In today’s hectic world, it’s hard for most people to make the time to exercise. Even those who exercise on a regular basis tend to “fall off” their schedule every once in awhile due to both external (e.g. work) and internal (e.g. family) issues. But like the great challenges in life, you can either throw in the towel and give up or pick yourself back up and try again. And knowing the following exercise habits will ensure that you’ll get more out of your daily workout routine than ever before.
1- COMMIT – Don’t straddle the line between wanting to get fit and actually doing something about it. Take the first step towards healthier habits and commit to a 30-day fitness challenge. Go for a walk or run on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Then perform a circuit of at least five body weight exercises on Tuesday and Thursday. Keep it up for a month to make the exercise habit really stick.
2 – MAKE A PLAN – Without a good game plan, a trip to the gym can quickly become a complete waste of time. To avoid wandering aimlessly from one piece of equipment to the next, map out your workouts ahead of time and set clear training goals. When daily workout routines have a purpose, we’re more able to balance sweating with socializing.
3 – TRACK YOUR PROGRESS – Performing the same exact workout day after day will likely lead to a training plateau—the place where progress comes to a screeching halt. One way to avoid potential roadblocks is by keeping a workout journal. But instead of celebrity gossip, record the exercises, sets, reps, and the amount of weight used during each training session. Then, use these notes to create new daily workout routines that are more challenging than previous sessions.
4 – WARM UP – A proper warm-up should be part of every workout. But don’t waste time and energy with outdated warm-up routines—side bends and toe touches went out with headbands and short-shorts. Whether or not you’re still sweating to the oldies, stick to warm-ups that match the daily workout routine at hand. When in doubt, a dynamic warm-up to get a sweat going and prime the body for the real work that lies ahead.
5 – PARTNER UP – Everyone needs a little alone time. However, if you want to get better results and enjoyment out of a workout, enlist the help of a training partner. With a trusty workout buddy close by, there will never be a need to ask a random for a spot.
6 – TRY NEW THINGS – Don’t feel bad ditching the treadmill—there’s a whole world of fitness out there waiting to be discovered. Try something new like swinging a kettlebell or busting a move at Zumba class. Learning new skills with new people in a new environment can go a long way towards making this exercise habit stick.
7 – RUN FASTER – Cardio-loving distance runners may prioritize pacing and mileage, but for those of us who are not so high on running, consider sprinting as your new holy grail. Sprinting all-out for 10 sets of 30-60 seconds can torch more fat in less time than a long run. Add some intensity and variety to workouts by performing shuttle runs, hill sprints, or 100-meter repeats with short recovery periods in between.
8 – WALK IT OUT – If you feel the need for less speed, why not consider walking instead of running? As a matter of fact, the more steps we take the healthier we are likely to be. So whether it’s a workout or part of an active lifestyle, walking may just be the easiest way to get fit.
9 – REST – Regular exercise is a healthy habit. But with respect to exercise, too much of a good thing is called over-training (or the point of diminishing returns where the body, immune system, and progress break down). Avoid a disaster by adhering to this equation: Results = Work + Recovery. Stretching, swimming, or yoga can all be part of an active recovery protocol. And never underestimate the importance of sleep!
10 – CELEBRATE PROGRESS – Forming a new habit is challenging, so set manageable goals and take small, actionable steps towards those healthy workout habits. Remember, change doesn’t happen overnight. So when you run your first 5K celebrate with a healthier homemade treat. Or, take a break from all this healthy habits business and allow yourself an epic cheat day. It’s actually good for you—once in a while.
BONUS TIP – SWEAT MORE: Sweating has been discussed heavily as a tool for weight loss. The weight that you lose through sweating is water weight. This weight is quickly replaced when you replenish your fluids. However, activities that lead to sweating often burn up calories. Sitting in a sauna uses up energy as your body tries to restore your normal temperature. If you are sweating because you have been exercising, you have been burning calories.
So, sweating is a good goal to incorporate as part of a weight loss program because it means that your body is eliminating toxins and burning calories. Just be sure to make sweating a part of a larger program of balanced nutrition and exercise for a maximum effect.
Feel free to let us know if you’ve applied these habits to your daily workout routine, and the results (if any) thereof. Please share this article so more people can benefit from it as well as subscribe to our Peace of Mind Facebook page for the latest updates on our blog and video contributions.
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