5 years ago I was hooked on late night pizza and box wine. The only time I’d exercise was before spring break or when I’d walk up the “huge” hill at UMD to get a Slurpee from 7-Eleven. How did this late night pizza eating student get hooked on healthier habits?
DON’T: Judge a fish for its ability to climb a tree
5 years ago I was Nemo, and the treadmill was my tree…Don’t punish yourself with exercise that you hate. It’s important to challenge yourself and break through comfort zones, but you’re not going to stick to a program that is punishment. There are more options than ever to discover a fitness program that is fun, challenging, and makes you feel great.
DO: Take advantage of “First Class Free” offers
Most fitness studios/gyms/boxes/clubs have a “try it for free” offer- Take advantage of this! When you’re getting into a new fitness routine, try out a few different places and read reviews. Take the time to observe the quality of the equipment, cleanliness of the space, variety of classes offered, friendliness of its members, and its proximity to your home or work. Reflect on your observations. You’ll be more likely to get hooked if you join a fitness community that you feel comfortable in.
DO: Set yourself up for success
If you plan to attend a Bodypump class at the crack of dawn, but don’t set yourself up for success, you will hit snooze all day long. A little planning goes a long way. Make it easy for yourself to make choices that align with your goals.
- Schedule workouts into your calendar.
- Lay out your gym clothes, ear buds, wallet, and keys before you go to bed.
- Move your alarm clock across the room so that you have to get up to turn it off.
- Find a workout buddy to support you and hold you accountable.
DO: Set S.M.A.R.T health/fitness goals
Nothing builds more momentum than achieving goals. Set goals that are
SPECIFIC, MEASURABLE, AGREED UPON, REALISTIC and TIME-BOUND.
DON’T: Be too hard on yourself
Adopting a new habit and building a routine around it is tough. There will be obstacles and you will make mistakes. Good news is that you have what it takes. The most important thing is that you bounce back after any setback and refocus on what you want to achieve.