5 years ago if you had asked me whether I saw myself exercising 5 times a week and enjoying it I would have said that doesn’t sound like me. But now exercise is something that my day feels incomplete with that. Want to find how to make exercise a lifestyle? I have tips from my own life experience.
When I started my fitness journey I didn’t even know where to begin. I had done the whole route of trying the elliptical and treadmill going on it religiously and then just eventually getting bored. I used upbeat music, tried watching tv, and switched it up. In the end, it always just felt boring. It was something I could convince myself to do for 6 months. I would lose the weight and then I would leave it and then I’d end up gaining even more weight. Exercising had not become part of my lifestyle yet. It was something I felt forced to do not something I chose to do.
My friends would ask me to go to classes at gyms and I would feel scared. My hand-eye coordination is not the greatest and I can never tell what the instructor is saying. From the fear of making a fool of myself, I stayed away from the classes. Honestly, I didn’t even know where to start. I thought people that lived exercise were pretending and there is no way that someone would willingly do this.
I remember the first kickboxing class I did. It involved shadow boxing. Punching felt so good. It was as if I had found the perfect match. I took a second trial class at a cardio kickboxing place and everything changed for me. I enjoyed that it wasn’t a chain and there was a mom-and-pop feel to the place. There were women of all ages some even over 70. I liked the place that it was catering to only women as that made me feel comfortable.
What type of things matter for you at the gym? You have to try out different classes to find out what you enjoy. Kickboxing might not be for you but there are other things like Yoga, Spin class, pilates, CrossFit, and honestly, the list goes on. You will be surprised what now people offer in terms of classes. Rock climbing also has memberships and you could do that for a workout.
Lessons from my journey on how to make exercise a lifestyle
Finding the right fit
It is time to brainstorm. What sort of activities do you enjoy? Is there a way you could make that into a workout? If basic gym works for you that is great but there are so many activities. Adding dance to things always makes it fun and that is something you can also do. What you choose as your activity is something you want to be able to stick to. Cause it is important to make exercising part of your lifestyle. There are things I have done and tried and they have not worked out for me but kickboxing is something I have been doing for years now.
In the first few months, it might not feel like a forever thing so try multiple things and see what you can add. You can start by taking a few classes, then go more often and keep increasing. Don’t do too much of something that it is unrealistic to make it part of your lifestyle. You have to understand lifestyle is something you can do long-term. The reason people don’t stick to diets is because they restrict themselves too much and set goals that make them fail. Make your end goal big but have small goals that you can achieve. Take it slow and you will look back and be surprised.
So I urge you to start your trial and error exercise for what works for you. Class Pass also offers you to try different gyms. Every gym has its own vibe and you might feel comfortable in some and uncomfortable in some. You want to keep the proximity and the barriers of going to the gym minimum. Keep a set time. For me, it was right after work I would go. The fewer barriers there are the more likely you are to be able to make something into a routine.
There will be obstacles and you have to push through
Now there will be obstacles on your journey unpredictable ones but you have to adapt. For me, the pandemic was an obstacle just like it was for everyone else. I tried different things like Youtube workouts but they just weren’t feeling the same. I did couch to 5k (well started it wouldn’t say I got far). Then I did 10,000 steps challenge. Nothing from these things was sticking for me. I had to start my trial and error again. Then I decided to buy my own punching bag. Honestly, it was cheaper than the classes and a great investment. Now that things are opened up I make it to the studio some days and other days when I have less time I work out at home.
Mixing up studio workouts and home workouts have been a blessing for me. You get the best of both worlds. I feel more motivated at the studio and can bring that motivation home. For example, if I know I can pick up 10 pounds at the studio I now know that is my benchmark so I’ll do that at home as well.
Take a break
When you need something to be a lifestyle you have to incorporate rest periods. It is not realistic to workout 7 days a week and honestly if you do that your body is not going to get time to rest and create your muscle. To become fitter you actually need breaks. So have at least 2 days of break. For me I don’t choose my rest days when I am not feeling it I give myself 2-3 days of break a week.
Why are you exercising?
Finding your why is the real way to motivate yourself into making something a lifestyle. When I saw exercise as a way to get thinner it wasn’t motivation enough for me. When I started seeing exercise as something that was making my mood better every day I got more excited to exercise. Now even when I am feeling grumpy or low I know the end result will be that I will be thankful for the workout and feel better. That is what gets me on the mat. So ask yourself how does exercise make you feel at the end? What is the reason for you to exercise? What drives you?
You might not think you can get there but it is all about starting. So, start today and pick a workout you can do. As Nike says ‘Just do it.’
Comment below and let us know what you enjoyed about our article on how to make exercise a lifestyle.
To get you started we have some blogs that might inspire you:
How to make exercise more fun for yourself