December 23, 2022

Beginning your exercise journey often comes with various feelings — motivation, excitement and eagerness. It's the start of living a healthier lifestyle and taking care of your body, and you want to make sure you carry out your workout routine when the initial emotions start to dwindle.

Talking about your new workout routine is easy, but putting in the dedication and hard work to make it happen takes a lot of effort. Continuing your routine requires you to come up with a solid workout schedule that will keep you motivated and help you enjoy the process of exercise. Keep reading to learn how you can create an exercise routine that's enjoyable and sustainable long-term.

How to Establish an Exercise Routine

Finding a workout routine that works for you may require some research, trial and error and advice from your doctor or a professional. A successful workout routine looks different for every person, especially if they have different goals. A person's goals could be to lose weight, gain muscle or stay active and maintain a healthy lifestyle.

No matter your exercise goals, your first task is to learn how to create the best exercise routine for you so you can stick to it. From the best types of workouts to ways to keep your motivation high, you can learn different methods to create the perfect workout routine for your fitness goals and enjoyment.

When you begin your fitness journey, try these helpful methods to create an excellent workout routine:

  • Note your fitness level: Assessing your physical fitness level is an important step to beginning a new workout routine. Starting off with workouts that match your fitness level can prevent burnout and protect you from injuries. Check your fitness level by recording your pulse rate after a walk, noting your walking mile time or counting how many sit-ups or pushups you can accomplish. These numbers are helpful to look back on when you're noticing progress in your fitness journey.
  • Create a balanced routine: Making a workout routine that's enjoyable and diverse helps target various parts of your body. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends adults get 150 minutes of exercise every week, and including various styles of workouts can keep you interested in your routine. Include traditional workouts like cardio and strength training and fun activities like bike riding, hiking, gardening and anything else you enjoy. Also, make sure to add rest days and stretching exercises to your workout routine.
  • Schedule workouts: Planning out workouts can help you organize your week and ensure you have time to exercise. Weeks can become busy with work, school, family and other commitments. Penciling in your exercises helps make them a priority and develops a structured routine.
  • Consult a doctor or professional: Before starting your new workout routine, it's beneficial to consult with your doctor about exercising. This step is especially helpful if you have any chronic diseases or other limitations that may impact your ability to exercise. A health care professional can recommend workouts to start out and how to safely incorporate them into your routine.
  • Decide where you'll work out: Determine where you'll want to complete your workouts. Do you want to head to the gym, complete your workouts from home or try a mixture of the two? Find the place that works best with your weekly schedule or gives you the most motivation to complete your workouts. Also, you can bring your workout outside if the weather is nice and enjoy the fresh air.

10 Tips to Help You Stick to Your Exercise Routine

After you create a solid exercise routine, you're ready to begin your workout journey. Sticking with your exercise routine is essential to continuing a healthy lifestyle and reaching your fitness goals.

Maintaining your workout schedule is attainable when you remind yourself why you're working out and follow exercise tips that will improve your workout routine. Consider these 10 helpful tips to stick to your exercise routine and successfully achieve your fitness goals.

1. Develop a Healthy Mindset

Tackling your workout routine with a realistic and flexible mindset can help you stick with it. Sometimes, when people first start working out, they go in with an all-or-nothing mindset, meaning they must go all-out for every workout — and low-intensity workouts don't count. This type of mindset can become discouraging when your body needs a rest day or you don't have time to fit in a full 30-minute or hour-long workout.

Instead of an all-or-nothing mindset, being flexible and having a positive mindset can help decrease the expectations of your workouts and allow you to enjoy the process. Appreciating how every type of workout has an impact on your body is a great perspective to have on your workout routine.

It's also important to remember that you won't always be able to complete parts of your workout schedule because of life commitments or other last-minute routine changes. Remind yourself that missing one workout doesn't mean that you're failing. It's OK to take a break and get back into your routine the following day.

2. Remember to Practice Patience

A major factor in your fitness journey is patience. It's beneficial to set goals and record your results, but you should also realize that big improvements don't happen overnight.

Achieving your goals and seeing noticeable changes in your body or physical abilities may take time. The timeline of these changes varies from person to person. Certain improvements may take weeks, months or years depending on the goal and your body. Reminding yourself that you'll reach your goals if you stick to your exercise routine will help you have the patience to see those results.

3. Visualize Your Goals

Setting goals helps motivate you during your fitness journey. For example, you may have a goal to lose weight or run a mile faster. While these are great goals, they can become even better when you visualize them and make them more specific.

Knowing exactly what your goals will look like can help motivate you during your workouts. If you have a goal of losing weight, make it more specific and attainable by determining how many pounds you'd like to lose or a certain body measurement you'd like to reach. Another example is if you have a goal of running a mile faster, choose a mile time you want to accomplish.

