One of the hardest things about a workout routine is sticking to it. Whether it’s because life is getting busy or we’re discouraged from not seeing results or some other reason, we tend to fall into a cycle of starting and stopping different routines. When I was younger, exercise was built into my life through sports and activities for school. After coming to college, I’ve learned I need to now carve out special time to stay active, and I’ve realized how hard that can be. However, I’ve always tried to make my health a priority and over the past 4 years I’ve found a routine I can keep up with. My routine fits into my busy schedule, makes me feel good, and gets me excited about exercising!
The first thing I found that worked well for me was interval training. My freshman year of college I discovered the Kayla Itsiness Bikini Body Guide workouts which are about 30 minute workouts that include 8 exercises done in intervals. Since then, I’ve continued to incorporate interval training into my weekly routine. This style of workout is always easy to squeeze into a busy day and has tough exercises that make the workout effective. The interval style of switching up the exercises makes me focus less on the length of the workout, I am always thinking about the next exercise or counting my current exercise that I barely pay attention to the clock. I usually do interval training three times a week and I look forward to these exercises. It is a workout that does not feel like a chore!
Two times a week, I try to include cardio into my routine. I’ve recently began running and I absolutely love it! Similar to the interval training, it is typically a quick workout (under 30 minutes) and when I run outside, I pay more attention to the scenery and my path than I do the time on the clock. Cardio is also a really great way to clear your mind. Even if you start thinking about the run and how hard it is, you are no longer thinking about the stressful things that may be going on in your life. If you regularly incorporate cardio into your fitness routine, you will begin to look forward to the fresh mind it provides you. If I’m not running, I’m walking. I love to go for walks with friends and family. It is a great way to be active while catching up on life and having a good conversation. Regardless of what your routine is, cardio has a way of making you feel refreshed. Over time, you will begin to crave that refreshed feeling and doing the cardio will become easy.
Take the Active Route
The last thing I do that is not necessarily a part of my fitness routine, but helps me maintain an active lifestyle, is taking the active route. When you have the option to take the elevator or the stairs, take the stairs. If you have the option to walk or drive, walk. It’s pretty simple to make small changes in your everyday life to be more active. I think this is important because if you do miss a workout, you will still feel like you’ve done something healthy. You won’t feel like giving up as quickly and it will be easier to get back on track. We fall out of our routines and into the cycle when we have one bad day. Making changes in your life to be active without the workout, will make a skipped workout easier to get over.
Regardless of your fitness routine, the most important thing I’ve learned is my workout routine will not be perfect. I let myself skip workouts and take the day off, because I know if I don’t, I’ll get tired of the workout and feel like it is more of a chore than a choice. Even though I try to workout 4-5 times a week, I know some weeks it will only be twice or maybe even no workout at all. Allowing myself these breaks helps me refocus the next week. I have my workouts built into my schedule too because consistency is key to keeping your routine on track! As I mentioned before, my routine makes me feel good and gets me excited about exercising. I set realistic expectations of myself that make me feel accomplished and motivate me to keep going.