10 Ways to Stay Committed to Your Workout

Nicholas J. Perri MA, NASM-PES

I’ve been in the fitness industry for twenty years and I have heard a lot of excuses as to why someone does not stay committed to their exercise program. So here are ten ways (in no particular order) that should help you stay consistent and committed.

1. Bring your workout clothes to work with you. Whether you’re going for a run outside or hitting the gym…get it in at lunch or right after work. DO NOT go home first! There’s too much going on there and too many distractions.

2. Get your butt up early and get it in before the rest of the house is even awake. It’s done and you have a head start on your busy day!

3. Be flexible. If you were planning on going for a five mile run but don’t have the time because your day got away from you, reset your workout plan and do whatever you can in the time you do have. A fifteen minute total body circuit, a twenty minute yoga practice or even a harder two or three mile run…

4. Vary your workouts. Doing the same thing over and over again can get pretty boring. And besides, the benefits of cross training are well documented. Running, biking, practicing yoga, strength training, swimming, etc… Mix up your workouts as much as possible. It will keep you engaged, more well rounded and a higher performer in athletics and life!

5. Make appointments in your calendar for your workout times. There are times when there is so much going on, we can’t seem to find the time to get our workouts in. Putting it in your calendar will give you a window in the middle of your crazy day to take care of your needs.

6. If working out at home is your only option, that’s a pretty good option. I do almost all my workouts at home. It is efficient and incredibly convenient. Invest in a small home gym…some dumbbells, a stability ball, tubing, etc. If you have the means, invest in a bike, treadmill or rower. DVD’s or On Demand are also great tools to keep you engaged and on track. I am also a big advocate of hiring an in home personal trainer. To review DVD’s with you, create an in home training program or to be a regular part of your fitness endeavors… I have clients that I see three times a week to once every three weeks.

7. Sign up for a race! Having a goal will help keep you on track. Just signing up for several races a year could be enough to keep you going strong all year round.

8. Keep it fun! Maybe hitting the gym or running five miles a day isn’t your thing. Don’t worry…you’re not alone. Try a dance class like Zumba or Hip Hop… Boxing, Cardio Kick Boxing, Boot Camp classes, etc. There are options out there for everyone. You just have to find the one that suits you best.

9. A hectic travel schedule does not excuse you from your workouts! Most places have streets, sidewalks and trail that you can run on. Hotels have gyms. And there are plenty of fitness tools that you can throw in your travel bag and use in your hotel room…such as resistance tubes and bands as well as a TRX or Jungle Gym. In truth, you really don’t need anything except yourself to get in a good workout.

10. Finally, do not over commit. Just like any other goal you set for yourself, it should challenge you but not be unattainable. If your plan involves you working out between 5-7 days a week, not only are you probably over training (depending on the length and/or intensity of your workouts) but you’re setting yourself up for failure. Start with three days per week or every other day and go from there, depending on your goals and fitness level.

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