Three Simple Tips to Consistent Exercise
Besides making sure that you are having fun when you exercise, here are 3 tips to help you exercise. With so much health and fitness related books and blogs, I want to keep it simple. Start with 30 minutes of exercise every day. There are some studies that show this exercise doesn’t even need to occur all at once.
Second, create a routine for yourself, something that helps you to get moving. Like my gym bag routine, don’t make it hard on yourself to exercise remove barriers to make it happen. Sometimes it is going with a friend or setting the coffee to automatically start. Third, create some accountability for yourself when it comes to exercise and health.
“It is exercise alone that supports the spirit, and keeps the mind in vigor.”
Tip 1 – Thirty Minutes A Day
With 30 minutes of exercise a day being such a reasonable amount of time to be moving, there are no limits to how you can accomplish this. You can go for a walk, vacuum the house, lift some weights, ride a bike, play a sport, hike, the list is endless. Forcing yourself to be active will only work for so long, it has to be fun and needs to involve other people, at least, some of the time. The key is to every day find a way to do at least 30 minutes of moderate level activity.
If you are like me, you will find this tip to be challenging on certain days and easy on others. The easy part about this tip is the 30 minutes doesn’t have to be all at once. You can take a 5-minute walk at work, do a set of squats and pushups at another time, park your car far away from your office door, walk to lunch, etc.
My favorite way to squeeze in the 30 minutes is to chase my girls around the house and to dance with them. This is a great way for me to connect with them, get them nice and tired, and I burn some calories. What ways can you squeeze in 30 minutes?
Tip 2 – Routine
Tip number two is all about routine, or even better habits. Habits are what make us tick. When you get up in the morning the habits begin, and most of the time we don’t even realize what we are doing is habitual. Take a normal morning for most people.
Most people get up, hop in the shower, get dressed, grab some coffee (that they habitually set up the night before), eat some breakfast, check their phone several times through all of this, brush their teeth….the habits go on and on. Then you step into the car, the office, check email, then Facebook (or maybe the other way around). Our lives and days are filled with habits and routine.
The healthiest among us have made exercise automatic. They turned exercise into a routine just like brushing their teeth. This level of commitment is key to our long term health and happiness. I have a routine for exercise and this routine gives me flexibility in my exercise, I have committed to workout in some way 3 times a week, anything above this is a bonus. On the other 4 days I exercise for at least 30 minutes as well, but the other 3 days I push myself harder.
What is your commitment? Create that commitment and stick with it, and make sure to follow tip 3 to make it happen. Tip three holds everything together. Without this, your health and fitness go down the drain.
Tip 3 – Accountability
There are many ways for people to be held accountable, it is not just accountability to a friend or colleague, accountability comes in many forms. Here are 10 ways to create accountability:
- Start first by telling your doctor your exercise plans and getting regular checkups!
- Tell people: I tell my wife or a friend or coworker, I just tell someone I’m gonna workout. One of them usually asks how my workout was, and when I have to tell them I didn’t do it, well it hurts a little.
- Meet someone at the gym: This one is obvious if someone else is expecting you to show, it’s a lot harder to flake on your workout.
- Join a sports team: Now you have at least a few people making sure you show.
- Put it on your calendar: Not just that, but have the calendar text you, or notify you the day before, the day of, and right before. It’s annoying, but you can’t say you forgot.
- Put it on your To Do List: I use Wunderlist and if you are like me, it feels great to check the workout off my list, in fact, if it’s not on there I’ll add it then check it off (it feels so good!), some of you know what I’m talking about.
- Set goals: If you have goals, and you track them, it’s a lot easier to show up.
Get a trainer: Find a trainer that motivates you to show up and pushes you to get better.
- Reward yourself: Have a brownie afterward (every once in a while), go to a movie cause you worked out 3 times for 3 weeks, I don’t know, some sort of reward that will encourage you to go.
- Buy stuff: Buy new workout gear, you’ll want to use it and show it off.
These are not in any particular order or level of priority in order to create or maintain accountability. Pick a couple or make up your own so you can make it happen. No matter how you manage to keep yourself accountable and motivated to exercise, help someone else to be accountable too.
Check out this Dude Perfect video for classic gym stereotypes. Don’t be one of these…