Have you started a workout routine and then quit somewhere down the line? If so, you’re not alone. Most people sign up for a gym membership or start fitness programs just to quit a few weeks later. Some use work as an excuse to give up exercise, while others have unrealistic expectations. It’s important to realize that every workout you miss will make your life shorter, your muscles smaller, and your belly bigger. So, here are five foolproof strategies to stick to your exercise plan:
Set Realistic Goals
Have a Plan
Just like everything else, a solid workout plan requires planning. Before hitting the gym, you need to know exactly what muscles you want to target and what exercises you have to do. Aim for at least four weekly workouts that include both cardio and strength training. If your goal is to build muscle, keep cardio to a minimum and focus on weight lifting. Train one or two muscle groups per session and plan your meals accordingly.
Take Your Workouts Seriously
Don’t think about working out, just work out. Take your training plan seriously just like you do with your job and family life. After all, you’re doing it for your health. This should be enough to keep you motivated. Put yourself first and stick to your workout routine. Everyone is busy and has responsibilities – you’re not the only one with a demanding job. If you’re too busy to go to the gym, stay active throughout the day and do bodyweight exercises or work out at home.
Some people get bored at the gym or hate working out altogether. If that’s your case, get a workout buddy. Invite friends to join you or seek a workout partner online. Time flies when you’re in a good company. Even the most intense workouts will become a breeze if you have a gym partner. He or she can also watch your form, show you new exercises, and keep you accountable. This allows you to try more challenging moves and lift heavier weights without having to worry about injuries.
Mix It Up
Keep your workouts fun and exciting by trying new exercises. Change the number of sets and reps, mix up your cardio routine, and experiment with new lifting techniques. Your body needs variety, and so does your mind. Engage in CrossFit, TRX training, circuit training, Pilates and other activities. Stop using the treadmill and go jogging or sign up for tae-bo classes. This way, you’ll challenge your body and keep yourself motivated along the way.