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Sticking with Your Workout Routine

Sticking with Your Workout Routine

How many times have you started a workout regime but found yourself going back to your old sedentary ways one or two months later.  Sticking with your workout requires more than just scheduling it or joining a gym, although those help too.  But joining a gym alone won’t always give you the motivation and momentum needed to maintain a fitness routine.  In fact, four out of five gym memberships go unused but yet those payments are deducted from your bank account each month.  If you find yourself in a fitness slump, here are some things you can do:

Don’t commitment to something that you hate.  If you don’t enjoy running or you have bad knees, do not commit to it.  You’ll only end up dreading that hour of the day when you’re supposed to run and ultimately make excuses for why you can’t.  Instead, find a workout activity that you enjoy doing.  You can get your heart rate up and burn calories from lots of activities such as dancing, jump roping, power walking, and bike riding.

Buy a new outfit, shoes, or download new songs to your iPod. Giving yourself something to look forward to increases motivation.  Need a budget for your new Nike shoes? Eat out less two times this month and use that money for your new shoes. You will look good and feel good.

Do something different.  If you’re doing to same routine, it can become boring (and boring can derail momentum).  Shake it up.  If you’ve climb on the elliptical machine for 20 minutes three times a week, try adding one day of walking outside or Zumba dancing for the same amount of time.

Tie exercise to your health.  Identify YOUR health reasons for working out.  Exercise improves one’s health in many, many ways but learn how it can help YOU.  Is it going to lower your blood pressure, decrease your chances for heart disease, or reduce stress?  Personalize your health reasons and frequently remind yourself of why you need to exercise.

Find a partner.  Many studies show that people stick to their routines more when they have a workout partner.  If you have someone who is going to hold you accountable, you’re more likely to do it.  Wouldn’t you feel more committed to going to the gym if you’ve agreed to meet someone there? Also, working out with a partner is safer when doing outside activities such as walking and it can be fun to have someone to talk to (and fun increases motivation).

Go through the motions.  Yes, it okay to have some days when you just don’t feel like doing much.  However, don’t let those days keep you from skipping your workout because one day will turn into two days and the next thing you know, it’s been a month since you’re done anything.  Do what’s called a “beats a blank” workout.  So if you typically run for 20 minutes, run for 10 or if you normally do three sets of your weights, do one.  Something is better than nothing.

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