Question: what are some tips for getting into an exercise routine?

Cara asked the following question: “What are some tips for getting into an exercise routine? I struggle with motivation and would like to *try* and kickstart a healthier routine, but doing it solo (and in winter) is difficult.”

Thanks for your question Cara. It’s something that most of us (even myself) struggle with.

The best way to get into an exercise routine is just that – make it a routine. Use your phone or calendar to schedule work-out appointments. Treat these appointments to exercise as serious – you can’t reschedule them on a whim (or when something more fun like after-work drinks comes up!). Stick to what is in your calendar and make it a routine. Soon it will become a natural habit and you will being to look forward to your scheduled sessions.

The most important issue to address when trying to stick to a routine is to ask yourself “why.” Why do you want to go to the gym/walk with a friend? Is it because you want to “be healthier” or “lose weight”? First address why you really want to make exercise part of your life (do you want to live a long and happy life, do you want to be able to join in social, physical activities that you now feel you can’t? etc.) Once you have your “why” make it more tangible – change “to be healthier” to “run a 5km in 3months time”; change to “lose weight” to “lose 5kg’s by November.” Make these goals real, accountable and measurable. It will help you stay motivated and constantly measure your progress and evaluate your reasons for exercising.

Here are some other tips:
– enlist the help of a buddy and make a commitment to one another to train together. You will be less likely to let your friend down than yourself and will feel bad about skipping out on training to drink hot chocolate under the duvet!
– find a fun, sociable exercise class in your area – think ballet, boot camp or belly dancing! Anything that gets you moving. When you enjoy what you are doing, you will be less likely to skip it. Also you won’t want to miss your weekly gossip catch up with the rest of the class! (Full Circle Wellness is running a boot camp series for June in the Southern Suburbs. More info here).
– keep an exercise training log and write down when you exercise and for how long. Write down when you don’t exercise (and why!) Evaluate it constantly and ask yourself if you are pushing yourself hard enough or what seems to stop you from getting to your training sessions.
– if you are really struggling, consider the help of a personal trainer. Even a once off session with a trainer can get you amped enough to carry your motivation through winter! (Full Circle Wellness is offering a 10% discount on personal training sessions for June. More info here).

I hope this helps. Please let me know how the process goes and if I can be of any further help!

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