Why is starting an exercise routine so hard?
You know you need to exercise. You’ve heard all the reasons why it is important. Exercise extends your life, it makes you less likely to get a disease, it helps you keep your weight in check, it improves your mood, and it helps you sleep better, among many, many benefits.
You should just have the willpower to do it! Right?
Well, maybe not.
Your willpower is something that can be influenced by your environment and how much sleep you’ve gotten. It can also be influenced by your mood, hormones, or the weather. Think of the excuses we all have. I forgot to bring my clothes for the gym, the weather is too bad, or my child kept me up all night, etc.
What can we do to make it easier?
Set yourself up for success by doing some of these things.
- Sleep– Make sure you get 7-9 hours of sleep. If you’re tired, you won’t have the energy to get up and do a workout. You’ll be more likely to push the snooze button.
- Go to bed and wake up at the same time every day– You’ll start to wake on your own eventually, if you are getting enough sleep.
- Make it a routine– I get up at 5:00 and go straight to brush my teeth and put on my yoga clothes. Every day it is the same. I don’t even have to think about it anymore. If you struggle with this one- just do the first 2 minutes for a week. Hop out of bed, no snooze allowed. When you allow yourself to fall back asleep, you disrupt a sleep cycle that usually runs for 90 minutes. Waking up before the 90 minutes, makes you super groggy. (A mistake I used to make all the time.) Get up and get dressed. Don’t allow yourself to even work out. This will help you get the habit started gently. The next week, do the first 5 minutes of the work out.
- Pair your work out habit with another habit- Brushing my teeth is something I do first thing every single morning. By getting dressed immediately afterward, I’m pairing getting dressed with brushing my teeth, which makes it more likely that I will remember to do it, and not start a cup of tea or some other distracting habit. Once I get dressed, I fill my water and go straight to my workout. This makes it so easy to get it in before any other distractions, and before I get tired from my work day.
- Do it first thing- By doing my workout first thing in the morning, it never is last on my list just to be put off because something came up or I’m too tired. Sure, it’s hard to wake up at first, but now I look so forward to that time for me. That’s the only time in my day when someone doesn’t need me for something.
- Do a workout you love- I love yoga! I also like strength training. I like to be alone in the quiet and semi-dark. You may like intense workouts with a group. Either way, doing a workout you love will help you look forward to it. Don’t force yourself to get up and run if you absolutely hate running. You won’t last long that way.
- Track your workout- Sometimes, seeing those check marks all in a row can be really motivating. You can use an app too. Habit Tracker and Habit Bull are two that use green dots for days you do your workout and days you skip are marked with a red dot. Not breaking your streak of green dots is enough to give you a little extra push.
I hope these tips help you get your workout started! If you need some extra support, you want accountability or a group environment where we all support each other, consider working with me in coaching or try my new program, Immunity Reboot.
This program has simple steps to get you on your way to optimum health. If you are like I was several years ago, you are exhausted all the time and just don’t know where to start to take the steps you know you need to take to lose the extra pounds, get rid of unwanted health symptoms and have more energy.
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