There’s some rule of law that says the hardest part about getting in shape is making working out a habit. Habits have to develop over time. We have to hit a threshold (some say two months, others say 30 times) before we can even call it a habit. Consistency and frequency are critical for anyone who really hopes to see significant change.
Some people don’t like running, because it’s monotonous and boring. Others don’t like high-intensity training because they have weak joints. Others still prefer to engage in competition because it’s more engaging and exciting. Some hate going to the gym because they prefer not to be around other people.
If you’re really hoping to change your habits, or you’re really looking to get yourself into shape, you need to prime your mentality. Whether it’s running or cross-training or kickboxing, what’s important is that you make it stick.
Well, that’s certainly easier said than done. Fortunately, there is more than one fun and easy way to help make your better habits stick. Whether it’s having incentive, positive peer pressure, or what you’re putting into your body, here are six simple ways to prepare better prepare yourself to get out and exercise.
1. Sign up for an event.
Major cities (and minor ones) across the United States are embracing the opportunity for their citizens to get out, get engaged, and get some exercise going. Whether it’s an event to compete for prizes or simple charity runs, there are plenty of opportunities to find an event near you to sign up for.
With plenty of opportunities to get active, you can select a fun-run, 5k, marathon, obstacle course race, or any number of athletic events.
Make sure you sign up for an event that gives you plenty of time to prepare for that event. If it’s a charity 5k, you probably don’t need as much time as you would for a half marathon. The difference between three weeks and three months in preparation is pretty significant!
The best part about signing up for an event is not even the event itself. When you’ve signed up and paid to participate in an event, you’re more likely to get yourself out there and to start preparing. You’ve already established an end goal, now you’ve got to put in the work to get there!
2. Get a pedometer.
Awareness is an important part of fitness. If you aren’t aware of what you’re putting in your body, how much energy you burn, how much you’re actually working out, etc, it can be pretty difficult to make any real progress.
Pedometers are a great way to help you keep track of your fitness. They can not only monitor your movements and steps, but they can track your heart rate, various activity levels, inactivity levels, sleep habits, and plenty more, depending on which brand and model you pick.
With a variety of types available, you can select the option that best suits your personal needs and habits, that will help you meet your end goal.
Seeing how many steps you take a day can inspire you to get out on more walks or recognizing flaws in your sleeping patterns can encourage you to engage in better habits to sleep better. Realizing your heart rate doesn’t reach as high as you thought it did mid-workout can help you adjust your workouts to accomplish your goals.
3. Drink protein coffee.
It’s certainly no mystery that the better you feel, the better a workout you’ll have. It’s also no mystery that protein is one of the best ways to help maintain that energy and physique needed to get in shape.
If you’re already drinking coffee every day, why not make it a multi-purpose solution and also use it as an opportunity to bring a bit more protein into your routine? Protein-infused brew mixes, like Complete Nutrition’s Mocha Latte can start you off on the right foot and keep you going all day. With no added sugars and 15 grams of protein, you’re encouraging your body to feel even better right from the start.
Build your muscle mass, have more energy and feel great enough to squeeze in an even longer workout than yesterday, or to push yourself even more.
4. Monitor your vitamin intake.
Multi-vitamins are an easy way to help your body get some of the basic nutrition it needs to run effectively and efficiently. While they may not be some major solution to problems, they are great at simply keeping the body running well and staying healthy and primed to get in shape.
Healthcare Weekly even notes that the preventative qualities are vast among those who consistently take multivitamins on a daily basis. Additionally, when you’ve chosen the right multivitamin for you, it can help balance out the nutrients needed that might be missing. Bodies are all a little different, and a vegan is going to need different nutrients than someone who follows a keto diet, or those with food sensitivities might need something different.
Find the right multivitamin needed for you according to a nutritionist, your habits and diet, and your general health and wellbeing, and you’ll notice how much better you feel inside in order to perform exercises to your maximum potential.
5. Drink more water
What most people don’t realize is that when they exercise they get dehydrated. Dehydration leads to exhaustion which in turn makes working out a lot less fun. In fact, most people will simply quit working out because they feel they cannot do it anymore.
The secret when exercising is to drink a lot of water. And I do mean a LOT. Plan to consume at least 2-3 liters of water during your exercise session. Not only would this make you feel better and less tired, but it would also help you work out longer.
My personal favorite way of making sure I drink enough water is to carry a water bottle around with me at all times. I personally love the Kool8 water bottle because it’s super sleek, good looking and it’s actually a thermos (keep the water cool for 12 hours at a time). There are, of course, many options on the market and you can even buy reusable water bottles directly at your gym.
Whatever you decide, just make sure to always monitor your water intake and simply drink as much water as possible.
6. Bring in a buddy.
You don’t have to do it alone! Whether it’s a friend, a partner, or a spouse, having a buddy to exercise with can help hold you both accountable to one another. It’s easy to tell ourselves, “no”, or to tell ourselves that we’re too tired to work out today. But, it’s much harder to tell a friend that.
Having a friend and organizing a weekly hike or a daily walk around the neighborhood or setting aside time with your significant other three days a week to hit the gym together means you aren’t doing it alone. We often find ourselves to be more successful when we aren’t doing things alone.
It becomes a social event, it becomes a break from daily work routines, and it becomes an outing. Not sure how to find a workout buddy? No worries, there are plenty of ways to help yourself find someone willing to meet the same goals as you are.
7. Join a group.
Joining a fitness group or hiring a personal trainer that utilizes personal training software is a great way not only to get out and get some exercise but also to meet new people. With a fitness buddy, you can hold one another accountable, but with a group of like-minded individuals, you’ll form some new habits and some new friends.
Hiking groups are one of the most common group types to meet up within various communities. Often, they’re easy to find online, whether a general search with your city or groups posted onto Facebook. Some groups are all about bringing their dogs to the same trail, while others might be about simply getting up at the crack of dawn together every Sunday, to hike to the top of the mountain to watch the sunrise.
Communities not only help us feel like we’re part of something bigger, but they hold us accountable, they promote physical and mental well-being and encourage us to step a bit out of our comfort zone. Never been rock climbing before? There’s a group for that! Regardless of what your goals are, where you’re currently at in your own fitness, or where you live, there are plenty of ways to help yourself get out and actually enjoy the exercise your doing.