One of the biggest challenges of any workout or fitness plan is to see it through. It’s very easy to stay enthusiastic at first when you’re just starting out, but after a while, when you see that you’re not going to lose all the weight in a week, you may find it hard to stick to a workout plan.
You may begin to find excuses to why you shouldn’t workout today and start missing out on workouts. This can prove to be disastrous as you can quickly slide back to those habits that got you overweight or out of shape in the first place.
To make sure this doesn’t happen to you, here are 10 ways to stick to a workout program:
- Focus on activities that you actually like – Who said the treadmill or the elliptical have to be the cardio workout for you? You can easily go play basketball with some friend, go cycling in the park, or try out rock climbing for the very first time. The point is that you must not get bored with your workouts. Do things you like.
- Don’t do the same thing every time – This is another thing that can leave you bored out of your mind with your workouts. Try out different things: bodyweight training or kettleball workouts instead of weight training, aerobic classes instead of running on a treadmill. Keep it varied and interesting.
- Buddy up – You will not miss a workout that you’ve already committed to doing with a friend. You won’t want to let them down. Having a buddy (as long as you have the same workout mindset) can be a powerful way to stick to any workout plan and see it through.
- Schedule your workouts in advance – Planning makes perfect and planning ahead actually makes it happen in the first place. By scheduling your workouts in advance you make sure you have time for them and you actually know they’re coming.
- Be able to workout at home – There may be times when you just don’t want to go to the gym due to lack of time, bad weather, and so on. Often, these are just excuses that you shouldn’t succumb to but just for those cases when you do, I recommend having some basic workout equipment at home. Things like an ab wheel and workout tubes can help you do an awesome home workout without having to spend a lot of money.
- Make sure to keep track of your progress – I’m not just talking about weighing yourself but also knowing how you advance in your ability at the gym. Knowing how much stronger you’ve become can make a big difference in how psyched you are about your next workout. Seeing and feeling how your effort is paying off will motivate you to stick to your workout routine.
- Don’t compare yourself to other people – Realize that there will always be someone stronger, fitter, better looking, and thinner. Your only competition is yourself. Make sure to never judge your own progress by that of another. You will never win this way.
- Take things gradually – One of the things that can take you out of the zone and back into inactivity is an injury. Even a small two-week recovery period can take you out of the current routine you’re in and drive you back to square #1. Reduce the risk of injury by taking things slowly and progressing gradually. Don’t try to bench press a 150 lbs on the first week. There’s a time for everything. You’ll get there.
- Reward yourself for your efforts – We all like to think we work for something tangible so feel free to reward yourself for your efforts. This can include food. Yes, even the kind of food you don’t associate with dieting. In fact, many successful weight loss plans are based on “strategically” eating the wrong things as part of a more successful fat loss process. Some of these programs include Cheat Your Way Thin by Joel Marion and the Jon Benson’s EODD Diet.
- Set small and periodic goals – Goal setting is a key to all successful ventures and working out is no exception. Your goals need to be realistic, measurable, and achievable. For instance, you can’t expect to lose 20 pounds in 2 days, it is simply not realistic. You can’t expect to run the marathon if you have time to jog twice a week, it’s not achievable. And you can’t say to yourself: “Hmmm… I want to be thin”, it’s not measurable. Set goals with numbers to make them measurable.
So, there you have it, all the tips you need to stick to your exercise plan.