You know the drill…running full speed ahead with your new exercise program only to fizzle out in a few weeks or even days. We’ve all been there. Between work and personal obligations, it can be tough to maintain an exercise regimen.
But don’t give up just yet. Read on to learn about three subtle changes that can pay off big in helping you stick with your workout routine.
Rise and Grind
According to Health.com, people who grind out a workout in the morning enjoy more benefits: including a longer-lasting elevated metabolism — and being less likely to fall off the wagon. Further, studies show that working out at the same time each day helps you become better, quicker. Not to mention those who choose to work out later in the day are more likely to ditch their exercise due to unexpected events or just being plain tired.
To set yourself up for success, experts say to lay your workout clothes and gear out the night before. If you drink any sort of morning smoothie or protein shake, have it ready to go, and do not — I repeat — do not hit the snooze button (which can make you more tired). Once the alarm goes off, flip on the lights and get your day started on a healthy note.
And hey, you may even find that you have so much energy after your workout that you can pass on that second cup of coffee.
Small Changes, Big Results
Unfortunately, there’s no such thing as immediate results. But the good news is that hard work really does pay off. And you’d be surprised how much one or two small changes each day can add up in helping you reach your ultimate fitness goal.
For example, cutting out a snack, going an extra mile on your run or racking an extra plate onto your barbell can all lead to quicker changes…and more motivation to stay the course.
It typically takes six weeks to start seeing changes in your body. But once you do, you’ll be even more committed to your exercise routine. And be sure to take a “before” picture so you can compare your results at the six-week mark.
When was the last time you willingly chose to do something you hate? Aside from maybe work (and hopefully no one out there hates their job), probably not very often. The same goes for exercise. If you don’t like what you’re doing — do something else. It’s pretty simple.
Some people love running on the treadmill; others can’t stand it. Many guys love feeling the burn that comes from weightlifting while others don’t. The trick is to explore new classes at the gym and find what works for you.
And don’t underestimate the power of mixing up your workout. From yoga to intervals to different types of cardio, you can keep things fresh by switching up your routine. This also causes muscle confusion, which can be extremely beneficial in producing results.
Above all, keep the focus on what motivates you personally. Whether you’re trying to lose weight or gain muscle or run a 10K, keep your focus on the goal and don’t stop until you get there.
After all, no one ever leaves the gym and says to himself, “I really wish I hadn’t done that.” Sometimes, the key is just getting there.
This is a post by Sheryl Coonan, who is a lifestyle and wellness writer and reporter out of Metro Detroit.