The two most important things to make fitness part of your routine is: mindset and scheduling. If you don't have the mindset to want to improve your health & fitness or maintain it, then it's unlikely to happen. Find your motivation and use it to its full advantage! Second, and very important, is scheduling. Many people have very busy lives, but there is always time to fit at the very least a 20-30 minute workout into your busy life. We have many clients who work 70-80 hours a week and still manage to come in 3-4 times a week, simply, because they schedule it. They have the mindset that they will get in the workout and pursue their fitness goals no matter what!
Bob Mittleman - Owner at Fitness Together Cold Spring Hills, NY
When putting together a marathon-training plan for my clients who run, I start out with past and current experiences in terms of running and exercise. Then, we look for a marathon to plan for, “circle” it on the calendar and then create a plan backward from the selected race day.
The same can hold true for making fitness part of one’s routine. Jumping in headfirst and being super excited to get started is a great start, but it can sometimes backfire and allow you to slowly fade away. To make the routine “sticky”, it’s best to create a long-term goal followed up with some short term goals that can be achieved while in pursuit of the ultimate prize.
Once you have goals set up, it’s time to plan how to get from each step. The easiest way is to block out three days, with set times in each day, to fit in an exercise. To make it even better, find someone to work out with for one of those days. Having a fitness partner has many benefits, the best being accountability to one another. Another option is hiring a personal trainer, as they will hold you accountable and you will receive private, personalized training for your goals.
As you are seeing progress in keeping up with your plan, then you can start to add in one or two days a week. Before you know it, fitness will be part of your daily routine and you will be looking forward to the day’s activity. Slow and steady is a great way to get started and ensure you meet your long-term goals.
Chavanne Scott – Manager of Fitness Together Ballantyne in Charlotte, NC
Two very important components to focus on when looking to make fitness a part of your routine is consistency and frequency. Both help to maximize results and health benefits. Begin by finding days and times that you can keep consistent. For example, many fitness trainers are available in the early morning hours before work as well as afternoon/evening hours after work. Lunchtime is also a great time to head to the gym and/or meet with your personal trainer. For parents with children that may have to consider bringing children to school in the morning, it can be great to schedule a time after dropping kids to school and before the day is in full force. There are 168 hours in each week, so I encourage clients to find 3-6 hours each week to commit to their personal exercise program. That is less than 4% of a person's time each week!
Carrie Burr - Fitness Together South End in Charlotte, NC
Making fitness a part of your daily routine should be just like brushing your teeth...you don't feel right until you get it done! Telling yourself that you simply don't have time is merely an excuse not to get the body moving! Excuses don't burn calories either. Designate at least 30 minutes daily to your fitness routine and to achieving your goals. Set your alarm 30 minutes earlier to carve some extra time in your day. Pack your gym clothes with you and go straight from work. Don't let the temptation of happy hour or couch time lure you in! I believe once these small changes start to happen, it then becomes habitual and you simply can't imagine fitness not being in your daily routine!
Malik – Fitness Together Central Georgetown, DC
In order to make fitness a part of your routine, you have to first make it a priority. Identify why it’s important to you and what achieving your fitness goals would look like. Ask yourself, “Why is fitness important?” It is easier to commit to something when you know the reason for it and what the end goals are. Once this is done, make small goals for yourself. Promise yourself “I’m going to the gym three times this week” or “I’m going to eat veggies with every meal this weekend.” Small goals like these help keep you driven and constantly give you something to work towards.
Like most other things in life, getting started is usually the hardest part, but once you begin it soon becomes the norm. If you keep in mind what fitness means to you, what your goals are and why it’s important, fitness will easily become a part of your routine. More than anything else, you also have to make fitness fun. It is much easier to commit to something that you enjoy rather than something that seems like work or stress. Find something you enjoy doing. Once you find pleasure in those fitness-related things, they naturally become a part of your routine. Yes, some days you will still get a bit tired, a bit sore and sometimes a bit unmotivated, but you still have to persevere if you want to live stronger, longer, healthier and happier lives.