If you are ready to make a change toward a better lifestyle, you know that making time for exercise is a requirement.
You've heard the advice to plan workouts into a schedule, to put them in your calendar and to get a certain number of workouts in during a week. This is the easy part of my job - to tell people what to do. The hard part is for the individual to figure out how to get it done.
Even motivated people like myself who, relatively speaking, “like” exercise, can struggle to get moving.
Here are some of the things to think about when you are just getting started:
1) Just get out there. I recently told my husband that “the hardest part of our jog is over” when we were out the door and had completed the first few strides down the street. It's true. Once you are a ways down the road, there is no choice but to finish. You are out there sweating already, uncomfortable and wanting to be back home. Getting outside is a great way to escape the clock, rotating belt of a machine, and the couch that is calling in the next room.
2) Exercise when you have the most energy. When you are wiped out, or haven't slept well, it isn't wise to push yourself through, or drag yourself out of bed. While exercise can certainly help your energy level increase, planning to workout when you are normally exhausted doesn't give you the best chance for follow through.
3) Don't give an out. If you have the attitude that exercise is part of your day, you are much more likely to do it.
4) Accountability. You've heard it. Have your clothes and shoes ready, and meet a friend if you can. Having a system of support and a positive person around is helpful.
5) Go just a little harder. I didn't say push until exhaustion, but do just a little more than you normally would. Once you are working out, adding one more minute to your cardio, or two more reps of weights is a great strategy. It is empowering, and helps remind you that you are capable of more than you think!
Above all else, remember, it is the first few steps that are the hardest.