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Residents Corner

Start an Exercise Routine You’ll Actually Stick To

Exercise—either you love it, or you hate it. But making exercise a part of your everyday life is necessary to keep you in good health, maintain weight, and improve your strength. You know all of this—but starting an exercise routine and then sticking with it is easier said than done.

Whether a self-proclaimed couch potato or a Peloton devotee, the struggle to find—and keep—motivated is real. Here are three tips to get you started on an exercise routine that you’ll actually stick to.

Make a Schedule

To make exercise a regular habit, you’ll need to create a schedule. True, life is challenging and full of curveballs. The key is to view your exercise routine just as important as family time, secular work, or the time you carve out for recreation or hobbies. Then, when a distraction comes up, you won’t be so quick to toss the exercise out. Try to maintain your schedule if at all possible.

Sticking to a schedule is easier when you can visualize it—post it on the fridge or use an app that reminds you every day. And don’t forget to reward yourself for reaching goals; celebrate completing those online iFit challenges!

Don’t give in to the destructive all-or-nothing attitude if you miss a workout. Aim for consistency—not perfection.

Keep It Fun

This is your exercise routine—you get to choose what activity, for how long, and on what day. Choose activities that you enjoy and that make you feel confident. If you love what you are doing—dancing, hiking, climbing to Everest Base Camp on your elliptical—you’re much more likely to stick with it. And inviting friends or family to join you is even better!

Walking around the city, running in the park, or hiking with a friend while talking and laughing benefits your heart and lungs, as well as your mental health. And knowing that a friend is planning to meet you for a walk during your lunch break or a hike on the weekend with the pups adds to your motivation.

Remove Obstacles

Your biggest obstacle? It could be you. Changing your mindset to a positive outlook will boost your desire to start exercising. Ditch any negative thoughts—“I don’t like exercising. I don’t have time for it. I probably won’t stick to it anyway.” Instead, focus on your willpower, your inner strength—picture a healthier, stronger version of yourself.

Set realistic expectations—this is a journey, a new lifestyle. Changes won’t happen overnight—but they will happen. At the end of every single workout, you are closer to reaching your fitness goals.

There’s no time like the present to get started on your new exercise routine—and you’ve got what it takes to stick to it!

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