How to Stick to a Workout Routine

Older couple practicing yoga
There are countless benefits to physical activity, but let's face it: sticking to a workout routine can be challenging. For many people, it takes more than just willpower to make exercise a consistent practice. It often involves planning, setting realistic expectations, and even creating incentives to make it happen.

If you aspire to a regular workout schedule, we'll help you figure out how to start an exercise routine and stick with it in a few easy steps. 

Designing your ideal workout routine

When it comes to working out, everyone has a different attitude. Some people love high-intensity exercise and can easily spend two hours in the gym daily. Other people prefer less intense forms of activity, like yoga or walking. And then some people dread exercise altogether.

If you're creating a workout plan from scratch, the most important thing you can do is find a form of exercise that you enjoy. Simple is best. You don't need to pay for indoor cycling classes, hire a personal trainer, or lift heavy weights to reap the benefits of exercise.

In fact, every fitness program should include a combination of activities for variation, with a mix of higher intensity, lower intensity, and recovery days. Whether you want to create a weight training schedule, a home workout schedule, or something else, it's critical to incorporate different types of exercise to keep you from getting bored.

If you're brand new to exercise, finding the activities you like may take some time. Be patient with your progress, and don't force yourself into a form of exercise that you don't genuinely enjoy. For example, if you know you hate running, experiment with other types of cardio. If you prefer low-impact activities, swimming or riding your bike may be more your speed.

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How to stay consistent with working out

No matter your perspective on exercise, sticking to a weekly workout plan doesn't have to be complicated. Here are some tips for sticking with your workout routine: 

Put it on your calendar

Don't underestimate the power of a physical workout calendar. On the days you plan to work out, mark it down on a wall calendar, a planner, or in your email calendar where you can easily see it. 

Even if you don't have a physical class or session scheduled, write it down anyway. You can also hold yourself accountable for showing up to your workouts at a particular time. For example, if you plan to work out in the mornings, tell yourself that you must be at the gym by 7 am or out the door on your run by 8:30 am.

In time, you will train your brain to get used to your new schedule, and your workout will become another part of your day, just like going to work or picking up your kids from school.

Start slow

When you're motivated to begin a new workout routine, it's easy to jump right in at full speed. The problem is that motivation eventually starts to wane, which makes it more likely that you'll abandon your new program—especially if soreness gives you an excuse for consecutive rest days.

Even though your motivation may be high, it's still better to start slow. Why is it important to ease into an exercise program? Because it reduces the chance that you'll get burned out right away.

The goal of sticking to a workout program is achieving longevity. You want to give yourself time to adjust to your new workout routine and workout schedule. Starting slow helps your body and mind adapt, giving you the greatest chance of sticking to it for the long term. 

Reward yourself (within reason)

For some people, incentives are a great motivation to work out. Perhaps you need to tell yourself that after working out consistently for a month, you'll treat yourself to a massage.

While it's ok to reward yourself for hard work, be sure you're doing so in a healthy manner. When you're on a regimen, it's important to see food as nutrition and fuel rather than as a reward. Think about treating yourself in other ways, like a pedicure or a new sweater. Remember, when it comes to food, keep everything in moderation. 

Another incentive strategy is to plan rewards for each milestone you want to reach, like doing five runs per week or going up in weight for specific dumbbell exercises.

Rewarding yourself for each goal can make you feel even more accomplished for sticking with your program. And in turn, that will motivate you to keep going. 

Healthy living can lower your life insurance premium

Regular exercise can help you live a healthier life, both physically and mentally. It can also help you manage and reverse certain pre-existing conditions. If you're considering getting life insurance, working out could even lead to a lower rate, if exercise helps you to lose weight or alleviate health problems you've been experiencing.

Through Ethos, you can purchase term life insurance and whole life insurance for seniors. Medical exams aren't required (simply answer a few health questions). Most applicants can get coverage for life insurance online the same day they apply.

Visit Ethos' website to browse our policies and get a quote now. You can also use Ethos' online resources to learn more about healthy habits for a 1 million dollar policy and see how your family history affects your rates.

Have questions? Ethos agents are on standby to answer your questions and help you choose the best policy for your needs. Get in touch by calling us at (415) 915-0665 or texting us at (415) 702-1844. 

Our team is available Monday through Friday, from 8 am - 6 pm CST.

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