Starting an exercise habit is hard. But when you feel prepared both mentally and physically, you’re more likely to stick with it.
3 Secrets to Starting an Exercise Habit that Sticks
- KNOW THAT IT’S OKAY TO BE A BEGINNER
Everyone was a beginner at some point. Don’t psyche yourself out before you even get started. Know that it is okay not to know how to do things. It is totally normal to feel a bit lost and confused if you’ve never lifted weights or been to a Zumba class or tried to run for more than a minute before. Heck, even walking is a great way to get started!
If you accept that being a beginner when you’re starting an exercise habit means that you need to ask for help, you’re much more likely to be successful. There are people who are happy and willing to help you. Many personal trainers are willing to work with you for just a session or two if you need a little jumpstart or orientation.
It’s always a better idea to ask someone who knows what they are doing rather than just trying to look around and fake it til you make it. Remember that the goal of working out is to improve your health– so don’t do something that might lead to injury.
And here’s the really good news about being a beginner: you have lots of room for improvement! You’re likely to see and feel progress fairly quickly after starting an exercise habit. Woo hoo!
2. HAVE THE RIGHT EQUIPMENT
Just like when you’re cooking in the kitchen, using the right equipment makes the whole process much more enjoyable. Whether you’re working out at home or at a gym or studio, having the right equipment increases the chances that you’ll stick with your new program.
So if you’re thinking of doing yoga at home, buy yourself a good mat. If you want to take spin classes at a gym, make sure you buy the right kind of shoes. Want to start a weekly kayaking date? Buy sunscreen that not only works but feels great on your skin.
Regardless of what meaningful movement you’re going to be doing, I suggest investing in a good pair of shoes (and good socks!) and a water bottle you love. Ladies, find yourself a sports bra that does its job without digging in to your skin and chafing. Being comfortable while you’re exercising goes a long way in making sure you maintain your workout schedule.
One word of caution: don’t go buying a fancy tech watch gizmo just because everyone else has one. If you’re someone who is more motivated by how you feel than tons of data, you don’t need to spend your money there.
3. FIND WHAT YOU LOVE
I know it seems totally obvious, but so many people skip this step! Doing something you love is the most critical factor of all when starting an exercise habit! Figure out how your body loves to move, and you’ll be so much more motivated to prioritize your workouts.
This is the perfect time to tune out your friends and focus on yourself. While having an exercise buddy is a great way to stick with your workouts, internal motivation is an unstoppable force. Don’t be afraid to chart your own course.
If all of your friends love to run but you hate running, then don’t run! If you really want to join a soccer league so you can play on a team again like you did in high school, go for it! And bonus points to you if your idea of workout fun scares you a little bit. Exercise is a great way to push both your body and your mind.
Struggling to come up with an idea that really appeals to you? There’s an reflection exercise as part of my FREE Fit in Fitness 5-Day Challenge that can help!
I hope you have great success with these 3 secrets to starting an exercise habit that sticks. Good health and great happiness to you.
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