You know you need to start exercising, but you just don’t feel like it. Is it possible to “force” yourself to finally begin?
Just like any journey, the first step you take when you start to make exercise a part of your life is a hard one. You can find a variety of reasons (excuses) why this is not the right time, why you’re busy, the weather is bad, you feel weak, it will never work anyway, etc.
What I want to give you is a number of ways in which you can make this a bit easier and start making exercise a routine, something you actually enjoy and not just do because you have to.
So, here are 9 ways to start exercising regularly:
1. Promise Your Spouse and Family That You Will Start To Workout
In a post I wrote many months ago, I talked about getting yourself an accountability buddy, someone whom you respect and never want to disappoint. I suggested that you report your progress to this person on a regular basis as this will drive you to be more serious about your diet and workouts.
Making a promise to your family that you will start to workout works in a similar way. You will feel awful about letting them down, so the chances of you sticking to your workout routine will be higher.
2. Make It Easy To Train At Home
If you feel that what is keeping you from training regularly is a dislike of gyms, you need to make it easier for you to workout at home. Buy some home fitness equipment or learn how to do bodyweight exercises. You can do awesome workouts at home. I do.
3. Sign Up For a Workout Class
While people sign up to the gym and hardly ever go, if you sign up to a fitness class with scheduled lessons, you’re more likely to attend. The reason is that once you invest money into something, you want to make sure you actually use it. A gym is almost always open so you can easily delay going there indefinitely and still feel as if you’re not wasting your money. With a workout class you simply have to be there at certain times to take part in the lessons. This is a great way to “manipulate” yourself into exercising more often.
4. Join a Sport
What sport did you use to play when you were a kid or a teenager? Was it football, baseball, tennis? For me it was basketball. I was never a really fast sprinter, but my jump-shot was good and I was killer on defense. If I ever want to get a decent workout without lifting weights or doing traditional cardio, basketball is the answer.
You need to find people to play a sport with. This will give you the kind of social motivation that will help you to get started and to keep playing.
5. Get a Fine Jar
Some people are motivated by positive reinforcement, others by a negative one. You may need to have the “threat of punishment” hanging over you to get you to start training. One tool which you can use is a Fine Jar. What you do is set a certain amount of money that you put into this jar whenever you miss a workout. You then donate the money to a charity you like. Most people will try their best to avoid having to pay this “fine”. Even if you donate to charity regularly, this can be a powerful motivator.
6. Hang a “Did You Train Today” Sign on Your Mirror
This is a nasty one, I admit. You’re annoying yourself in order to workout. Yet, it works. This is the main thing.
What you need to do is prepare a small sign (using an A4 paper should do it) with the words “Did You Train Today?” written on it and hang it on your bathroom mirror or on your door. Make sure it’s hanging where you will see it often, so you have a constant (and annoying) reminder that you need to get your act together and exercise.
7. Buy a Home Cardio Machine
This one is tricky and I’m hesitant to bring it up. The reason is that it doesn’t always work. For some people, just having a fitness machine at home is enough to get them to use it. In other cases, the treadmill or elliptical or rowing machine, or whatever machine you get, can quickly become nothing more than a clothes rack or end up collecting dust in our garage. As this kind of product may cost a lot of money, you need to make the decision here.
8. Commit Yourself to a Sport Charity Event
Exercising doesn’t have to be all about you. It can also be about something much bigger. There are many sporting events that allow people to participate in them and, by doing so, raise money for important charities. This can be a powerful driving force to motivate you to start training. For instance, the LA Marathon has a number of charities whose teams you can join. All the runners in the team will help raise money for their charity from the marathon’s sponsors.
Naturally, you may not be up for running a marathon just yet, but there are other events that are less strenuous and would still allow you to play a positive factor in the future of your community. So, try to find sporting events in your area which offer the ability to contribute to charity. Then, start training to be able to take part in these events.
9. Hire a Personal Trainer and Pay In Advance
Once more, you will motivate yourself with the power of money. Once you hire a personal trainer, you will need to actually attend the sessions. You should make sure to either pay in advance or be committed to come to the training sessions. I don’t want you to back out at the last moment. You need to make yourself train, at first, until it becomes a pleasant part of your routine.
I hope that these tips will help you to start exercising. If you take this seriously, I’m sure that you’ll be able to lose weight and improve your health in a short time.