Congrats, you’re in a workout groove. Here’s how to actually stay consistent. For many of us, workout routines are like the weather — they come and go, in fits and bursts. Some days, you might wake up feeling like the energizer bunny, while other days, just walking across your bedroom sounds tiring.
We’re firm believers in the power of movement as part of your daily Ritual. We know that regular physical activity, even a low-to-moderate amount, has myriad health benefits, including many positive implications to mental health. Working out can support our overall wellness, even including the impacts of stress.
If the idea of working out every day fills you with dread, allow us to reframe what this means for you. You don’t need to run 5 miles every day, or do endless burpees ‘til you pass out. It’s all about finding what works for you — movement that will make you feel joyful, instead of burnt out. Grab your favorite athleisure 'fit and read on for some exercise inspiration.
Make Exercise a Habit With These 5 Workout Motivation Tips
Mix it up! Just like eating the same thing every day would get old after a while, mixing up your movement will keep it interesting and prevent burnout. Think of your workout options like a toolbox — if you wake up one morning and the idea of cardio makes you want to barf, grab something else from that toolbox. Maybe yoga or a long walk sounds better. Having more options available to you will lower the stakes. Your options go from “60-minute HIIT class or nothing” to “what would make me feel best today?”
Grab a buddy. A 2018 study of 704 people enrolled in a wellness program found that participants who had a buddy achieved more results than those who signed up alone. If you’re struggling to stay consistent, invite a friend to go to yoga with you once a week, or turn your weekly coffee dates into long walks with coffee-to-go. When your movement Ritual is locked in on the calendar, you’ll be less likely to delay or cancel. If you’re not able to sync up with a friend, exercise trackers are a great alternative to stay accountable and boost your motivation.
Incorporate rest. How much rest you need varies by person, type of activities you’re doing, and more. Generally speaking, it’s good to give muscle groups a rest for around 72 hours after vigorous activity to allow for recovery. If you focused on leg strength yesterday, try an upper-body workout today. A good rule of thumb: if you’re feeling run down, try active recovery like light stretching or walking, or simply take the day off. It’s important to listen to what your body is telling you.
Reward yourself. A recent UPenn study found that creating micro-incentives to reward gym-members helped increase their visits by 9-27%. To maintain consistency in your workout routine, create small rewards to look forward to at the end of another great week, whether it’s a delicious protein smoothie after your run, or your favorite breakfast tacos post-workout.
Don’t get caught up in perfection. When it comes to working out, perfection is the enemy of the good. You can start by creating a goal to simply move for a bit every day. If a run is feeling too intense, go for a jog or a Hot Girl Walk instead. Join your pickleball-fiend coworker to see what his obsession is all about. If an hour-long yoga class sounds unbearable, start with a single down-dog and see how you do from there. Just getting out there is enough.