When you’re trying to build a new habit, consistency is key. For certain habits this is easier to do than for other habits. For instance, brushing your teeth is a habit. It’s something that you’ve done every day pretty much since the day you were born (hopefully). So, it’s easy to remember to brush your teeth.
Working out, on the other, isn’t as easy to build in as brushing your teeth (for most people). It takes up more time, it requires some thought and takes physical effort. Unless you’re part of the 1% of the maniacs in this country that eat, sleep and breath pure fitness, exercise is a struggle.
If building training into your weekly routine is important to you (and, in order for you to succeed, it has to be important to YOU), there are a couple of simple tricks you can implement to help you stay consistent. Some will work better than others, depending on your personality type. So make sure to give them all a try and see what works:
This one seems obvious, but is often the biggest barrier between your current state and being the healthiest version of yourself. Many people talk themselves out of working out before even trying it. They’ve already convinced themselves that they won’t succeed or that they don’t have enough time or that it will be too hard. If that’s you, figure out the EASIEST POSSIBLE STEP for you to take, and go. That may be a 10-minute walk in the morning or may be finding a personal trainer. Whatever it is, as NIKE would say (I did not get permission to put this in, so hopefully no one from NIKE reads this), JUST DO IT!!
Have you ever heard the saying “Failing to prepare is preparing to fail”? That is what we’re talking about here. Put your clothes out the night before and set them by the door, or better yet in your car. This way that distraction is out of the way.
As you’re sitting there watching Biggest Loser, your mind is thinking “Man, that’s how hard I have to exercise to get in shape?!?! No thanks!!”. You’re convinced that it takes lots of time and has to be really, really hard. Well, this just isn’t true. Just because your best friend does Crossfit, doesn’t mean you have to. If you think you’ll like Pilates, go give that a try. How about mountain biking, sound fun? Get started! Find what works for YOU and go!!
Back to the whole exercise-has-to-be-complex-and-difficult thing. There are no secrets, there are no short cuts, there are no magic pills (long side note: actually, even if there were a magic pill, statistics show that patients who are given prescriptions for diseases such as hypertension, diabetes, cancer and depression only take their meds 51% of the time……..so that means if there were a magic pill, you would only take it 51% of the time…seriously!!), so don’t think that exercise has to be complex in order for it to work. Are there things that work better than others? Absolutely. But if you don’t like those things and they keep you from working out, then how is that helpful? Movement is ALWAYS better than no movement at all.
At The Den (that’s what we call our training facility) we talk about Greasing the Groove. This is the idea of coming in, going through your movements, working on your form and not worrying about breaking records. Half the battle of working out is showing up. If you’ve already walked into the gym, you’re 100% further than 80% of America. Don’t feel like you have to bust your butt every day. If you simply want to ride the stationary bike that day, then do that. Don’t feel bad about Greasing the Groove.
Always remember, when you’re deciding to get started in working out, it has to be on your terms. It can’t be because your doctor told you to or your spouse told you to or your friends told you to. It has to come internally. Work on these simple steps and it will increase your chances of building a fitness-habit.