Let’s face it, not everyone enjoys hitting the gym seven days a week. I definitely didn’t. It took me a couple of months to get into an exercise routine, and to stick to it.
Contrary to popular belief, it takes a whole lot longer than 21 days to form a habit. The truth is that it will most likely take you anything between two to eight months to build a new behaviour into your life. This time frame, however, will also depend on you as a person and your circumstances.
So, if you want to start an exercise routine to help you lose weight, you’ll need to know that you won’t just magically feel like going to gym after just three weeks. You need to be motivated and disciplined if you want to see progress.
The first very important step to sticking to your exercise routine is to find an activity that you enjoy doing. There’s no point in spending an hour on the treadmill if you hate running, or waste your time in the weights section if weight training is not your thing.
If people motivate you, find a group class like boxing, a barre class or CrossFit to encourage you to go to gym at least four to five days a week. If you’re just starting your exercise routine, it might be best to start off slow – about three days a week – until you get a little fitter and stronger. You’ll also find that you often make friends at group classes who encourage you not to miss classes.
Whatever activity you choose, just make sure that you get some satisfaction out of it, otherwise you won’t be able to stick to an exercise routine.
Here’s what kept me going, and still keeps me going back to the gym everyday:
- Do something that you enjoy. I started out with the circuit in the gym, but couldn’t stick to doing it every day because I got bored. That’s when I discovered a group class at a small local gym called Melt 60. What a vibe it was. The music, the people, the workout. I couldn’t get enough and my training 3 days a week soon turned into 4, then 5 days and eventually 6 days a week.
- Remember that it will take time for you to see the changes in your body. Don’t expect to have killer legs and toned arms after your first week at the gym. It usually takes 4 weeks for your friends to notice your body has changed and about 6 to 8 weeks for you to see how your body has transformed. So, hang in there! It’s so worth it. There’s no better feeling than slipping into a pair of tight jeans, only to realise that they are way to big for you.
- Often the hardest part about going to the gym is getting there. Choose a time that fits into your lifestyle. I prefer exercising early in the morning. That way I know it’s done and I won’t feel guilty for not going when I’m tired after work or drinks or dinner with friends pops up during the course of the day.
- The first compliment on my ‘new’ body. There’s nothing that motivates a woman like hearing ‘Wow, I love your legs’, or ‘Look how sculpted your back is’. Compliments make us feel good and happy, so stick to your routine for that happy feeling.
- Most importantly, don’t change your body for anyone else but yourself. Make gym time your ‘me time’.