How To Make Exercise a Habit | 7 Months of Fitness


We’ve all been there. On that cold and dreary first week of January, we dig out our trainers and barely worn exercise gear. We complete a couple of workouts and feel great afterwards. We vow that we’ll keep it up, imagining how we will be looking a year from now. Then life’s distractions come a-knocking and our trainers get dusty. Some months later the sun comes out to play, signalling that summer is on it’s way and we reach for those shoes once again. Although this happens intermittently throughout the year, the whole fitness thing doesn’t seem to quite stick.

I am by no means an expert on fitness. I am just a regular gal who (probably like you) always dreamed of getting fit, and more importantly wanted to keep it up. If you’re not up to date with me, check out this post and this post to find out more about my relationship with fitness throughout 2020 so far. But to summarize, back in Jan 2020 I was determined that this year I would live a more active lifestyle. Over the last seven months I have ensured that fitness is a regular part of my routine. As a result, I have noticed both mental and physical positive changes. I may not be the strongest, most toned or most flexible person I know, but boy have I improved. I feel fitter, happier and calmer and I’m certain this has helped me cope better and navigate my way through the pandemic.

If you’re wondering what my secret is, carry on reading to find out my tips on how to make exercise a habit!

1. Establish what your motivations are, both for the short and long term

It is important to not skip identifying both of these goals as you won’t see results overnight. This will help you have something to aim towards, in both the immediate and distant future.

Examples of short term goals = Get more flexible, become stronger, run three times a week
Examples of long term goals = Live a more active lifestyle, complete a half or full marathon, lose xx kg

2. Choose an exercise you enjoy or have an interest to start

This sounds simple but don’t just run because it feels like everyone else is. If it doesn’t interest you, try pilates, swimming, strength training, HIIT workouts or perhaps something more unique like joining an aerial hoop class! Whatever it may be, each week gradually build up the intensity and the frequency of your workouts.

3. Research how to properly do movements you aren’t familiar with

Whether it’s how to do a squat, easier push-up variations, or maybe something more advanced, make sure you research! Search on Google, YouTube, ask a friend or a personal trainer etc., on the correct form of these moves. Then practice these movements in front of a mirror to see if you’re holding them correctly. This will help your workouts be far more effective and will prevent injury in the long term.

4. Equipment

Buy basic equipment you may need such as a yoga mat, a skipping rope or some weights. There are some great pieces of equipment you can invest in which will also help change up your workouts, keeping them varied and you interested!

Best of both; A little bit of jiggle and a little bit of ab

5. Get the gear on!

Set yourself up for the day by changing into your exercise kit or workout clothes first thing in the morning, so you have no excuse. Matching sets and hair buns are optional!

6. Time your workouts

No one wants to workout after indulging, so if you can keep yourself from reaching for the biscuits for your morning snack, you may be a bit more likely to workout. I try to keep myself hydrated throughout the day and eat well leading up to my workout time. This has definitely helped me follow through and improve my performance during exercise.

7. Commit to the workout

Exercise with someone, or at the very least tell someone about it! This will hold you accountable, committed and motivated!

8. Music is a must

Get a good playlist to keep you motivated and focused on the workout. Spotify and YouTube have some great music to get you inspired to move!

9. Eat well before exercise

When is the best time of day for you to fit this in? Make sure you are realistic! 6:00 AM workouts won’t work if you simply aren’t a morning person. Make sure you also plan to leave time in your day for rest and any other commitments you may have. If you don’t, you may be at risk of quickly resenting your workouts and ultimately not seeing them through. (I like to exercise in the morning between 9:00 – 11:00 AM so that the rest of my day is free).

10. Remember, exercise is not a punishment for food

If you think like this, it’s time to change that perspective! Exercise is something we should reward our body with, and ultimately look forward to. Exercising releases endorphins, hormones that leave you feeling calmer and happier! It can be a stress reliever, a time for team socials, a time to recharge or challenge yourself! For me, exercise allows me to temporarily switch off from everything else going on in my life, and resets my mind to focus on the here and now. Plus, it’s all about balance. I definitely still eat my treats in the week!

11. Document your progress

Keeping track of my progress such as how many more push ups, burpees etc., I can do in a minute, every few weeks has really helped! I’d recommend to also take photos to document how your body changes every month. Seeing how my body has toned as I have gotten stronger and leaner, was a booster on days I felt unmotivated. It’s easy to forget where you started, and had it not been for this I probably would have felt defeated and given up.

