Building a Habit: Tips for Sticking to Your Fitness Routine

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They say that the hardest thing is making a habit stick for longer than three months. It’s so easy for people to find the motivation to make a change but keeping it consistent to the point where you actually reap the rewards of a healthy habit seems to be the problem. I have been the victim of starting the gym and less than a month later I fob it off but still paid the monthly gym fees. So I decided enough was enough and now I feel qualified enough to share some of my top tips to help you stick to your fitness routine and strive for a happier and healthier year.

Why Is It Hard To Build A New Habit?

The first step forward is understanding why you either don’t have the gym bug or aren’t sticking to healthier habits you desperately want to keep consistent. A huge part of it is from your childhood. At those ages, you are a sponge and you tend to copy habits your parents and siblings instil in you.

For example, if you have really physically active parents, enjoy sports and eat well, the likelihood that you have been introduced to these habits and they’ve stuck is more common than not. It’s the same if the roles are reversed. Therefore, it can be harder to get into certain things at an older age because you’ve been doing the same thing for 20-plus years and now you need to train your mind to get out of it.

Where Do I Start?

You need to start right at the beginning and the first step in the right direction is acknowledging that you need more discipline and that changes will only happen this way.

What I always tend to see is people hopping on to the new year, the new me trend and thinking the best time to start the gym is the beginning of January, slap bang in the middle of winter. I found this the worst month to start up a new habit that involves pushing yourself to go to the gym before or after work. The weather plays a huge part in our energy levels, motivation and overall mood.

You might persevere for a month into your fitness journey but getting out of bed when it is cold and rainy isn’t enough to get people pushing through, making this a new habit. So my advice would be, yeah, you can start your fitness journey in January but be more realistic, and maybe start with in-home workouts. This way, you can work on your form and strengthen it before going to the gym.

Starting new habits and hoping for them to stick is much more likely if you start in warmer months like spring or even summer. They say it takes 3 months to form a new healthy habit, so maybe hold off a couple of months and make a promise to start the gym in March. You’ll find waking up earlier and energy and motivation levels much greater, which is definitely for a couple of months.

Buddy Up

A great way to stay accountable for skipping the gym and to keep yourself motivated is to have a gym buddy. Whether your friend has been going for months or years before you’ve started, it’s great to have someone with you while you are trying to stick to your fitness habits stick.

They can also remove some of that gym anxiety we all have, this is another big factor that prevents people from returning to the gym. You’ve got to think that everyone has to start somewhere and you’ll be surprised at how many lovely people actually go to the gym and will help you if you need it. 

If, by chance, you can’t find a buddy who can go when you can, then what helped me is following fitness influencers online. They can teach you about your form but they are also great for motivating you to get your ass in the gym. My experience has been struggling with form and knowing what workouts I should do after another workout. This has helped me tackle some questions before I head over to the gym.

Find Comfortable Gym Fits

If you are like me, you won’t leave the house unless you feel comfortable and confident in what you are wearing. Therefore, my next point moves onto investing in some quality pieces that make you feel like you are ready for a gym, a run or any activity.

A great gym fit doesn’t always have to be expensive. For example, during the day, if I’m just doing weights, I will wear a men’s hoodie sale with some gym shorts to keep me comfortable and confident. It’s whatever works for you but investing in some flattering gym jackets and leggings will not only motivate you to get your money’s worth but will also help you feel confident during your fitness journey, which is a must.

Ease Yourself Into It

The last thing you want to do when embarking on your fitness journey is to go full-on too quickly and burn yourself out. I would always recommend that you listen to your body so if you are feeling run down and sore all over, you should give your body grace and nurture it. You will also not begin to see progress if you aren’t letting your muscles heal and build.

Therefore, try going to the gym 3 times a week until you feel your strength building up and eventually push yourself to 5 times a week. The only way you will see progress is through consistency so you should aim to attend as much as possible but be kind to yourself and realistic with what is possible so early on.

One Thing at A Time

You might find it hard to change everything about yourself one night, so do things one at a time. Your fitness routine might only start with eating better, which is an important factor if you want to see results. It’s all well and good to go to the gym five days a week but you won’t really begin to see progress if you don’t change your diet.

So start your whole fitness routine by eating better, whether it’s cutting down on some fatty foods or eating more superfoods. There are little changes you can add to your diet without pushing it too far and you no longer enjoy food. If you don’t know where to start with this, do your research or consult a nutritionist to get a full understanding and plan. This is a great way to start your whole fitness journey and we wish you the best of luck with keeping these habits instilled in you.

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