Tips On How To Start Regular Exercise - (And Actually Stick With It)!

Every January, many people make a New Year’s resolution to start some sort of regular exercise regime, but it can be hard to stick with it and make it a part of your life, especially when trying to balance exercise with a career, social life, and making the most of the city which you live in.

As someone who goes to the gym or out for a run a few times a week, and understands the challenges of getting and staying motivated, I have put together a list of tips which will hopefully help you to find an exercise which you love, and stick with it.

Location, location, location

It can be tempting to sign up to the cheapest gym you can find, or one with a fancy sauna and jacuzzi, but realistically, the easier it is for you to get to, the easier it will be to stay motivated. Somewhere either near your home or work, or somewhere between the two is likely to be the easiest place to get to on a regular basis.

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It’s OK to have an off day

Everyone has days when all they want to do is put on PJ’s and curl up in front of Netflix. That’s OK! One missed session doesn’t mean that all of your hard work so far has gone to waste. However, if you find that you are regularly wanting to skip sessions, it may be worth trying to work out why this is, and maybe try adjusting your routine or trying a new class.

It’s also worth considering whether you are a ‘morning’ or a ‘night’ person. If you struggle to get up in the mornings but feel more awake in the evenings, you are likely to struggle to stick to early morning workouts. Alternatively, you may not mind getting up early in the morning, but feel exhausted in the evenings after work.

Find something you love

It sounds obvious, but if you enjoy what you are doing you are far more likely to stick with it. Try different classes, different gym machines, and different workouts until you find some that you love. Also, don’t be afraid to mix up your workouts - you may have a run planned which you are not looking forward to, but you could always head to a gym class instead.

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Set a goal

Whether you want to be able to run 10K, be able to lift a certain weight, or be able to cover more distance during a spin class, having a goal will help to keep you motivated to stick with your new exercise routine.

If you are new to running or exercise in general, a Couch to 5K app is a great way to get started and gradually build fitness. If you plan on doing running or cycling, apps such as  Map My Run Map My Ride and Strava are also great for tracking improvements to your distance or pace, and you can also share your workouts with friends and see their workouts too.

Get a workout buddy (if you want one…!)

Some people prefer to exercise alone to enjoy the peace and quiet which can be hard to find when living in a busy city. Others find having a gym buddy keeps them motivated and makes workouts more fun. If you’re struggling to find a gym buddy, you could post on the City Girl Facebook group for your area to find other City Girls looking for a workout buddy.

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Treat yourself

Go shopping for some new workout gear and/or accessories, it doesn’t have to be expensive and there is plenty of good quality, low cost workout gear available in shops such as H&M and Primark.

However, if you plan on doing lots of running it may be worth going to a specialist store. Running stores can vary from city to city, so it is worth having a look on google to find one close to you.

If you visit a specialist store, they will ask you to do a very short run on a treadmill to assess how you run, and identify any areas of weakness in your running technique which may benefit from additional support (this is called Gait Analysis). They can then recommend you shoes which will help with these and which can help to prevent injuries in the future.

Schedule it in

Decide how many times a week you can realistically commit to getting a workout in. Plan when you will do your workouts at the start of the week, and put it in your phone calendar or write it in your diary.

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I hope you find these tips useful, and if you have any others which I haven’t mentioned then please feel free to add these in the comments. There are so many benefits of regular exercise for both your physical and mental well being, and the sooner you start, the sooner you will start to feel the benefits and adjust to exercise being part of your normal weekly routine.

Written by Claire Williams who can be found as clairew3107 on Instagram.