Everybody who’s ever tried exercising knows that it’s hard to stick to a daily routine, no matter if it includes running, lifting weights or yoga. The solution to this problem is to change the way you think about sport. Once you make it a part of your day, just like brushing your teeth, things will fit into place.
Until you’re good at it, chances are you’ll find a number of excuses to avoid working out. So here are some tips to help you get started and keep going.
1. Be Realistic about Your Goals
First of all, don’t mistake resolutions with goals. For example, your resolution could be to lose 10 pounds, but your goal is to exercise half an hour a day.
Don’t come up with higher goals than you can accomplish. This will only set you up for disappointment when you realize that you can’t handle them. Start slow and keep things real. If you only have 15 minutes, start with that.
2. Put Yourself First
Keep in mind that although we may be tempted to help out a friend that has a paper coming up, skipping on your workout is not the way to go.
If your school schedule allows you to fit all you want to do, that’s perfect; if not, always prioritize your own needs before everyone else’s.
3. Find What You Like
If you’re not used to working out, begin by doing something that you either love or you’re good at. If playing football is a hobby, make it a part of your day; if it’s swimming, check out the campus pool.
Step by step, you’ll start incorporating more and more types of exercises, but for now, do what you like.
4. Establish a Dedicated Workout Area
Although living in a dorm doesn’t offer too much spare space, see if you can’t place a yoga mat and some weights somewhere. As long as your brain perceives the space as a sport-friendly environment, it will be easier to stick to exercising.
A cardio machine in your home won’t take up as much space as you think and the health benefits are definitely worth it!
5. Take Your Friends With You
The same colleagues you go for a drink with could soon become your workout buddies as well. Exercising with a friend will be more exciting. Besides, you’ll support each other as you try to meet your goals.
Surely you have a friend who’s trying to lose some weight or get in shape, so make a team!
6. Don’t Stress Your Body
If a certain activity is too much for your muscles, take a step back. It’s possible that your body isn’t in the best shape, so if you lift heavy weights, you might hurt yourself.
Begin with simple exercises, and once your body gets in shape, switch things up a little. Just remember to adjust gradually to the intensity of the workout.
7. Include More Movement
Getting in shape doesn’t happen only in the gym; it can also be done between classes or during breaks. Instead of taking the bus, walk. Walking will help your muscles develop and have a more defined shape, especially your calves.
Another option is to have an afternoon at a pool instead of going for a movie. You’ll burn calories and have a blast with your friends.
8. Download an App
Nowadays, there’s an app for everything, and some of them are so much fun that you’ll grow addicted to them. Running will get your blood pumping, and your lungs will get more oxygen; still, running from an army of zombies will certainly boost things up.
If you’d like to keep track of how much time you’ve exercised today, or how many calories you’ve lost, there’s an app for that as well.
9. Keep a Journal
We’re not saying that you should start obsessing over how much time you’ve spent in the gym, or if you’ve eaten the exact number of calories today, but a journal will help you out.
Writing down your daily activities will make it easier for you to realize how far you’ve come and thus, you’ll feel better about it.
10. Find a Group
Sports groups are the way to go if you lack the motivation to stick to an exercise routine. Knowing that there’s always someone waiting for you will make it harder to skip training.
Plus, you’ll make new friends, and surely some of their energy will give you that extra strength to run another mile.
Like I’ve said, take things slow and see how much free time you can “steal” from your busy schedule to work out. Meanwhile, don’t forget to eat lots of fresh fruits and vegetables! These will keep you energized.
This article was contributed by guest author Evelyn Kail.