Do you love your exercise routine?
I know there is a ton of advice on exercise out there, but I want to encourage you to make a plan that works for you and is something you can enjoy.
The best exercise routine
My mom always said that the best exercise routine is the one that you can force yourself to do. Whether it's going on a walk, running, lifting weights, dancing, doing sports, or what have you. Whatever you're actually going to do is better than whatever you might have dreamed up in your head.
If your exercise routine is going to the gym every day, but you never do it, maybe that's not the best exercise routine for you. If you can't get yourself to do it regularly, it doesn’t work!
What's better than a grueling gym workout a few times a year is a walk every single evening. That you can do.
Various kinds of exercise
Go for a walk
Go to the gym
Lift weights at home
Conditioning (ie. pushups, situps, …)
Cardio (ie. running, treadmill, ...)
Stretch (I count this!)
Dance (ie. Ballroom, pole, modern, ballet, raks sharqi, …)
Spice it up
Doing the same routine over and over can get a little cumbersome and you can get less motivated over time, so I do whatever I feel like doing at the time and I count it as a win if I do something that is exercise related.
A routine gets boring, and your body gets bored of it too. Try something different occasionally!
This is probably your biggest partner in getting into exercise! Reduce the friction and make it easier to exercise. I know it's kind of counter-intuitive because exercising is kind of the opposite of laziness, but it helps!
For instance, my husband and I used to have a gym membership. We were really good about it for the first few months and then we stopped going as often because whenever we had to go to the gym, we would have to first make the decision to go, get dressed, get in the car, and drive over there. Especially when the traffic was bad or the gym was closed, that would make it even more frustrating. (Plus Ross and I don’t get much time together with conflicting work schedules, so we want to spend what little time we have together on a date more than at the gym.)
The point is, it wasn’t easy enough to get to the gym. I did a lot of great stuff there, and that was wonderful. I think exercising in the gym is one of the best modes of exercise, but if you can't get yourself to do it regularly, then it does you no good. As such, we've moved our exercise routine a little bit closer to home.
We have weights that sit in the living room in plain sight. So sometimes if I'm just sitting around, maybe watching a movie, I'll pick up the weights and do some stuff with them. That's great.
I also have a pole in the middle of the living room, so I can't go a single day without thinking about my pole. It's hard to even walk into the kitchen without running into the pole, so it makes it really easy for me to do at least a pull up or something on the pole every day. And to even further reduce friction, I programmed my Amazon Alexa to play music every morning at 10 AM. (I do have a job, but my hours aren’t 9-5.) Thus every morning, when the music comes on, I have this really strong urge to sing and dance. My pole is right there and the music is already on, so there is almost no friction to start dancing, which I love.
Just yesterday I was starting to eat food and and the music was turning on and I couldn’t resist dancing to that song, so I jumped onto my pole.
Watch TV (Didn't think I'd say that, did you?)
Another thing I do to reduce friction is I have this mini elliptical. It used to sit in the corner of the room. It was honestly kind of obstructed, so it was hard to get to. But now I put it directly in front of the couch. So literally as I'm sitting here recording this post right now, I am biking on this elliptical sitting down.
This is a fantastic thing to do if you can get some sort of little exercise you can do while you're watching TV. How many people don't watch TV? So if you can give yourself a good habit, like running on an elliptical while you're watching TV, that is a win.
I did that at my grandparents’ house. I’d watch TV and run on the elliptical, which is something. I mean, watching TV isn't the best thing you could be doing, but it's better than not exercising. If you're going to watch TV, you might as well exercise while you do it.
I don't have one of these yet, but I want one. Once I get a house, I want a pull up bar, so that I can't really walk under the door without wanting to do a pull up. My parents have that and I love it.
Just do it!
Reduce that friction. Just do it! In the end, you can make it as easy for you as you want. You still have to motivate yourself. Just do it. Don't worry about it. Don't set ridiculously high expectations for yourself that you're going to get discouraged about when you don't meet them, just do something!
Even if you just do two curls with your weights or do one pull up, then that at least is something. The little wins precede the big wins.
I want you to reduce the friction in your exercise routine, or rethink your exercise routine if it's too hard or it has too high of expectations. If you can force yourself to do three hours in the gym a day that's great. But if you can't, I don't want your exercise routine to be three hours in the gym; you'll only discourage yourself and then you're not going to do anything, but sit on the couch eating chips.
I want you to find something simple like being on the elliptical while you watch TV or having little hand weights that you can curl while you talk on the phone. Let's take something really simple and make it really accessible and super easy.
Then when you see it, just do it!