5 Simple Tricks That Help Me Stick to a Regular Fitness Routine

How to Stick to a Fitness Routine

If a year ago you had told me I would soon be writing about how much I love going to the gym I wouldn’t have believed you. Why? Because I was a world champion exercise avoider. I hated physical education at school, and didn’t play any sports growing up. So my one (and only) saving grace was the fact I walk everywhere because I still haven’t learnt how to drive.

I was forever making excuses – telling myself I’d join a gym next month, or once I got a big project out of the way. But it never happened. Until, finally, last summer I seamlessly settled into a regular fitness routine.

At first I worried it was just a phase, but 12 months have passed and I’m still working out four to five times a week. It has been a huge lifestyle change, and here are the simple tactics that made it possible…

As part of the Instagram Generation, we’re hardwired to expect instant gratification. But no one goes from inactive-exercise-avoider to Olympic athlete overnight. So if you’re starting from zero, like I did, take things slowly and avoid setting ambitious targets. I knew I had a habit of quitting fitness plans after two weeks, so just committed to one barre and yoga class each week to begin with. And after a few months I started introducing weight training and high-intensity workouts to my schedule as well. If I’d jumped straight into four or five gym sessions a week I would have quit in the first month, but pacing myself made the process less daunting.

I was reluctant to join a gym at first, because I worried the fitness instructors would be pushy and judgemental. But thankfully I found the opposite to be true. I love the trainers I see every week, and quickly gravitated towards those that best understand my needs. No two teachers are the same, and you’ll naturally find some unlock your motivation more than others. The same goes for the presenters of fitness DVDs and YouTube channels. So it’s really important to find your tribe. Even if takes a while to track them down.

How to Stick to a Fitness Routine
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My weekly fitness routine is a blend of barre, yoga and group personal training sessions. This is ideal for me because every class is timetabled, and therefore has to go in my calendar. Before joining a gym I repeatedly put off exercise, but I’ve discovered I’m less likely to slack off and make excuses if I have a class booked and added to my schedule. So, even if you’re working out solo, be sure to put that evening run or morning gym session in your diary. If it’s written down you’re more likely to stick to the commitment.

Around the time I got hooked on barre and circuit training, one of my best friends started swimming and spinning multiple times a week. And we unofficially became each other’s accountability partners. We never workout together, but if one of us is having a bad week or has hit a plateau we’ll step in to offer support and advice. It can be as simple as saying, “You’re doing amazing! Give it one more go,” or recommending a cool fitness channel to follow on YouTube.

When I started my fitness journey last summer I was so weak I couldn’t even do one push-up on my knees. So the first time I was able to do 10 push-ups on my knees (and later 30) I rewarded myself with a glossy magazine. And when I finally became strong enough to do a few push-ups on my toes I treated myself to some new activewear. Celebrating progress – whether big or small – has helped me stick to a regular routine and remain focused.

How do you make sure you stick to a regular fitness routine? Leave a comment below or tweet me at @cocosteaparty with your tips and tricks…

P.S. Inside my struggle with perfectionism and 5 natural beauty secrets from a Nutritional Therapist

  • Michelle Hung

    This is so true! I would have a month of going to the gym (4-5 times a week) then 3-4 months of not going and then I’ll start it back up again. Now I pace myself and patiently wait for the results than trying to get to the finish line fast. Love this post girl!

    http://Www.virgosandkisses.com x

    • cocos_tea_party

      It’s hard not to get carried away at the beginning and push yourself too hard though, isn’t it? But slow and steady does usually win the race!

  • Great tips! I find it especially helps if you have a friend who to go with, then I can’t slack of. However, having a very busy and ever changing weekly schedule makes it really difficult to schedule exercise in my calendar and because of the busy pace it also makes me want to stay on the couch at free times. But I love going to barre and yoga, makes me feel so good!! 🙂


    • cocos_tea_party

      I always worry that if I exercised with a friend I would just turn it into a gossip session though. How do you manage to stick to your focus if you’re with a friend?

      • Yeah, it does depend on a friend 😀 But then when you go to classes like yoga and barre each of us concentrates on the actual exercise at hand, and then we chat on the way to the class and after it. At least during the barre class I wouldn’t have time to chat or the breath and we rather share those “I’m dying” looks 😀

  • Love these tips…trying to get back to fitness at the moment but really working to take it at my own pace so I will sustain the effort x

    • cocos_tea_party

      Good luck! I’m sure you’ll get there – it’s always the first few weeks that are the hardest.

  • i go through waves with the gym, right now i havent been in ages and the thought of going is making me feel a little unhappy today!

    • cocos_tea_party

      Haha! It’s never as bad as you think though.

  • Ev
  • All great tips! I feel like I get into a good grove and then one day I miss a workout and I just give up