5 Tips for Building a New Exercise Routine
By Alternative Relief in Food & Exercise
Exercise. We all know it’s good for us. It’s one of those things we know we “should” do but don’t actually get around to doing. Once you have some routine of exercise, it can be much easier to sustain. However, building that routine can seem almost impossible. Maybe you don’t know where to start, or maybe you exercise here and there but haven’t been able to build a regular routine.
Here are a few tips for building your own exercise routine from scratch. These are tips we have for those that are relatively new to exercise, so don’t be afraid if you are someone who hates lifting weights or running!
I write this from some of my personal experience. Two years ago, I began exercising and eating healthier in an attempt to feel a little better both physically and mentally. I had to start small, learn to train myself, and learn to keep up the growth. I have since lost about 60 lbs., and have found these few things helpful in my journey to a healthier me.
Find Exercise that Works
Exercise doesn’t have to be what we see on television or in the movies. You have to find what works for where you’re at with your body. Investigate a bit to see what type of exercise feels right. For some, a nice walk around their neighborhood feels perfect. For others, swimming or jogging may feel better.
Remember that exercise doesn’t have to be rigorous to be beneficial. Walking has many benefits, including burning calories, strengthening bones and muscles, and elevating the mood. Exercise is closely related to our mental health, even if it’s a gentle exercise! Furthermore, we’re more likely to do an exercise that feels doable to us. If our exercise is too much, we may be more likely to take a pass on it.
Maybe you don’t keep an actual calendar, but scheduling your workouts is a great way to keep yourself accountable. If you do have a calendar, plan out your exercise periods for the week ahead of time. Put them in your calendar and stick with them.
If you don’t have a calendar, you can still do this! If you’re reading this, you probably have a computer or smartphone. Put a reminder into your device! Use technology to help yourself in building a routine. If you prefer, you can put a sticky note somewhere you will see it (fridge or desk are good places) reminding you of the intention to exercise.
Check in With Your Priorities
This has been one of the most helpful practices in my journey personally. Sometimes I don’t feel like exercising. Maybe I have other things to do. I try to remind myself of my priorities and intentions. Having a goal and something which we can work toward can really help us immensely. Knowing that you want to feel healthier, lose some weight, or build some muscle can help you keep your actions in line with your goals.
Again, reminders of your priorities can be helpful. When you have that moment where you are arguing with yourself about exercising or not, don’t try to outthink yourself too much. Instead, just remember your priorities. Although it may be more relaxing now to do nothing, is it really what you want in the long run?
Find an Exercise Buddy
When I started losing weight, I was fortunate enough to have my wife join me in exercising. This support was incredibly beneficial. When I didn’t want to stay on schedule, she encouraged me (and sometimes pressured me). It plays into ego a bit, but I wanted to keep up with her. Having an exercise buddy pushed me to work out when I didn’t super want to, and really helped me stay accountable.
See if you can find someone else who wants to exercise with you. Remember it doesn’t have to be someone in the exact same physical shape as you. Maybe you do different types of exercise even. Set a goal together and have similar plans of action. Check in regularly. Use each other as accountability friends and grow together.
Don’t Overdo It
This is a mistake we all make at some point in the process. If you overdo it, you can tire yourself out. Staying healthy isn’t a sprint; it’s a marathon. We have to find a way to exercise that is sustainable. When you work out too hard, you may not feel like continuing your exercise in the coming days. It’s important to find a middle ground where you are working hard, but not overworking yourself.
This doesn’t mean you can’t break a sweat or work hard. Rather, you should stay in touch with where you’re at and what your limitations are. Take care of yourself through the process and remember that exercising is an act of self-care, not of inflicting pain upon yourself.
About the Author
This post was written by one of our staff writers at Alternative Relief!