These specific goals are easy to visualize and can help keep you motivated during your exercises.

4. Exercise With Others

A wonderful way to stay on track and continue your workout routine is to work out with others.

Ask a friend, family member or partner to exercise with you. Another excellent exercise option is group fitness classes. A group fitness class can give you more than motivation — you can socialize with new people and find a small community of others who are working towards their own fitness goals. Participating in various group fitness classes, like cardio-style, strength training or dance classes, can diversify your workout.

If you prefer to work out from home or you can't make it to the gym, you can find many group fitness classes online. These online classes allow you to complete the group exercise classes you love and connect with others remotely from your home. Having a variety of classes in your workout routine will keep your routine interesting and help you continue on your fitness journey.

5. Listen to Your Body

Beginning a new workout routine requires your body to adapt to the physical and mental demands of your workouts. A helpful way you can stick to your exercise routine is listening to your body before, during and after you exercise.

Listening to your body means determining whether you need a break from working out because you're too sore or experiencing an injury. While it's OK to exercise through sore muscles, it might be best to stick with a lower-intensity workout. If your body is telling you to slow down and give your muscles a break, it's important to listen and prevent any injuries.

Research shows that exercise has an impact on mental health and can boost your mood. While you're accomplishing your workout routine, it's beneficial to check in with your mind and make sure you're not experiencing burnout. Sometimes, your mind may need a break from focusing on your workouts. Going into a workout distracted can increase your chances of getting injured, so it's safer to step away from your workout for a day or two if your mind needs to rest.

6. Start With Low or Moderate-Intensity Workouts

A factor that can impact a person's ability to stay with their workout routine is feeling discouraged by high-intensity workouts. Everyone needs to start somewhere in their fitness journey, and finding exercises that work with your physical abilities will be the safest for your body and give you the best workout. Do this by starting off with low or moderate-intensity exercises to ease your way into your routine.

Finding workouts that you can accomplish but still challenge you is crucial for helping you stick to your routine and gradually improve your fitness levels. When you stick with your exercise routine for a long time, you can start to include high-intensity workouts into your workout routine as you improve your fitness abilities.

7. Change Your Vocabulary

Using different words to describe your feelings about your workouts can help you develop a positive mindset surrounding fitness. It's no secret words can carry a lot of weight, so negative language can impact your ability to stick with a workout routine. Using words like "intense" rather than "difficult" or "impossible" can help change your thoughts on the exercise you're completing. As a result, you'll start to become more optimistic, which is essential for achieving your exercise goals.

8. Celebrate Small Accomplishments

Another way you can continue your motivation is to recognize your smallest accomplishments. These accomplishments can include trying out a new group fitness class, shaving 10 seconds off of your mile time, completing one more push up or making a new friend at the gym. Celebrating these small victories can impact your motivation and help you continue your exercise routine.

9. Reward Yourself

A great motivator is including a reward system in your workout routine. Coming up with small ways you can reward yourself after accomplishing goals can boost your drive to completing workouts. Some ways you can reward yourself include:

  • Scheduling a massage
  • Going out to your favorite restaurant
  • Watching your favorite movie
  • Treating yourself to a shopping trip

These examples and plenty of other rewards can be beneficial in successfully continuing your exercise routine.

10. Record Your Progress

If you want to track your goals and check in on your success, record the progress of your workout journey. Monitoring your progress is a great way to see data on your improvements and track your goal accomplishments. If you like, you can retake the physical fitness assessments you completed before you started your workout routine to compare how far you've come since day one.

To continue your motivation, set new goals after you complete your current ones. It's important to always have goals to remind yourself why you're exercising.

How to Get Back on Track

Life can sometimes come between you and your workout routine — you go on vacation for a week, enjoy time with your family during the holiday's or have a busy week at work and have to prioritize things over your workouts. When this long break from your workout routine happens, it's smart to have a plan to get back on track with your routine.

Getting your mind back into exercise mode may take a lot of focus. Whether it's been a week or a month off from your traditional workout schedule, you can find your motivation again through the following:

  • Visualize yourself exercising and think of the parts you enjoy the most
  • Reach out to your workout buddy or attend your favorite group fitness class
  • Think of a great reward for yourself after you complete your next goal
  • Focus on the positive emotions of exercising and how it makes you feel
  • Make a detailed workout schedule to follow for the first week back
  • Schedule some fun exercise activities, like swimming, hiking or dancing

Include Zumba® in Your Workout Routine

Creating the perfect exercise routine for your lifestyle can make sticking to your workout routine simple. When you enjoy the workouts you're completing, the better you feel about your workout routine. Add some fun and energy to your exercise routine by including Zumba® classes in your workout schedule. Zumba® is an excellent way to move your body, surround yourself with others and maintain a healthy lifestyle.

Find Zumba® classes near you or search for online Zumba® classes that you can complete from home.