I’ve spoken about exercise a few times before. Or moreso about my failed relationship with exercise. It’s something that I’ve wanted to do for years. I’m sold on the benefits, I know exercise will give me more energy and pump some awesome endorphins around my body to get me feeling all the good vibes. But actually making myself do it has always been a chore.
I don’t want to join a gym, and I never have. I can’t afford regular exercise classes, and while my boyfriend is a personal trainer, we’ve kept our work and home lives separate. The spate of running I did to prepare for a half marathon was almost traumatic, and those memories of nights on the sofa icing my knees are enough to put me off for life.
I tried The Body Coach’s HIIT routines, and while I totally believe in the benefits of HIIT training, I don’t feel like working out so hard that I think I might die. I guess I’ve learnt a lot of the things that don’t work for me, and it’s only recently that I’m starting to learn the things that do.
Little and often. A 20 minute yoga practice or one of Davina’s 7 minute workouts are the perfect options for me. It’s over quick enough that it doesn’t take a huge chunk out of my day, and when I move regularly I can really feel the benefits in my joints.
Having a tracker. Since I started my bullet journal, I’ve been so good at keeping up with my exercise goal. My plan to exercise 40 times by the new year was illustrated with lots of little boxes for me to shade in every time I completed a workout. And it really, really helped! I love seeing those boxes fill up and not wanting to miss out on my goal is motivation enough to whip out the leggings and get right on with it.
Being accountable. I’m not very good at being accountable to myself, but letting Sam in on my goal and knowing that he’ll ask me how my workouts are going is the perfect way to stop me from bailing. He’s a good motivator, too, so that helps on days when I’m not feeling up for it.
Getting it in early. I’ve learnt that I’m much better at working out in the morning. As soon as the day gets going, I’m so caught up in other things that stepping away to exercise seems like such a chore, and it’s much easier for me to put it off.
I feel like I’ve finally hit my stride with my workout routine, and I’m committed to it more than I’ve ever been before. For the first time in my life, I feel like I would answer the question ‘Do you exercise?’ with a ‘Yes’.
So my advice to you is to exercise for your own reasons, whatever they are. Don’t beat yourself up if it’s not working out and just try something new. At some point you’ll hit on what works for you, and it’ll become part of how you live your life. Just allow yourself a little (or a lot!) patience to get there!