How to Stay Consistent with Exercise


Sticking to a routine can be tough. Sometimes life gets in the way of the careful plans we make, and sometimes it is hard to get back on track. This applies to anything, but what I want to focus on right now is staying consistent with working out, as it is something many people, myself included, struggle with. I wanted to come and share the tips that have helped me the most with consistency.

Consistency is the only way to get better
When it comes to exercise, consistency is key. To actually stick to an exercise routine without a fail, we have to realize consistency is what makes us improve. Every now and then or only when we feel like it is not going to cut it. Once again this applies to almost anything when it comes to goals and achieving them, and that is how we know it is actually something important. We may have to keep reminding ourselves, and that's okay, as long as the core message is internalized: we need to keep at it. Life is a grind, and therefore you should try and find a way to enjoy your daily routines.

Schedule in your workouts
Break down the week (or a month, or whatever fits you the best) and divide your exercises evenly to each day (and include rest days where needed). Revise the plan every now and then for adjustments and maybe have someone who knows about exercise to review it. There are also several training programs to purchase and then adapt them to your needs.

And related to scheduling, here is my favorite tip: reschedule, don't cancel. Adjust for things that come up, such as having to go to a party on a day when you had planned to exercise. Do not cancel the workout completely, but just do it on another day. I have often neglected this, but rescheduling will make a huge difference in consistency, that way there can be no excuses. One more tip is to have a routine you can do without equipment wherever you are to substitute the workout and to do it later. This way you make sure you don't fall off the horse when one thing gets canceled. You will do whatever it is you planned to do eventually. This is a great way to make the routine more flexible and to help you stick to it.

Track your progress
It might be a good idea to track the progress you have made so far. A journal is one way to do it: you could write down the miles you ran so you can reflect back on it. This will make you more aware of where you're headed and what maybe works and what does not. The same thing works for the gym, but just tracking weights and repetitions. It can become addictive, so be careful - documenting everything religiously is not the point here, unless it is something that motivates you. For me, tracking works like wonder. I am somewhat competitive at certain things, and competing against myself is so much fun.

Stay accountable
A great way to keep consistent is to share your goal with other people. Whether you want to exercise twice a week, run a marathon or compete in bikini fitness, the best way to make it happen is to put some skin in the game. If this is something that might motivate you, try it out even if it sounds a bit scary at first. Let your friends or loved ones know, or maybe share your journey in social media. It would also be a good way to get support and encouragement, and you could even consider finding a workout buddy or joining a group or a community doing what you're trying to achieve. There are many communities in social media as well if you cannot find groups in your area. For an extra push, you could also use a website called stickK: it makes you plan a goal, and select an anti-charity to donate to if you fail to stay consistent.

Find a workout you love
This is really important in order to achieve your goals. Not to say it always has to be fun, that is a different thing completely. But if you despise something, it is not going to work long term. We need internal motivation to do something, as external pressure only works for so long. Sometimes, it is good to experiment and see if you need to switch things around or try something new. It does not always mean you will change the way you exercise, it can also be a way to see what you were already doing in a new light. At one point, I was getting really bored with my exercise routine and tried swimming (laps) instead. Well, turned out I was horrible at it, and it wasn't for me, but I got reminded of what I like about my current routine and let's be honest, it is fun to do something you're good at (especially if it is through hard work and repetitions).

Force yourself and then reward yourself
On my bad days, I feel like doing anything else except my planned workout for the day. It is okay to feel low, but we need to remember the feeling after having worked out. All the endorphins are likely going to lift you up and transform a bad day into a better one. I cannot remember a single time I would have regretted working out, while the opposite happens quite a lot. Maybe you could try persuading yourself by thinking of a reward to give to yourself after you have finished. For me, this is often something like buying a new book or getting my favorite dessert.

Focus on your goal
I find it easier to do anything when I have a clear purpose, something to strive towards. It does not have to be anything huge, difficult or life-changing, but having a goal in mind will make consistency much easier. This would also allow you to compare your starting point to where you are now whenever you feel demotivated. Not having a goal has been a big reason why in the past I have failed to stay consistent with my exercise routine. I know it is not just me, not knowing where I am headed leaves me undriven. I had read this particular piece of advice countless times without actually doing something about it. To be able to focus on your goals you have to actually set some.

How about you guys, are you consistent with working out? What are some of the things you struggle with, and how are you striving to overcome them? Let me know in the comments below, I would love to hear your stories.


3 comments

  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  2. A very big problem for beginners 😅
    I was also trying to write something like this, I have also shot some pictures related to this topic. As a doctor I also tried to post some topics related to health and fitness on my blog besides my photography.

    Anyways very helpful article.

    Love from India🇮🇳

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  3. You should attempt to get 30 minutes of activity 3 to 5 times each week. stay healthy

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