Getting into a regular routine to go to the gym is not easy for many people. While every individual has to find their own way to summon up the motivation and discipline to do so, there are ways to strengthen resolve. Once an exercise routine becomes a habit, it becomes much easier. Different people find different ways to motivate themselves and we list a few ways below that may assist in that process.

  1. Treating workouts like a business meeting or appointment. For some people it helps to schedule their workouts in their calendar and treat it as something serious and non-negotiable.  
  2. Link workouts with fund-raising activities. Apps like Charity Miles can be used to raise money for more than 30 non-profit organisations and are also enjoyable.  You can walk your dog, go for a run, shovel snow, and cycle among the several activities on offer. This is a great way to help individuals treat their workouts as a means of improving their own health and helping others in the process.  
  3. Making sure you get value for money.  For people who have a gym membership or monthly subscription, it makes sense to exercise regularly in order to get a tangible return on their investment. There is no benefit derived from money needlessly going down the drain by not using the service you pay for.

Having a regular routine does not mean having to exercise daily.  There is a school of thought that recommends having rest days built into a weekly or monthly routine. There are many people who work out every day without developing injuries and the idea of taking breaks may not apply to or be needed by everybody. But for those who are not inclined to work out daily, the reasons mentioned below give support for their way of thinking.

  1. Your muscles have a chance to recover. Lifting weights for example creates tiny tears in muscles which can only heal through rest. The healing process is what makes muscles stronger so giving your body sufficient time to recover is very important.
  2. Too much exercise can be counter-productive for weight-loss goals. Intensive exercise can lead to losing weight too quickly and this can cause the body’s protective mechanisms to kick in. The result can be weight loss levelling off or even weight gain.
  3. Overtraining can lead to irregular menstruation or cause amenorrhea (complete ceasing of menstruation) for women. This can become a serious health issue if it persists for more than 3 months. Decreased estrogen levels can also lead to weaker bones, making the individual more vulnerable to injury.
  4. Sleeping patterns can be disrupted with excessive workouts. Some people feel the need for more sleep than the normal 7-8 hours; others cannot get enough quality sleep even if very fatigued.
  5. There is a tendency to overeat to give the body enough fuel to compensate for very strenuous exertion. Lighter workouts result in less need to eat in large quantities.
  6. The body has its limitations and it is important to listen to it. If the workouts lead to protracted exhaustion and too much muscle soreness then it is a clear indicator of the need to decrease the intensity of the workouts and increase rest and recovery time.   

At the end of day the decision to exercise and how often to exercise is a personal one. It is all about creating balance and equilibrium in one’s life, setting aside time to de-stress and better cope with the challenges of everyday life  and get one’s  mind and body in better shape in the process. Being over-zealous with workouts defeats their purpose. It makes much more sense to have an exercise routine that fits in with an individual’s schedule and help gets the body fit and healthy in the long-term rather than the short-term. People should always be in control and not obsess and be controlled by an unrealistic regimen.