How To Build And Maintain Exercise Momentum

Exercise routines can be challenging due to busy schedules, loss of motivation, and understanding where to begin. Current physical activity guidelines for adults is 150-300 minutes weekly of moderate-intensity aerobic activity, 75-150 minutes of vigorous intensity or combination thereof, plus 2 days of muscle strengthening exercises for overall health and prevention of chronic disease. 1

The process of building a fitness routine can take time and be overwhelming at certain points. If you are struggling at any point on your journey toward building an exercise routine to manage your pain and improve your health, here are some tips on how to gain and maintain exercise momentum:

Make it ACCESSIBLE

Convenience can be a deciding factor when creating an exercise habit. Joining a gym close to your office will make it easier to stop in for a workout on your way home. Prefer to workout at home? YouTube has many free workouts for all levels!

Start SMALL

Setting realistic expectations will set you up for success. If you are a new runner, don’t start off by registering for the Boston Marathon. Set small exercise goals and build on them. According to James Clear, author of Atomic Habits “There is power in small improvements and slow gains…if you can get 1% better each day for one year, you’ll end up 37 times better by the time you are done.” 2

MIX it Up

Adding variety to your exercise routine can offer several benefits. Working different muscle groups will help improve overall fitness. If you normally do strength training workouts, try adding something new, like yoga, to your weekly line up.

Keep it FUN

Change your workout from something you “have to do” to something you “want to do!” Exercise doesn’t need to be monotonous or vigorous to be effective. Why not try a dance class, find a hiking group, or join your kids on the playground for a family fun workout!

TRACK and REWARD yourself

Track your workouts and create a reward system for small and larger goals reached. Fitness trackers like Fitbit and Apple Watch are great motivational tools to keep you moving, but you can also keep a fitness log on a dry erase board on your fridge. Decide on rewards for smaller goals reached to keep your motivation strong along the way. How about a new music playlist for every 10 workouts completed? Or purchasing a Fitness tracker after consistently walking 30 minutes a day for 3 months?

There is no one-size-fits-all in the world of exercise. The best exercise is the one you enjoy doing. Be consistent, be realistic, make it fun and reward yourself for goals achieved. Talk to your Hinge Health Coach for more ideas on how to personalize a workout routine you will enjoy.

References:

  1. Elson, L. (2019, June 25). The new exercise guidelines: Any changes for you? Retrieved from https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/the-new-exercise-guidelines-any-changes-for-you-2018121415623
  2. James Clear. (2018, November 13). Marginal Gains: This Coach Improved Every Tiny Thing by 1 Percent. Retrieved from https://jamesclear.com/marginal-gains