We’re starting in on the third week of the year, so how’s your exercise routine going? Did you take a CrossFit challenge or a make a Daily Yoga resolution? Did you stock up on essential workout gear, but only feel guilty when you look at it? This is about the time of the month when most people begin to falter in their resolutions, especially those surrounding workouts. The weather is still pretty chilly, especially if you’re up early before work, and the sun is still setting too early for an early evening run in the sun. We understand how challenging it can be to stick to your exercise resolutions, which is why we’ve compiled a list of 5 ways you can actually stick to your workout plan this year.
1) Start Walking More
Guess what, it’s not that hard to walk more! And yes, walking is exercise, just ask Subway’s Jared Fogle or the Iowa man who lost weight by walking 45 minutes a day, despite eating only McDonald’s. A balance between food and exercise is the best way to stay healthy, and adding in additional walking is a great part of a healthy lifestyle. Head over to Google Maps or Map My Run and see which of your local haunts are only a mile or two away. You should also do things like challenge yourself to park in the back of the parking lot, and always take the stairs. Those extra steps will really add up.
2) Change Your Commute
This extra walking leads to the next exercise plan – the commute! Are you able to take public transportation or a bicycle to work? Public transportation is good because it forces you to walk or bike more, rather than just sitting in your car for 15 minutes every morning. Even better is a bicycle commute. Try to incorporate a bike ride to work once a week, possibly even with a friend who lives nearby. Eventually you will look forward to that bike ride, especially when you miss all the rush hour traffic! Grab yourself a stylish but comfortable workout bag and plan to change and shower at the office that day.
3) Take Classes (With a Friend)
We all make it through about 2 weeks at the gym before we’re tired and bored, but with a social reason to go to the gym, it’s a lot easier to keep it up. Find a kickboxing, barre, or yoga class that fits into your schedule. Get to know your teacher, and she’ll begin to expect you in the class on a regular basis. Then, when you’re starting to feel too lazy to attend, enlist a friend to join you. You’ll be a lot more interested in a 7am spin class when you’ve got a friend relying on you to show up.
4) Join or Create a Challenge
So maybe you and a friend decided to sign up for workout classes, but as it turns out, neither of you is the most reliable workout partner. Instead of accepting missed workouts, make it into a challenge. Bet on who can make it to the most workouts each month or year, or season. Challenge your workout buddy to make each class a little more interesting with harder gears, higher leg lifts, and heavier weights. It’s fun to label it as a “30-Day Workout Challenge,” or to bet on who can ride the furthest distance over the course of 30 days in spin class. Simply put something like the next cocktail party, happy hour, concert, or mani-pedi on the line. Whoever loses pays! A little extra motivation is good for everyone.
5) Make a Plan You’re Forced to Stick To
This means sign up to run a half marathon, join a kickball league, or sign up to walk a 5k with your mom. Signing up for something, especially if you join a team or sign up with a partner, is one of the easiest ways to stick to an exercise plan! Running your first half marathon? Follow a detailed training plan for beginners. Walking a 5K with your mom? Meet her every Saturday to walk around the park together. Joining a coed league in your area? Have a friend, roommate, or spouse join with you and you’ll get a workout and a social night out of the house. Every time you want to stay home, remember the $150 fee you paid, and the people you’re letting down.