A lot of people will tell you that they just don’t have time to work out. They get home from work and they are just too tired or they have other things to attend to.
This is all fair. We have all had our days where other priorities may trump working out or we need a day of rest.
Plan it out and do something you enjoy. Working out isn’t just lifting weights and running so let’s get into how you can make working out a part of your daily routine.
1. ATTITUDE IS EVERYTHING
Attitude is everything in life and in working out. This is where your workout routine should start. Maybe you have already started a fitness routine or you are looking to get started but the most important thing is the attitude you bring towards the process.
Exercising is a celebration of what your body can do, not what it can’t. It also isn’t a punishment for eating too much either.
It should be something you look forward to not dread. Your attitude decides which way you approach it. Think about it as a way to blow off frustrations in a positive way.
At least that is the way I look at it. Don’t think “I have to workout today.” Think “I got to workout today.” But in order for this to happen you have to stay focused on your progress, set goals, work it into your daily routine and most importantly, pick a workout you enjoy.
2. START SLOW, KNOW YOUR FITNESS LEVEL
Make sure you know your fitness level before you start. You don’t want to start too fast and get discouraged or get so sore that it discourages you from working out. This goes for any activity you are wanting to get into.
Maybe you want to pick up running. Try to aim for running for a certain amount of time first and slowly build. Run for 30 seconds and then walk a minute and slowly build up.
Run for .05 of a mile and then walk for .2. It all depends on your fitness level. The higher your fitness level, the more advanced your starting point is.
For weights, start with low weights and slowly go up or increase reps. For body weight, increase reps as exercises get easier. Building up will also help prevent injury.
3. FOCUS ON YOU, SET GOALS
Make sure to focus on your progress, not anyone else’s. Working out is for you and it is to benefit you so that is where your focus should be.
Don’t compare yourself to others, it is an easy way to get discouraged. Don’t look over at that man or woman at the gym lifting heavy and wonder why that isn’t you.
You will get there if that is your goal. Those people may also have different goals than you. Maybe your focus is slimming down, not bulking up. Well then maybe your goal isn’t to bench or squat a certain amount. Make sure your goals are reasonable and attainable. Progress takes time. Focus on the bigger picture.
4. JOIN A GYM/TAKE FITNESS CLASSES
If you are struggling to get started working out then try joining a gym or taking a fitness class. Gyms will offer fitness classes based on skill level or exercises (cardio, yoga, weight lifting, burn bootcamps, etc).
Having a class to go to at a certain time and days of the week is a good way to hold yourself accountable for working out. It is also a good way to socialize and find others at the same fitness level as you.
5. PARTNER UP
Find a workout partner that is at the same fitness level as you. This person can hold you accountable on the days you aren’t super motivated and you can do the same for that person.
For me, that is my twin sister. We can safely push each other. It makes both of us better. And again finding someone at your level will help to avoid comparing yourself to others.
6. I DON’T FEEL COMFORTABLE GOING TO THE GYM
This is fair. Whether it puts pressure on you, you have social anxiety while working out or you aren’t comfortable because of COVID-19, you have other options.
There are a ton of at-home workout programs now that cater to almost anything you want to do. I have personally used Beach Body and really enjoyed it. You can search based on time, skill level, equipment needed, etc.
7. AT-HOME PROGRAMS/EQUIPMENT IS EXPENSIVE
Yes and no. Prices for dumbbells have seemed to have shot up. At-home programs can be pricey. Beach Body was affordable for me. Again there are other options.
Resistance bands tend to be less expensive and they can be easier on your joints than weights. Resistance bands are all about time under tension and can be a great way to ease yourself into a workout routine.
There are also numerous body weight exercises you can do at home. Most common body weight exercises have modifiers so don’t think you can’t do push ups because you can’t support holding yourself up.
Try modifying on your knees until you get strong enough to fully support your body weight. Again it is about your fitness and making progress.
Don’t worry about the guy or girl busting out 30 push-ups like it’s nothing. And if you don’t like push-ups don’t force yourself to do them all the time. There are plenty of alternatives. See a list of body weight and resistance band exercises by clicking the links provided.
8. FIND SOMETHING YOU ENJOY
Working out isn’t going to be any fun if you pick an exercise you don’t enjoy. If you don’t like running then you probably shouldn’t pick that exercise as the basis of your workout routine.
If you aren’t a fan of lifting weights then maybe try resistance bands instead. If you like sports then try joining a rec league.
If you like swimming, plan to take a dip in your local pool a couple days a week. Take your dog on a walk. Go hiking. Go kayaking.
Even cleaning can be an exercise. Just make sure you are active and you are doing something you enjoy. That will make things a lot easier. You can try some fun ways to workout at home.
9. FIND A WORKOUT THAT FITS INTO YOUR SCHEDULE
A common excuse is that people don’t have time to workout. This isn’t true. We just have to carve out time in our day that is dedicated to it.
For morning people that may be getting up before work and working out. For me, it is definitely an after work thing.
I work out right when I get home and usually plan out a 30 minute workout with 2-3 minute warm up and 5 minutes to set up and put equipment back.
All and all my workout is going to take about 40 minutes total. For me that is doable. Find a gym that is on the way home from work or work out during lunch if your office has a gym.
I stick to a routine where I work out 5 days a week that usually entails 4 days during the work week and one day on the weekend.
Those 4 work days are split up between cardio and resistance/weight lifting (2 days of cardio, 1 day of arms, 1 day of legs). My weekend usually consists of hiking, riding dirt bikes, being at the beach, etc.
10. PLAN FOR THE WEATHER
This one gets overlooked sometimes. If you plan to go on a walk after work and it rains then you may just blow off working out. Have a back up plan.
Plan to walk on the treadmill if you have one or go to a gym. Have an alternative body weight cardio workout planned. Maybe walk in the morning if the chance for rain is lower, etc. And as always, dress for the weather.
It can also be a great way to socialize and meet new friends. Also, always listen to your body. It is okay to take a recovery day if your body needs it. It will help you more than hurt you.