When it comes to maintaining a solid fitness routine, I’ve heard a lot of different reasons, from a lot of different women, about why they stopped—or never started.
Many of my clients said that it became hard for them to find time in their busy schedule. Other women felt intimidated, too old, or too out of shape. It came down to something simple: Neither group of women knew how or where to begin.
And, that’s okay! It’s never too late to get fit and happy. Starting or maintaining a fitness routine is like adjusting any other habit—it takes control, choice, and consistency.
Is it difficult? Yes. But the good news is that it’s always worth it. The benefits of exercise extend into every aspect of our lives—body, mind, and spirit.
Here are some of my strategies that will help free you from your fitness funk and maintain healthy habits that last:
TIP #1: FOSTER A POSITIVE ATTITUDE
This is where it starts. Try not to think of exercise as a burden or something you have to do. Instead, look at it as another form of self-care.
Start by concentrating on the benefits and become mindful of the way you feel after the workout, and not before. Soon, you’ll start looking forward to that healthy glow and endorphin rush—and your body will thank you.
TIP #2: SET REALISTIC GOALS
And never feel guilty about it. There’s a misconception in fitness that you need to push yourself to the limit, at all times. That’s just not true! In fact, this mindset can lead to burnout or even worse, injury.
I’ve had clients start their first session by simply jogging on a treadmill—and that’s okay. Just take that first step and get moving. Whether it’s 20 minutes or up to an hour, you are building a healthy habit through consistency…and that’s what counts.
Keep a log of your goals so you can refer back to them daily. Once you hit a milestone, cross it off the list, reward yourself, and move on to the next. The faster you see your progress, the less likely you will taper off and quit your routine entirely.
TIP #3: KEEP IT ON THE CALENDAR
Sign up for classes online or book a trainer. If it’s already on your schedule (and if someone is relying on you), skipping becomes less of an option.
Speaking of accountability, never underestimate the power of the “buddy system.” Studies have shown that exercising with a friend can help keep you on-track and motivated to conquer your fitness goals—together. Plus, what’s better than breaking a sweat and catching up with a friend? It will easily become something you both look forward to!
TIP #4: PREPARE IN ADVANCE
Don’t let the excuse of your everyday routine get in the way of your workout. Instead, make it become your everyday routine. Just like you did in grade school, lay out your clothes the night before. Not only does it set an intention, but it’s a lot easier to stay motivated if you can quickly reach, grab, and go.
I also recommend storing an extra packed bag in your car so you can cash in on any random bursts of motivation, whenever and wherever they may be. Another reason? You no longer have the excuse of “I left my gym bag at home.” Problem solved.
TIP #5: FUEL YOURSELF FROM WITHIN
Fitness comes full circle. It’s important to eat well and hydrate your body—especially when paired with exercise. You can’t expect progress and results to come from just one aspect. It all works together to give you the energy and nutrients you need to thrive at your highest potential.
There’s absolutely NOTHING wrong with using cute workout gear as a motivation tool; you’ll want to break in those new yoga pants or bright sneakers and put that look good, feel good mantra into motion.
Here’s a list of some of my favorite fitness brands and products to get you started: