Let’s admit that we’ve all, at some point or another, started a new workout, a new diet, or promised ourselves we would “run every morning, lift weights every evening, walk to work, and bike all over the city!” According to research from the University of Scranton, 92% of people who make self-change resolutions fail to meet their goals, unfortunately. Thus, the majority gives up on workouts and physical activity, in general, only after a month or 2. Are you one of those people?
At Bright Side, we strongly believe that when it comes to health-related resolutions, one should never give up. So, to help you start an effective workout plan and really stick to it, we’ve found a couple of effective tricks you can try.
10. Set realistic goals.
Before starting an effective workout routine, think about your goals. It’s necessary to figure out what you’re trying to accomplish. Come up with an achievable goal and forget about the “all-or-nothing” mindset. Setting realistic goals is a key factor when it comes to getting healthier.
9. Start small.
The more ambitious the goal, the more likely you are to give it up. Going for a 2-hour workout 5 times a week sounds incredible, but it’s better to start small in order to not feel bad about the inevitable failure. The same applies to types of exercises and equipment — if you’re a beginner, start with 1.5 kg weights rather than 5 kg ones.
8. Find exercise that you’ll enjoy.
After a workout, our body releases endorphins, our “feel-good” chemicals. But if you feel like you’re about to die after each workout, then those endorphins and the post-workout bliss have too high of a price. Find the type of physical activity you really enjoy — jogging, pilates, or maybe even pole dancing, so that you don’t have to force yourself to exercise and you’ll be looking forward to it instead!
7. Keep a journal.
Studies suggest that people who keep track of their physical activity and weight loss see greater results. If you want to stick to your new workout routine, think about starting a journal. At the end of the day, achieving your workout goals is not about numbers, but the progress you make every week.
6. Survive the third week.
Only 58.4% of all New Year resolutions last for 4 weeks and people tend to quit between week 2 and week 3. Remember this the next time you feel like skipping the gym and stick to the promise you made to yourself. Survive week 3 and soon it’ll get much easier!
5. Don’t skip warming up and cooling down.
Have you wondered why runners walk before running and fitness instructors always include a set of stretching exercises at the end of their programs? Because they know it’s a bad idea to skip warming up and cooling down. To feel energized and good about yourself even after an intense workout session, remember to warm up before and cool down after exercising. This will also help you avoid ankle sprains and reduce muscle soreness.
4. Reward yourself.
Recent studies show that people achieve their physical activity goals easier if they’re given an incentive. Well, a financial one. Indeed, a reward waiting for you after a workout is a nice motivation to get to the gym after you’ve had a long day at work. But it doesn’t have to be a money-related reward, like shopping, for example. Try rewarding yourself with your favorite healthy dessert. Stay away from that piece of cake, though!
3. Pair up.
If you think there’s no such thing as too much exercise, you couldn’t be more wrong. While physical activity is a must for those who want to stay fit and healthy, workouts can be dangerous when taken to the extreme. Even if you’ve set an ambitious goal to achieve your dream body, definitely include rest days, don’t work the same muscles day after day, and don’t endure sharp or stabbing pain.
1. Make it a habit.
If you find a way to make running a part of your morning routine, you’ll start your day off positively and boost productivity. Or, if your workout becomes a healthy habit, you’ll never have to drag yourself to the gym ever again. In other words, the best way to stick to your workout plan is to make it your hobby and your new passion. Persistence and hard work will soon get you the healthy body you’ve always dreamed of.
Do you think it’s possible to stick to a new workout plan and turn it into a habit? If you happen to know tips and tricks on how to adopt an effective workout plan, share them in the comments.