or activities that we genuinely want to stick with. Group classes, gym memberships, personal trainers….they all have their perks and pits. The great thing is…YOU are in control of your exercise journey! Here are some things to consider when trying to find what works for you.
Keep your ‘WHY’ out in front. Let your why drive you. Write it down. Put it on a sticky note on your bathroom mirror so you see it daily. Make it your phone background. Maybe it’s your kids or grandkids whom you want to spend as much time with as possible in this short life. Maybe it’s to gain more self-confidence or to inspire your partner. Maybe it’s to reverse your new diagnosis of prediabetes or type 2 diabetes.
Set realistic goals. Start small and build upon that plan. Set SMART goals – goals that are specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and timely. Consider this, instead of, “I want to get better at running,” Try….“I want to run a 5K in under 27 minutes by the end of December 2021.” See the difference? We have a specific, measurable goal that is time-based to encourage motivation to achieve it. Track your progress as you chip away at your goal. Writing down and keeping track of the different activities you do on a daily basis, even if it’s as simple as going for a 2-mile walk, is something to look back on and take pride in the journey you have put your body through.
Have a backup plan. Sometimes things throw off our schedule and routines whether it’s sickness, having to care for a family member, having to work extra late, or struggling mentally or emotionally. Have a solution when things fall off track. Just because you missed 4 days in a row doesn’t mean you are a failure. Deep down, you still have your why behind moving your body, and you still have your SMART goal waiting to be achieved. The cool thing? SMART goals can be revised and built upon! If your life is too chaotic right now to run that 5K by the end of the year, or your knee just isn’t agreeing with all this running you’ve taken on, revisit your goal and revise it, don’t throw it away.
Have an accountability partner. Be vulnerable and tell someone your goals, someone who you can trust. Research shows if we share our goals specifically with someone who we look up to, we are more likely to accomplish them, simply because we care what their opinion is about us. Tell someone who inspires you what your personal fitness goals are. This will likely help motivate you on those days you’re not feeling like exercising.
Find something enjoyable. Some individuals may argue that “no form of exercise could ever be enjoyable…” Challenge yourself to find something that brings you joy. This doesn’t mean that there won’t be many days where you dread the workout, the run, or the class you signed up for…but it does mean you will almost never regret putting your body through that exercise or activity and will finish it feeling better than before you started. Here at Outrun Gravity, we take pride in creating those enjoyable, meaningful experiences through fitness, games, and movement because that it is joy and the feeling of bettering yourself that will ultimately help you stick with your sustainable exercise routine.