Everyone who regularly works out can remember well how hard it was the first time they started. It's a challenge to keep up your motivation, especially when you aren't feeling up to it. Not to worry though, once you've gotten past the first few hurdles it gets easier. You stop asking yourself if you "want" to workout and just get on with it!
The amount of time it will take you to make your workouts a regular thing varies from person to person. In general, scientists estimated that you need between 18 - 254 days to form a new habit. That means you could need up to 98 months to get in the flow or working out, worst case scenario.
Even though it could take a bit of time to get your rhythm down, most people don't need very long. Here are a few tips to help you get going!
To start with, set a challenging but achievable goal. Make sure that your goal has a set due date, like a race to keep you motivated.
Don't Get Too Comfortable
Workouts are always a bit uncomfortable and exhausting when we're just getting started. Over time, your body gets used to the exertion and your spirit adapts to the challenge. The more we workout the more we settle into a comfort zone. The more you get outside of that zone the more rewarding your workouts will be.
Set Small In-Between Goals
It's always good to have a big goal to look forward to, but sometimes big goals can be intimidating. Setting smaller goals along the way helps keep you motivated and lets you see progress. Instead of obsessing over the milage you need to cover in your race, break it down into kilometre goals as these are easier to achieve. Listen to your body and your feelings. If you feel resistant, set a smaller goal.
Shake Things Up
It doesn't matter how you work out, but sometimes we get stuck in our routines.Shaking things up with your workout keeps it more fun. If you are lifting weights, you can try using different exercises, for example. If you run, you could try focusing on sprints instead of distance.
Check In With Your Doctor
If you haven't worked out for a long time, check in with your doctor before starting a hard training schedule. Men older than 45 and women over 55 should always check in with their doctors before starting new programs. Your doctor can tell you which exercises will be best suited to you.
Slow & Steady
Get a slow, steady start and don't over do. Your risk of injury is much greater when you're not familiar with the exercises you're doing, and if you go to hard it is even harder to stay motivated.
Workouts increase your metabolism and burn calories. To make sure you are not burning too much fuel, you should pay more attention to what you eat. Make sure that you don't make any dramatic shifts to your diet but continue to eat healthy, varied meals.
Eat carbs before working out and protein after.
Drink Lots of Water!
Make sure to get enough water over the course of a day. Water and unsweetened teas are the best drinks before workouts. You don't need any special electrolyte drinks if you are not training for a long period of time. If you don't drink enough water you could experience cramps or heat stroke, so make sure to drink enough!
Strength Training or Endurance Training?
Try both! Switch up your workout, varying your training plan. Don't stress though, all exercises are better than no exercising!
Learn the Right Technique
Find the right techniques keep you healthy and motivated, so make sure you ask for help if you don't know how to use a machine. This reduces your chance of injury and increases the effectiveness of your workout.