Tips to Start and Maintain Good Work Out Habits Now

By: Michelle Reich
By: Michelle Reich

Let’s face it, working out is almost no one’s favorite thing to do, but it keeps you healthier, skinnier, and happier.

Along with the release of endorphins, working out gives you a sense of accomplishment that is almost impossible to emulate with any other actions. But starting off is hard; everyone needs a little help at it. Here are 5 tips to start off your work out regiment, and keep your motivation as you continue.

Be comfortable!

Working out is hard enough without having tight, itchy material pressed up against your sweating body. While working out, trying to make a fashion statement is not only uncomfortable; it hinders your hard work. Work out in clothing that is comfortable for you, whether it is a big shirt, tank top, or for men, no shirt at all. People in the gym are so engrossed with their own workouts and really don’t care what the people around them are wearing. And even if you don’t look the best, workouts are times for you to focus on what is important in life: YOU!

Distract yourself.
While running, walking, or doing the elliptical, listening to music, mentally figuring out your life’s problems, or (if possible) watching TV helps distract you from how tired you are. Zoning out while keeping the intensity high helps make your work out feel shorter and lets you get some actual enjoyment out of it. The only caution I have to zoning out is to keep the intensity high. I often find myself so engrossed in TV or battling out my life’s stresses that I completely forget that I am working out and my intensity level drops drastically. When your intensity drops, your basically wasting your time and getting the least muscle development and weight loss for you time. So feel free zone out, watch TV, have an internal venting session about the negatives happening in your life, but DO NOT lose any intensity.

Fun first, intensity second.
The worst thing you could do is not enjoy working out. Granted yes, it definitely is not as fun as hanging out with friends, but enjoying your workout is a way to maintain the desire to keep up the hard work. Whether you love to walk, dance, swim, bike, or my personal favorite, run, keep your work outs fun. Start slow, with doing only what your body can handle, and as the weeks of workouts continue, up the intensity. The first week that you begin your workout, start what makes you comfortable. Every week, raise your reps, distance, or push your body to cut some time off the previous weeks’ time. This way, you can enjoy your workout and still keep burning more calories each week.

Work out with a buddy.
I get it, some days working out just seems like too much. You’re tired, you worked along day, the kids were over bearing and honestly you just feel tired enough to drop where you are standing. Sometimes you just need that extra motivation. Working out with a buddy can provide you with motivation as well as a partner to compete with. You can push each other while still enjoying the company of working out. Set a time daily that works for both of you. Meet for a specified time period and work out. My only cation though is this: make sure you pick out a partner that actually wants to work out hard. Many times, women in particular, will choose a partner who is not motivated enough to work hard or just considers working out as a time to socialize. If you pick a partner who is unmotivated, staying on your own plan can get harder, but if you pick a partner who is just as motivated as you are, and works out just as hard as you do, then together you can push each other and achieve your own goals.

Keep up and vary your hard work.
I know that after a week or so, working out gets tedious. You feel tired, your muscles are sore, and frankly you are not seeing results yet. But keep it up, it usually takes 2-3 weeks to see results in yourself, and anywhere from 6-8 weeks for others to see results in you (unless you have drastic changes to make, then it is noticeable quicker). Concentrate on the good feeling that comes after the work out, the feeling of accomplishment and the higher energy that you experience afterward. Exercising releases endorphins, causing you to feel happy. If you can focus on this boost of happiness, coupled with the sense of accomplishment and the small improvements that you have seen in your body, push through the exhaustion and work to body that you have always dreamed. Switch up your workouts, some days run, some days walk, sometimes swim. By varying your workouts, you can keep your interest level up and work out for longer periods of time.

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