I’m not a personal trainer and you won’t see me at the gym very often (right now we don’t have a membership at all), but I do make an effort to exercise regularly.
For five months now, I have exercised almost every day.
I finally figured out how to create an exercise routine that works for me!
If you’re already in the habit of regular exercise, then this isn’t too exciting for you. But me, a person who has tried over and over again to get in the habit, it’s insanely exciting!
We’ve always taken our dog for his walk around the neighborhood daily (he gets extra sassy without his walk), but that’s not enough.
For Overall Cardiovascular Health:
At least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity at least 5 days per week for a total of 150 minutes OR At least 25 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity at least 3 days per week for a total of 75 minutes; or a combination of moderate- and vigorous-intensity aerobic activity
Clearly my stroll around the block isn’t quite enough.
So after years of attempting to create some amount of a workout schedule, here are the tips that have finally helped me succeed:
5 Tips For Creating An Exercise Routine That Works For You
Figure Out What’s Getting In Your Way
What’s your excuse when you end up not exercising?
You make that excuse for a reason, so you need to figure out how to solve that problem.
This is going to sound absolutely ridiculous, but my excuse has been my shower/hair “schedule”. I take a shower every other night and then curl my hair the next morning(which lasts for that day and the next day). I don’t want to workout and get all sweaty on a day that I’m not going to take a shower, and I don’t want to take an extra shower because then I’ll have to do my hair again the next morning when it normally would have been fine for the 2nd day. Yes, I’m very lazy about my hair.
So my solution has been this: I do a more intense workout on shower night so that if I get all sweaty I can wash up. Then on the 2nd day, I do a lower intensity exercise like ride our exercise bike for 25 minutes while watching Netflix (still addicted to Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries). I don’t get all sweaty, so I don’t mess up my hair or need an extra shower.
So what’s getting in your way/what’s your excuse and how can you solve the problem?
- Maybe you just never remember to exercise… Could you set an alarm on your phone to remind you to get moving?
- Maybe you don’t have time… If you want to make fitness a priority, figure out a time (even if it’s just 10 or 15 minutes) to schedule in a workout, and then don’t let that “appointment” get pushed to the side for other things that come up.
- Maybe you don’t have childcare… Can you get your kids involved in trying to do exercises with you, or trade childcare with a friend, or at just make a date with a friend to go for a long walk together with kids in the strollers.
Don’t Be Afraid To Start Small
Too many people think that if you’re going to work out you need a solid hour at the gym to get fit. Not true at all!
Thinking that can be an excuse all by itself: “Well, I don’t have an hour or money for a gym membership so there’s nothing I can do.”
In the last 5 months, I’ve been exercising completely at home and in 15-30 minute chunks of time. I started out with just setting a timer and doing 5 minutes of squats, lunges, and planks.
Anything is better than nothing! If you’re just getting started, make it your goal to just get moving. Everyday.
For my “sweaty” workout, I do 3, 5-minute sessions of intense strength-building exercises.
That’s it! It’s made a huge difference for me and it’s literally only 15 minutes of exercising with a quick break in between to catch my breath. You don’t need a huge chunk of time.
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Plan A Space That Is Convenient
The more convenient it is for you to exercise, the more likely it is that you will do it. Why make it harder for yourself?
If it’s easy and natural for you to get out to gym, that’s awesome! For me, it’s a whole extra step to pack up, get in the car and go to the gym that I just never feel like dealing with. So I’ve set up a convenient workout space at home.
You don’t need much! I just use a room in our house that has very little furniture and enough open space to move around.
Plus, there are tons of exercises you can do without any equipment at all. I use a set of 3 pound dumbbells (like this), plus we have an exercise bike (this one) which is not necessary at all, but we’ve gotten a lot of use out of it.
Make sure it’s a place you want to be. We have a large guest room in the basement that I could absolutely use to work out in, but it’s cold and I just don’t like it down there. It’s not a place that I want to be. So even though it could be a great space to use, I don’t bother with it.
Basically, I try to take away as many obstacles to exercising as I can!
Pin Exercises You Can Do At Home
You need inspiration and motivation!
I’ve got a Pinterest board that I use to pin exercises. You can follow me on Pinterest here if you need to get started with some fitness inspiration.
Mostly, I pin things that I know that I can do at home and that don’t require equipment. That way I don’t have any excuses for not trying them! Sometimes I just can’t think of exercises to do or I need some variety, so I look back over what I’ve pinned and try some new moves out.
Use A Calendar To Track Your Success
I already wrote about how I use calendars here if you want to check it out.
My fitness calendar has become a huge motivation for me. It’s in my bedroom, and if I’ve worked out that day I draw an X over that box before bed.
When I first started this, I was motivated because I would see that I hadn’t drawn an X in, like, a week (let’s be honest, sometimes well over a week)! And I would think how ridiculous that was that I haven’t exercised in a week, so I would get moving.
Now, I am motivated by it because I want to see how many days in a row I can go without missing an X. And it’s so satisfying at the end of the month to be able to see that I have exercised an average of 5-6 days a week for the whole month. Now that’s progress!So those are my tips for creating an exercise routine that works for you.
I’m certainly no expert. I’m just a normal girl trying to be healthier. But I’ve found that you really need to just be honest with yourself about your obstacles to exercising regularly, and then find ways to make exercising easier for you. Remove as many of those obstacles as you can.
Yes, it might be ideal to have an hour every day to be able to go to the gym. But if you’re waiting for ideal conditions, you’re never going to be able to make it happen!