Practical tips for maintaining your exercise routine

In January, the gyms become busy, and everyone’s eyes are bright and full of motivation. The goals are clear, and you are ready to work for them even in the more challenging days. In February, some gazes start to wander. There are so many other pleasant things to do, or work and studies begin to get difficult for real. You get tempted to skip exercise. Maybe one week, then another, and finally you notice that it’s the end of the month and you didn't exercise too many times, to be honest. What to do?

1.    Remind yourself of your goals

I hope you wrote down your exercise goals at the beginning of the year. Now is a good time to look at what you wrote and see how it has been going so far.

If the goals were set too high, you became ill or feel done with exercising, lower the bar. Go back to the basics, take advantage of daily physical activity and make your workout as fun as possible to find the joy of exercise again. Maybe try a new sport! If you have been following your goals well, thank yourself and continue the same way.   

2.    Notice your good feeling and clear mind

Maintaining a workout routine is easier when you know why you are working out.

As well-being rises to the top of your priority list, you can always find time for training. When you genuinely want to feel better both physically and mentally, it is easier to find motivation to work out also when facing challenges. Pay attention to every small step forward and try to find something good at the end of each exercise session. You will not feel super light immediately after exercising, but if you notice that your mind is clearer and your body feels more vital in your everyday life, you are clearly on the right track.     

3.      Know your exercise profile and be prepared

Look at a week in your calendar and ask yourself when you would prefer to work out, or when it would be the easiest to work out and thus most likely to happen.

If you exercise early in the morning, you no longer need to think about it. If you are not a morning person at all, enjoy your freedom in the morning and get the most out of exercise in the afternoon or evening. If you hate rain, snow and freezing temperatures, check out online training offering. If you know that you become bored of a sport easily, participate in shorter courses or weekly classes. Find a sport that genuinely makes you excited to always enjoy your workouts. Don’t forget sufficient rest and nutrition and rest days, as none of us can keep up with an exercise routine when we are hungry and tired.

4.    Bring along a friend

Making exercise plans with a friend is also an excellent way to keep up with your exercise routine. At the same time, you get to spend quality time in great company.

If you don’t already have a workout partner, participate in a group exercise class, ball game group, course or small pt group. Groups will introduce you to new friends and being encouraged by others will help you when exercising feels difficult. It is almost impossible to skip a workout when you know the rest of the group and the coach will be there. If you have the opportunity to practice with more experienced people, always take advantage of it. Experienced workout partners will inevitably teach you good workout routines, and you will be a lot more inspired.

5.    Be merciful and patient

Don’t worry about skipped workouts anymore; get to it today. Be persistent, trust that each exercise will bring you closer to your goals and, above all, learn to enjoy exercising! This way, exercise becomes a way of life and a natural, important part of your day.

Enjoy your workouts!

Outi Sirviö
Yoga teacher, entrepreneur.