Six simple tips for creating and sticking with an exercise routine.
Welcome to Healthy Habits, the newest addition to The Lemon Bowl! New for 2013, I will address a wide variety of topics including battling sugar cravings, weekly meal planning and more. In addition to pulling from my own weight loss journey, I will be interviewing and showcasing Registered Dietitians and other health experts who offer a huge wealth of knowledge.
Let’s get started with the dreaded “e word”: exercise.
As I shared in my weight loss success story, it wasn’t until I was 26 years old that I began exercising regularly. Despite having active friends, family and coworkers, I wasn’t ready to get active. Truth is – I was lazy. Believe me when I tell you – no one was more surprised than me when I became addicted to exercise.
Ready to catch the exercise bug?
Tips for Creating and Keeping an Exercise Routine:
1. Start Slowly: My first introduction to exercise was at my local Curves. Requiring only 30 minutes, 3 days a week, it was the perfect low-risk solution to help me make exercise a regular part of my routine. They say it only takes 6 weeks to create a new habit and I found this to be true.
2. Put It In Writing: Every Friday after my weekly weigh-in, I create my workout schedule for the following 7 days. I literally add it to my calendar alongside doctors appointments, work deadlines and business meetings. By looking at the week ahead, you avoid the daily debate of whether you should workout, when you’ll find the time and, so often, the inevitable pushing it back to tomorrow.
3. Tell a Friend: My friend Kristin and I live hundreds of miles apart but every week we share our workout schedules with one another. By doing this, we are able to check in throughout the week, asking how boot camp went or shooting a quick text on our way out of kickboxing class. It’s a great way to support one another and it also helps you stick to your schedule.
4. Do What You Love: If you don’t enjoy what you’re doing, you will stop after a few weeks. I learned this lesson the hard way when I trained for my first 5K. I got bored on the treadmill, ate way more calories than I burned and eventually burnt out and stopped. Fortunately, I soon discovered group exercise and quickly fell in love with the social nature of working out with others and thrived on instructors who pushed me past my limits.
What do YOU love to do? My little sister loves taking her son for walks every morning. My friend Dara loves to run (read her great advice for running in cold weather!) My husband loves “climbing buildings” on the stair master and breaking his own records for number of stairs climbed. Whether you love to swim, dance, play with your kids or hit a tennis ball – find what you love and you’ll keep going back for more, I promise.
5. Track Your Progress: Whether you use an app, a website, a spreadsheet or a piece of paper – track your progress. When I used to go to Curves, I loved scanning my badge each visit and to see how many times I had been there that month. These days, I use MyFoodDiary.com to track my workouts and see how many calories I burned. I love watching the graph fill in with color every time I exercise. It is motivating and pushes me to keep going back for more.
6. Add Variety: The reason I love group exercise is because I can literally take a different class every single day of the week. Not only does this prevent boredom and burn out but it keeps the body guessing. The human body is very adaptable. As soon as it gets accustom to a certain exercise, that very same exercise quickly becomes less effective (and you start to see the scale stand still.) Not that I would know……
What is your favorite way to get moving? Share your best tips and secrets for keeping active!
Your skinny jeans are waiting.