It’s officially 2023, so bring on the bombardment of advertisements everywhere for gym memberships and promises of a “new you” for the new year… Oi, right? Anymore, working out and fitness just seem like buzzwords for companies to make money off insecurities, and what about the rest of the year when workout routines inevitably fall by the wayside? The problem is, gyms and weight loss programs are eager to sign you up for their services, but keeping up with it is entirely up to you. So how do you create a workout regimen that lasts?
In my experience, working out consistently has been a STRUGGLE. When you haven’t worked out in a while or lead a sedentary life due to work (like me!), hitting the gym seems like just another task that isn’t totally on the top of the to do list. I had fallen out of consistent workouts due to the lack of a convenient gym and being stuck at my computer too much, and I really started to lose touch with my body and sense of who I was. (Sounds crazy, but working out is a lot deeper than just losing weight!)
The thing that really pushed me to create a consistent workout regimen was my anxiety. I was officially diagnosed with anxiety and depression over a year ago, but I’ve had symptoms for my entire adult life. Once I graduated college, became less busy, and lost my physical activity, I suddenly couldn’t handle a lot life threw at me. I saw counselors, and went on medication, but neither seemed to help past a certain point. My doctor suggested I start exercising consistently, so I’m December of 2023, I made a promise to myself that I’d do something active every day of the month. Now that I’ve been active consistently for one month straight, I’m on my second month and noticing significant improvements in not only my anxiety, but my sleep, mood, and (obviously) my fitness level.
This is how I’ve found you can create a sustainable workout regimen without the stress and pressure fitness usually brings…
Set Reasonable Goals
Of course, it’s hard not to say to yourself “I want to lose 100 pounds” or “I want to run a marathon” right off the bat. Having these goals is good, but they may not be immediately tangible. What happens when something isn’t immediately tangible and we don’t get it right away? We tend to get discouraged. Setting goals for yourself that are small and achievable in a month or less will give you way more short-term satisfaction, and ultimately motivation to keep going. Try promising yourself you’ll be active every day, whether that’s walking, riding a bike, dancing, or anything else that keeps your heart rate up. Even if it’s just for 5 minutes, resolve to stick to it! You’ll find the 5 minutes becoming 10, 20, 30… in no time! From there, once you’ve stuck with it for a few weeks or so, increase the distance you walk or speed you go little by little. It’s all about baby steps and giving yourself credit for what you’re able to do, not what you haven’t yet achieved. If you haven’t moved in a while, your body needs time to adjust, and overdoing it will only burn you out quicker!
Tip to stick with it- try to set reminders on your devices, or physically write your activity on a calendar or planner, then checking it off is even more satisfying!
Here’s a few planners I love for keeping track of workouts…
Nourish Your Body
A lot of us don’t get all the nutrients necessary through food everyday, and depending on your own health needs, you may find you need more of a certain vitamin or mineral to help you feel your best. Check in with your doctor to make sure you’re on the right track, and they can recommend supplements that may help your energy levels throughout the day. As someone who has PMDD, this has been huge for me! Though this may not work for everyone (no medical claims or advice here!), I started drinking daily nutritional shakes and taking vitamins, and it’s helped my energy levels feel more consistent. This has been sooo helpful in making me feel like I not only have the energy to work out, but that I want to as well! Here are my two personal favorite nutritional products for complete wellness:
Celebrate, Don’t Hate!
The most important thing when starting any new good habit is to CELEBRATE your wins instead of hating on yourself for what you haven’t accomplished. Something is always better than nothing; no matter how little it is, a change for the better is a change for the better. You’re committing, taking charge of your life. That deserves celebration no matter how long or far you can go! Being kind to yourself and not punishing yourself is the BEST way to stick to something long term.
I hope this helps you create a sustainable workout regimen and achieve the fitness level you want! Comment below with any questions about my own personal fitness journey if you want to learn more; I’d be happy to help!
PS- When we bought our house, I bought an inexpensive elliptical because we finally had the room for it, and I love it so much! I used to be a cross country runner, and running caused a lot of knee injuries. I’ve found that ellipticals are a lot easier on my knees and joints, and I don’t get as many aches as I did when running. If you’re looking for a quality, cheap elliptical, this one has been the best IMO! It’s super affordable and is a good basic workout machine that isn’t too bulky! Shop below…