It’s all too easy to start out the year determined to get to the gym, log on to a spin class, or commit to regular yoga sessions. But then a few weeks go by and you find yourself making excuses for skipping the workout just this once, until soon enough that resolution is nothing but a memory.
We reached out to Nike Master Trainer Traci Copeland for her advice on how to build a fitness routine that sticks.
1. Schedule It
We’re all creatures of habit. If working out is fairly new for you, setting a consistent, doable weekly schedule for your fitness routine helps you establish new habits for yourself.
2. Mindset is Key
Deciding to work out is half the battle and, I think, the hardest part. Set your intentions for what you’d like to accomplish. Otherwise, it’s too easy to cut the workout short or skip it completely.
3. Buddy Up
Whether it’s a training partner, an in-person class, or one online, there’s strong evidence that exercising with others is not just more fun than a solo workout, it’s also more effective.
4. Try Something New
It’s easy to get in a rut doing the same workout every week. Mix things up and try something you’ve never done before. With so many online classes available, and many of them free, it’s easy to find fresh ways to get moving.
5. Set Realistic Goals
Sometimes it helps to say you’d like to run a mile or a 5K, or do 20 pushups without stopping. Set realistic attainable goals, this way you have something to work towards.
6. Vary Your Proteins. Don’t Forget the Carbs
Protein helps repair and strengthen muscles after exercise, but more isn’t necessarily better. About 30 grams in one sitting is all your body can use. What is important is to get your protein from a wide range of sources. You want lean proteins, like chicken and fish; omega-3-rich sources like salmon and tuna, and nutrient-dense proteins like edamame and tempeh. Carbs are equally important post-workout for replenishing your glycogen stores. Not eating enough carbs after a workout can increase soreness and decrease your performance.
7. Make it Fun
Remember that the point of all this is to feel good, so make sure that you find an activity you enjoy. The best exercise is the one you actually do.