8 Ways to Start a Fitness Routine You Can Stick With
I often find I have twice as many excuses not to exercise as I have sports bras. I want to linger in my warm bed a little longer on chilly mornings. And then all of a sudden, the darkness comes too early at the end of each day. Plus, either a looong holiday break or a lazy summer attitude (or busy summer of travel!) can seriously upend my daily routine.
The struggle is real, agrees fitness trainer Kayla Itsines, creator of the BBG high-intensity circuit workout program, who hears it from her nearly 12 million Instagram followers and workout devotees. "Falling out of routine and losing motivation can be especially easy in winter," she says. To stick with exercise, make it a habit instead of relying on motivation. The distinction, as Itsines sees it, is that motivation changes over time, but a habit will never let you down. "Habits help you push forward even when you have low motivation," she says.
Getting to a point where working out is as mindless as combing your hair can take about two months, says Sandy Joy Weston, MEd, an exercise physiologist and the author of My 30-Day Reset Journal ($13; amazon.com). The secret is repetition plus consistent timing and cues, she says. Here's why: The brain creates neuronal connections when you do something, and with each repetition, the connections get stronger and the action takes less effort.
The trick, of course, is making that first step. These ideas should help you break out of your fitness slump and into a feel-good groove.