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Stick to Your Exercise Routine (FOREVER) by Asking this One Essential Question

Group of women following their instructor during an authentic yoga class

It’s that time of year again — the time when our New Year’s resolutions are beginning to seem unobtainable because our workout routines are getting so lame that we’d rather read a 72,536 on Federal Tax Law than do one more plank. (Sorry for the reminder that it’s also tax season.)

I can’t count how many times in the past that I’d see people leaving the gym parking lot as I pulled in and had the thought: “Lucky bastards! They’re already done with their workout!” Then I’d drag myself into the gym and half-ass my way through whatever bootcamp workout complemented my restrictive diet-of-the-month.

Since becoming an Intuitive Eating Counselor and Health Coach, I’ve realized that this is no way to live! Exercise, when used as a means for punishment for past eating sins or to “remedy” having a body with a few extra fleshy curves is NEVER a good way to accomplish your weight loss or health goals. Rather than getting through your next workout, why not take the time to enjoy moving your body? What if you relished the thought of getting out for a nice vigorous movement session?

If that sounds like a wonderful change in your workout circumstances, then take a hard look at your current routine and ask yourself this one essential question:

Is this form of exercise something I could see myself doing 3-5 times per week for the rest of my life?

If your answer is yes, then great! Keep it up, you are free to stop reading this article here.

If your answer is “HELL NO! I’m done with this crap once this damned 30-day challenge is over!” Then keep reading my friend, because you’re not doing the right exercise for you. I will tell you how to find what you WILL want to do for the next year and THAT will be way more effective than going balls to the wall for 30 days then couch surfing for the next 335.

If your answer is “Maaaaybe, but 1-2 times per week would be more realistic,” then you can use the rest of this article to fill in the remaining movement “blanks” in your week for the next year.

First of all, if you’re doing something that’s not sustainable for you, why bother at all? If you get so burnt out after completing some 30-day high intensity routine that you loath, do you really think you’re going to jump back on the exercise wagon on day 31?

Instead, think back to when you were a kid. What forms of movement did you love? Bike riding, games that involved running, horseback riding, walking to friend’s houses, any sport you played, jumping rope, roller blading, climbing trees and dancing could be some examples to get you thinking. Think about how you could incorporate those into an exercise routine 3-5 times per week. I used to climb trees as a kid, so I thought I’d give the old Rock Wall at my gym a go — and it was the perfect combination of fun and challenging for me! I intend to do it every week from here on out.

This is a less-than-flattering pic of me rocking the rock wall here:

mo rock wall

Or, maybe you love adult forms of exercise like heavy weight lifting or aerobics classes because they make you feel like a badass after you’re done doing them. Brainstorm all the adult forms of exercise you’ve enjoyed why you enjoyed them.

The last step is to consider the venues or environment in which you like to exercise and who (if anyone) you like to do the exercises with. Do you like to be out in nature? Inside alone? Do you enjoy the accountability that comes with having a workout buddy? Do you like to take workout classes because there are people around that motivate you to work hard, but you like that you don’t necessarily have to have a conversation with them? There are no wrong answers — unless you’re starting to choose something you hate again… stop it.

Now, combine your chosen forms of exercise, venue considerations, and level of social interaction into a personalized routine that you can feel motivated to complete each week for the next year. For me, climbing the rock wall, running, doing a 30-minute weight routine and walking is the perfect weekly combo for me. I like working out alone and mostly outdoors when the weather cooperates. I like that I get to do something different each day of the week and I like that I’m on my own doing most of it.

This way, your workout will be completely personalized and will feel exciting for once. The drag-ass-to-the-gym routine will be a thing of the past and you will naturally become one of those people who is motivated to move on a regular basis! Woohoo!

What did you discover about your workout preferences and what routine will you stick to for the next year? Tell me about it in the comments section below I can’t wait to hear what you’ve come up with!

Stop Eating Your Emotions!

 

 

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2 Responses to Stick to Your Exercise Routine (FOREVER) by Asking this One Essential Question

  1. Great article and I love your perspective! I feel like people are obsessed with 30-day challenges and or balls to the wall workouts only to find themselves wondering what to do afterwards because it’s so unsustainable. I love your philosophy of sustainable exercises. Challenges are fun but we also need to be realistic and not burn out! For me, I love working out alone, inside, with the shades drawn down:). I either put on a workout video or I escape outside on a bike, run, or walk.

    Thanks for the great post! I love your writing!

    Jake

    • Hi Jake, I’m glad you liked my approach to exercise. It hasn’t always been that way for me, but I’m glad I finally figured it out! 🙂 YES- I’m a lone exerciser too- shades definitely drawn, especially if I’m trying to do some dance exercise routine Lol! Thanks so much for reading! Sincerely,
      Maureen

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