12. Believe in yourself

You may not be able to keep up with all the moves or run as fast as you like at the beginning, but challenge yourself and do not compare yourself to others! Push yourself a little more each week. Over the coming weeks and months, you will notice yourself developing more self-discipline & self-confidence! Take it easy and remember, there is no reason why you can’t do it.

I hope you will subscribe if you enjoyed this blog post! If you did, make sure to check out the below too:

2020, A New Meaning to Staycation

Ola-what-a-plex?

Sarah’s Day Fitness E-Books | Review

Opening Up| How I Began Exercising Consistently – 6 Month Fitness Update!

Zara Summer Sale Haul

Come subscribe to my YouTube, follow me and say hi on my Instagram!

Stay At Home | Vlog

It may feel like one day is merging into the next you are not alone, I’ve definitely been finding it hard to keep track of the days!

Watch my first quarantine vlog and hae a sneak peak of what I’ve been getting up to in a week working from home. Spoiler alert… if you like baking and long country walks you’re in luck!

If you enjoyed this video you should subscribe to my YouTube and to my blog to keep up to date with what I’m talking about!

Make sure to check out the below too:

Lockdown | A Day In My Life In 10 photos

One Month In Lockdown

20 Things That Made Me Smile In March

 

One Month In Lockdown

On 23rd March 2020 I celebrated my 8 year anniversary with my boyfriend. However this day also became a monumental date, as this was the day the UK officially went into lockdown. Prior to this, I had already began to take measures and self isolate. I had been limiting my social contact for 14 days, which was eased by the option to work from home, helping to restrict “unessential” contact.

Now as we hit a month in lockdown I realise this pandemic won’t be blowing over as quickly as I hoped. So I am trying my best to remain positive and creating structure to my new daily routine. But as soon as I take a moment to pause, I feel dread and find myself desperately wondering, just how long will this last? I don’t live with my partner so I’m missing him terribly and feeling this out of control is terrifying. I try to reason with myself to keep perspective and acknowledge that this new normal, won’t be permanent. However, I still experience moments of panic, anxiety, tension headaches and at times catch myself spiraling down the “what if’s”, as I think about how nothing about this “temporary lifestyle” is all that “normal”.

I can’t help but worry about my Grandmother and her declining health and when the next time I am able to see her again will be. About my job, my career and all the plans I absently made and hoped for in 2020. Once I ride this wave of emotion, I then find comfort in sweet gestures from regular calls with my family and friends which really do help; where they too echo my thoughts and feelings, and I know that I am not alone. I try and remind myself of my Grandparents’ own unique challenges in their youth, and the strength and bravery of their generation, which instills me with new hope.

So one month in (but 7 weeks working from home), I’m looking at the little things, the things I am in control of and this is what I’ve learned so far:

  • (Pre-quarantine) I tended to not drink a lot (most of the time) and if I’m honest I probably shouldn’t drink that much at all. Alcohol doesn’t agree with me and I’m enjoying not waking up violently ill on the weekends
  • I thrive off 8 hours sleep and love waking up earlier. I do my best work in the morning
  • I’ve rediscovered my enjoyment for reading which shouldn’t be kept purely as a beach holiday luxury
  • I’m taking things more slowly; a habit that shouldn’t be a rarity. I plan to take a couple of days off work soon during lockdown. It can feel like a “waste” to do so whilst I work remotely but time off does us each the world of good (especially with this lovely weather)
  • I really enjoy being active and am finding more balance in how I use my downtime. Daily walks replace my usual time spent on an extra episode I would typically treat myself to, although I still love Netflix
  • I’m strangely enjoying not styling my hair and letting my hair dry naturally (although I wouldn’t say no to a root or colour freshening up!)
  • Physically distancing is not the same as social distancing. I am very comfortable in my own company but the extrovert in me also really values my social time… which I am also happy to do from the comfort of my own home

Although I am experiencing a lot more mood swings and I’ll be the first to admit that some of my days are better than others, I have a lot more gratitude for the life I live. I still wonder just how this pandemic will shape my future decisions, but one thing I do know is that throughout this testing time, each of us are building a lot of resilience.

Just remember, this won’t last forever. Stay at home for your loved ones, so we can get back out sooner and enjoy our precious world.

If you enjoyed reading this make sure to subscribe to keep up to date with what I’m talking about! Also feel free to check out the below:

20 Things That Made Me Smile In March

Touching the Surface of Amsterdam

Kindness Doesn’t Cost A Thing