How to Make Fitness a Daily Routine
1 Select your fitness goals.
If you’re just building up a fitness regimen, you may not have a clear idea of exactly what you want to achieve. You may not even know what your body is capable of. That’s fine; even simply wanting to be stronger is a solid starting point. In general, it’s healthier and more effective to focus on strength you want to build or activities you want to perform, as opposed to a certain look.
Some sample goals include: running a 5K without stopping, touching your toes, lifting your own weight above your head, and doing the splits.
Some fitness programs and diets even discourage you from weighing or measuring yourself as you change your routines. Getting bogged down in the look of your body can distract you from what it can do.
Write down your goals in a notebook and set an alarm to look at them in three months, six months, or a year.
2 Pick a realistic timeframe.
Building a new routine can be tricky: it takes about two months for a new habit to become second nature. Still, you want to set goals that don’t feel too distant. Many fitness experts recommend a three month timeframe: a season is long enough that you can accomplish a great deal, but not so lengthy that you feel like you’ll never see the end of it.
Some races and events, like marathons, have a somewhat standardized recommended training schedule.
It’s okay to have smaller mini-goals. For instance, you may plan to weight up five pounds on the rowing machine every two weeks.
Remember that working out every day is a goal in and of itself.
3 Seek out expert advice.
Every body is different, and everyone’s goals are too. Because of this, there’s rarely one-size-fits-all fitness advice. You are powerfully positioned to learn, because you know yourself and your aims better than anyone does. Put some time in to learn what types of exercise will suit you and which ones you like. There are plenty of resources out there to help.
Though it can’t replace an instructor who watches you in person, the Internet has many reliable fonts of fitness information. Start with the President’s Council on Fitness page.
If you aren’t ready to venture outside with your fitness routine, there are plenty of workouts on YouTube that you can do at home with no equipment. Try Blogilates or Fitness Blender.
4 Try out a gym.
If you have the option, do trial workouts at different gyms until you find a vibe you like. Even better, most gyms offer orientations, where an expert can show you how to use different types of equipment to safely maximize your workout. There are many criteria for selecting the perfect gym, including:
Is it easy for you to get to?
Is it usually full? Can you easily access equipment?
Do you feel comfortable around the other members?
5 Experiment with group classes.
Group classes offer the benefits of in-person instruction for beginners without the pressures of personal training. Plus, the regular schedules and presence of other fitness enthusiasts can help you stay motivated.
If you’re trying to figure out what you like, try a service like Groupon or ClassPass. These offer a discounted pack of classes, so you can figure out if you’re really into hot yoga or spinning before committing to them.
6 Pace yourself.
It’s admirable to want to push yourself, but you can’t turn from a couch potato into a track star in a week. Exhaustion is real, and burnout can negatively impact your ability to reach your goals. Work your way slowly up to your exercise goals. For example, if you want to run, start out by walking at a brisk pace until your body feels comfortable and ready for jogging or running.
Walk up and down flights of stairs instead of taking elevators or escalators, and park your automobile in the farthest spot away from your destination to increase your daily activity in the beginning.
If you’re too tired for a full workout one day but still want to move, take a long walk or do house or yard work.