Every year seems to be the year we’re going to start exercising more. We buy a bike, a treadmill, an elliptical machine. We get new athletic shoes, some cool stretchy pants, and maybe a few videos. Our requisite annual gym contract keeps those guys in business.
Then the weather finally turns cold, the elliptical becomes a clothes rack, and the desk people at the gym wouldn’t be able to pick us out of a lineup. We always mean well, but we don’t always keep up the healthy exercise habits we started with.
Might I suggest a few tips for keeping the fire of enthusiasm burning long after the last of the confetti has been vacuumed up from the new year’s party?
- Pick something you can do indoors and outdoors. Walking is a good start, especially if you have access to a treadmill. Or, yes, shopping (or mall walking) counts!
- Brave the weather. Make a plan that, barring an actual blizzard or thunderstorm (you know, hazardous conditions), you’ll get your daily exercise in. I don’t suggest taking a bicycle out on icy roads, of course, so that would count as hazardous!
- Find something you love. Yoga is a great one. Zumba, spin class, or other group fitness options are always available, because they don’t depend on the weather.
- Find a tribe. Don’t just rely on one partner, because if that person quits, you’re more likely to give up, too. Get a gaggle of friends — or a whole class of them — to be your exercise buddies!
- Get a trainer. Sometimes, you just need a little nudge. Or a lot of nudging. Or pushing. And the best way to do that is with a trainer, whose job it is to help you find your best self. Also, it really helps to go to the gym when you know what you’re doing there.
- Make it a routine. I suggest every day, even if it’s 30 minutes. If you can make exercise one of those non-negotiable things, like brushing your teeth, you’ll never forget or miss. If every day just isn’t doable for you, maybe something like Monday-Wednesday-Friday or Tuesday-Thursday-Saturday is your speed.
- Don’t make it hard. Starting a new exercise habit (that you can stick with) doesn’t have to hurt. There’s no need to join Crossfit on your first day. You can start with easy stuff, and move up as you go. Eventually you can move on up to Body Builder if you choose, but in the mean time, feel free to start with something easy, like Tai Chi or Gentle Yoga.
If you’re looking for a fun, supportive way start exercising, sign up for a yoga class. If you want to keep up the great habit throughout the balance of 2017, sign up for my free New YOU REVolution workshop on New Year’s Day.
Written by Jena Barber, who loves to exercise so much, she decided to become a yoga teacher AND a personal trainer.