How To Make Fitness Habits That Last AND Feel Right

By Jamie Walker,

So it’s happened again. You’ve made another empty promise to yourself about exercise. Whether its “I’m going to start working out every day!” or “Maybe I WILL try that Crossfit thing,” sometimes even our purest workout intentions won’t end up coming to fruition. It’s not your fault, the road to physical fitness is a long one and jumping in too quickly can get overwhelming, fast. Don’t get discouraged, even if you haven’t met all your fitness goals in the past. We’re here to help, and we’ve put together a guide to making fitness habits that last AND feel right.

Start Slow

It’s OK to start your journey to physical fitness slowly. You’re much more likely to stick with it if you take a reasonable approach to working towards your goals. Jumping into a rigorous exercise regimen right off the bat is an easy way to injure yourself, and also a surefire way to get discouraged quickly.

Your body takes time to acclimate to physical stress. Those first few workouts are going to be tough on you, you probably won’t feel like working out five days in a row when you’re just getting started, and that’s OK! Start with reasonable goals, like two or three good workout days a week. Soon enough, your body (and mind) will start acclimating to your new workout schedule, and adding a few more workout days won’t seem like such a big deal. In fact, you might even start craving your gym time.

Instead of setting yourself up for failure by picking unrealistic fitness goals out of the gate, start slowly and work your way up. Stick with it, and you’ll get where you want to be.

Find What’s Right For You

Despite what many fitness professionals say, exercise isn’t “one size fits all.” There are so many different ways to approach physical fitness, and that’s great, because no two people looking to get fit are the same. Some people like distance running. Some are hooked on spin. Others just want to do yoga for the rest of their lives, which is fantastic! Find what you love, what makes you feel good, and run with it. It doesn’t have to be the same thing as your best friend or as your fitness-freak co-worker. There are so many new and exciting ways to exercise, don’t feel limited to sticking with what you already know (especially if you don’t feel passionate about what you’re already doing!).

Don’t be afraid to try new things. Sign up for that Zumba class. Or maybe book a session or two with a trainer specializing in interval training. You won’t know what you love until you try it, so get out there!

Work Out With Friends!

We’ve all had it happen before, you told yourself that you were going to work out this week, but you’re struggling to find the motivation to get going. If this sounds familiar, try switching up your routine and going to work out with a friend.

It helps having someone else to hold you accountable, someone to push you when you’re feeling less than energetic. Even more than that though, working out with a friend turns the gym into a fun environment, somewhere that you want to be. Plus, the added competition of working out with a friend won’t hurt either.

Hopefully this list has shown that the path the physical fitness isn’t the same for everyone. It’s ok to take things at your own pace. Instead of worrying about the “right” way to do things, do what feels right for YOU. Try that free personal training session or that cool new boot camp. Who knows, next year, you might be the one teaching the class.

Jaime Walker is the CEO and founder SweatGuru, the online marketplace for fitness classes and experiences. She is also the founder of Fit Approach, a health and fitness community online. Jaime is also a yoga instructor and personal trainer.

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