I've never been big into exercise. During certain periods in my life, I've had success with working out on a regular basis, but those eventually end up being temporary phases.
Now that I'm working from home, I absolutely have to get moving more often. Several steps back and forth through the condo—from the kitchen to the living room and from the dining room table to the couch—simply aren't enough. Especially since I have full control of my schedule now, I have no excuse for not exercising.
And it's tough but I keep comparing my current weight with my wedding weight... which was a magical number that I somehow reached without really trying (and I wasn't even that stressed before the big day, so I can't attribute it to that). I'm going to be totally honest—my current weight is almost 10 pounds more than my wedding weight.
Yes, weight is just a number, but remaining aware of that number keeps me on track. And as I've stepped up the work-out routine in the past few weeks, I like to think the very slight decrease in those lbs. is a good sign... Even if the number is about the same, I believe I have more muscle and less fat.
I'm not saying I need to get back to my wedding weight. What I am saying: getting in shape is a priority for me. (My diet definitely has some room for improvement, but one thing at a time, folks!).
Now, about those three secrets for working out consistently. They aren't earth-shattering, but they work for me.
1) Use the buddy system.
When you make a date with a friend, you will show up. It's a commitment. It's scheduled. And I love when exercise is social. Walking + talking with a friend is especially awesome because it's efficient—exercise and catch-up time all at once. Virtual work-out buddies are great too. Last year, my sisters and mom and I all logged our time spent exercising in a shared Google doc (at least for a few months!).
2) Set goals and/or follow a program.
My R.A. from college recently posted something about a couch-to-5k program on Facebook and I went out of my comfort zone and decided to join. She and I, along with a few of her friends—all from different parts of her life—are now keeping in touch via email to support each other and keep on track. I'm also signed up for the Hot Chocolate 15k for the second year in a row and plan to train with a friend for the long walks, adapting this half-marathon program for our purposes.
In both cases, I'm setting goals (being able to run 5k, which is huge for a non-runner like me, and walking the 15k), I'm following a program (I don't wonder "what should I do to work out today?" because I have a plan), AND I'm doing it with buddies (tip #1).
3) Find classes you actually want to attend.
I look forward to yoga class at my gym. The key was finding an instructor I liked and times that work with my schedule. That way, I plan things around the class time and do everything I can to make it work. There's no question of "should I go or should I skip?" because it's a routine—and I truly enjoy it.
As a little incentive, I'd like to reward myself at the end of the 9-week couch-to-5k program with a Lululemon purchase or something along those lines. A reward helps to motivate me, gives me a chance to recognize my accomplishment, and keeps me from buying things between now and then (ha!).
What tips and tricks do you have for sticking to an exercise routine? I'd love to hear them!