The benefits of exercise are hard to dispute. In fact, studies show that a consistent fitness routine can help with everything from weight control, to improving sleep, managing stress levels, and bettering your mental health. Not to mention supporting more internal wellness in the form of optimal blood pressure levels, stronger bones and muscles, and lowered risk of certain diseases.
However, while we all know how good exercise is for us, that doesn’t always stop us from struggling to show up. The good news is that with each new year comes a fresh start, meaning 2022 might be the perfect time to reconnect with your fitness. To help you out, here are a few tips to make working out a bit more habit-forming:
1. Set S.M.A.R.T. Goals
Experts say that the reason many fitness pursuits fail is that our end goals are either unrealistic or worse, non-existent. So to avoid this common pitfall, you might consider the S.M.A.R.T. system which stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-Based. Focusing on these factors can help you really connect with your objectives and keep your eyes on the prize.
2. Make it an enjoyable experience
Let’s face it. Another reason many people avoid exercise is that it feels like a chore. If you don’t love the workout you are doing, you’re more likely to skip it altogether. So to troubleshoot this, a great solution is to just find something that makes fitness feel more fun. If you hate running, try dancing instead. If you enjoy yoga but feel uninspired by the serious atmosphere, try seeking out a themed class with more upbeat music. The possibilities are endless, so don’t be afraid to mix it up until you find the right moves for you.
3. Keep yourself accountable
It’s all well and good to set goals, but without a way to measure progress, many of us start to lose momentum. The fix for this one is to find ways to stay accountable. This could look like buddying up with a workout partner or using a fitness tracker app on your phone to check in with daily, weekly, or even just once per month. Not only is this helpful for staying motivated, it’s also a great opportunity to track your progress along the way.
4. Strive for progress over perfection
Speaking of goal tracking, one last important thing to remember is that it’s okay to not get it perfect every single fitness session. While consistency is key, missing a workout or falling short of your target shouldn’t be cause for throwing in the towel. Allow yourself to take rest days when you need them and remember that any movement is always better than none. When it comes to fitness, it’s all about the journey. Don’t forget to enjoy the ride and celebrate even the smallest victories along the way.