11 Tips to Stick to an Exercise Schedule
1) Train for Life
We were meant to move, so don't over complicate it. You were given one body this time around and if you don't take care of it, where are you going to live?
2) Doing Something is Better than Nothing
Waiting until your schedule is free and your life is perfect to begin your Olympic style workout basically means that you won't be training any time soon, if ever. Do something, anything!
3) Find Something that Works for You
Yoga, martial arts, Pilates, Zumba, swimming, running, lifting, step aerobics, dancing, hiking, biking... whatever! Find something that works for you. Try to get some strengthening, stretching and cardio... and breathe dammit breathe!
4) Start Small
If you are just starting, go easy on yourself: Slow at first. If you've been training, but get injured or life happens and your training lapses: Start back up slow. Don't just rip back into your old workout. Dial it back a few notches for a week or so, before ramping it up.
5) Don't Be So Hard on Yourself
Life is a marathon not a sprint, do things that are sustainable. Think of the big picture. Have fun and don't wreck yourself!
6) Being Fit is Different than Being Healthy
Yep, they are different. Fitness is relative to the activity you are doing. Being overall healthy is being fit for life! Your fitness isn't worth your health!
7) Develop a Habit
A lot of consistent little things add up to big things. If I'm running late and feel like skipping a workout, I'll talk myself into running a few blocks rather than not doing anything at all, so even if I don't get my usual 3 to 5 miles in, I at least did something! It helps me keep my habit.
8) It's Not About the Thing, but the Things the Thing Helps You to Do
I train so I can live a happier, healthier, better life. I have to continue to remind myself of that, or I'll go head first into my ego to wreck myself doing the thing, rather than the things that thing is helping me to do!
9) Push Yourself
Wait a minute, didn't I just say "don't be so hard on yourself?" Yes I did... It's alright to push yourself in a healthy way, just like competition can be healthy if it is done in a balanced way. Listen to yourself. Your body will tell you to move faster or put more stress on. If you train in a group, w/a partner or a trainer, let the momentum carry you to new heights. This occasional push will enhance your overall experience keeping you on track. Challenging yourself is necessary to staying engaged in your training.
10) Stay Motivated
Surround yourself with inspiration! Whatever works for you! That could be people, reading an article, posts (like this) or book; watching videos, teaching someone else, learning something new, buying something that helps your practice (be it apparel, a prop, whatever); have a goal and when you achieve that set a new intention; enter a competition... But keep it all in balance! Remember healthy vs. fit!
11) Everything Has a Season
Just like the seasons change, so should your training! Things change, you change and the way you workout has to change if you are going to continue for the long haul! If you are 50 and still trying to workout like you did when you were 30, you are setting yourself up for failure, injury and disappointment. If you were in peak condition (for you) before your 2 week vacation in the Bahamas, and now you find that it's two months later and you still haven't worked out; that (micro) season is done as well! Make sure your workouts and expectations are appropriate for the season you are in.
12) Keep Going
This one is simple not easy!