How To Start an Exercise Routine That You’ll Actually Stick With

With about 38% of all New Year’s Resolutions being related to health, weight loss, or fitness, it’s no surprise that gyms and fitness centers tend to be the most crowded this time of year. However, a recent study conducted by Strava has shown that most people will give up on their New Year’s Resolutions on January 19th and 80% of people will have completely given up their resolution by mid-February.

But before you let that stop you from beginning a new exercise routine, remember that there are so many ways to help you find an exercise routine that matches your personal goals and current activity levels. Keep reading to find out our top 5 ways for creating an exercise routine that you’ll actually want to stick with.

Be Realistic About Your Time Commitments

Think about an average week in your life and how much time you have for exercise. It’s recommended to do moderate-intensity aerobic activity 30 minutes a day for 5 days a week. If your routine does not allow for a half-hour of activity at once, you can break up the exercise into three 10-minute sessions. In order to ensure that you set aside enough time for exercise, you can also add your sessions to your smartphone calendar. Managing your expectations will help you reduce the risk of burnout or giving up too quickly!

Choose an Activity You Enjoy

Most people have a preferred form of exercise, whether it be running, lifting weights, yoga, walking, or kickboxing. If you’re trying to start an exercise routine that doesn’t include activities you enjoy, you’ll automatically be less motivated to continue when it’s more difficult. If you haven’t found an activity that you love, try visiting local studios and seeing what types of classes they offer. While you’re looking for an activity or two that you can make a part of your exercise routine, a great place to start is taking a daily walk.

Start Slow and Progress Gradually

One of the reasons why people give up so quickly on their resolutions is the “quick fix” mentality. If you’re going from one 30-minute walk during the week to 5 days of 30-minute exercise sessions, you’ll experience sudden burnout. Instead of shocking your body with a sudden, staggering lifestyle change, start by increasing your exercise time and levels by 10 percent each week. This will help you listen to your body and find out if you need to stay at one level for a couple of weeks before increasing your time or difficulty.

Designate an Accountability Partner

The accountability system works in so many areas of life, so why not find a workout buddy? Since so many people are looking to make a change in their health and fitness routines at the beginning of the year, it should be much easier to find someone who is willing to embark on a fitness journey alongside you. Not only will you have someone supporting and encouraging you, but you can do the same for them, which will help feed your own motivation!

Forget the All-or-Nothing Way of Thinking

Your fitness and exercise journey isn’t always linear. In fact, your body needs the right amount of rest to recover from working out! Life may get in the way from you taking 4 fitness classes one week or you may sustain an injury that keeps you from your typical exercise routine but giving yourself the grace and ability to accept where you are will help you to reach the level you’d like to get to. The “all-or-nothing” way of thinking significantly increases your risk of burnout as it allows your discouragement to take the reins when you can’t find the time or energy to exercise.

If you struggle with pain during or after exercise, Performance Physical Therapy is ready to help you start, restart, or maintain your fitness journey through physical therapy services. We provide treatment for musculoskeletal conditions and injuries including back pain, arthritis, pelvic pain and dysfunction, Vertigo, chronic pain, surgeries, and more. Contact us to schedule a free 15-minute evaluation with a physical therapist or an appointment for physical therapy in Rhode Island and Massachusetts.

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