Making time for and sticking to an exercise program can be tough. Whether you’ve been prescribed exercises by a physical therapist, or you’re just trying to be more regimented about your own routine, try these 5 tips to help improve your compliance!
1. SET A DATE (AND TIME) WITH YOURSELF
- It may sound silly, but setting time aside for exercise and putting it in your planner or on your iCal as an immovable meeting can help improve your chances of sticking to a regular routine.
- Treat the meeting with yourself just like you would an appointment with a physical therapist or trainer, i.e. Take a cancellation very seriously
- Try leaving yourself reminders in “easy to spot” places like the medicine cabinet or inside the refrigerator!
2. MAKE YOUR EXERCISE ROUTINE A PART OF YOUR DAILY LIFE
- Again, simple but effective.
- Everybody can spare 2 minutes 2x per day for dental hygiene, why not pair your body care routine with your dental care routine? Try doing half of your exercises in the morning just after brushing your teeth, and the other half just before brushing your teeth at night.
3. GET UP EVERY 20-30 MINUTES THROUGHOUT THE DAY
- Have you heard, “sitting is the new smoking?”
- Human bodies were designed to MOVE! #APTA
- In 2015 The American College of Physicians concluded, “Prolonged sedentary time was independently associated with deleterious health outcomes regardless of physical activity.”
- Building exercises into your day can help lower your risk for diseases associated with a sedentary lifestyle such as heart disease, diabetes, and obesity.
- During your breaks from your desk make good use of your time by doing a few stretches or a set of exercises prescribed by your physical therapist!
- Try setting a timer for every 20 to 30 minutes to help remind you to get up and move!
BONUS TIP: Make sure your workstation is set up in the most ergonomic way possible. While this doesn’t substitute for regular breaks from sitting, it can help reduce stress on the body during times of sitting still.
4. MAKE SURE YOUR EQUIPMENT AND HANDOUTS FROM YOUR THERAPIST ARE EASILY ACCESSIBLE
- According to author Gretchen Rubin, The Strategy of Convenience, “is one of the most powerful, straightforward, and popular strategies of habit change.” Making something “convenient” for yourself is a surefire way to generate a new (positive) habit.
- “We should pay close attention to the convenience of any activity we want to make into a habit.” – Gretchen Rubin
- By keeping your equipment and/or handouts nearby, your are significantly more likely to be consistently reminded about your exercises, and experience less barriers to getting them done!
- Some examples of this could be keeping your therabands tied around your doorknob, leaving the foam roller near your bed, or keeping weights near the couch or TV.
5. TIME ITSELF CAN BE A MAJOR LIMITING FACTOR FOR LOTS OF BUSY PEOPLE (ESPECIALLY NEW YORKERS)!
- Exercise should always be performed when you can be focused on what you are doing. You may feel like you are saving time by multitasking during exercise but mindfulness during exercise is an important component safe, effective exercise. Sometimes we find ourselves wanting to be distracted from exercise. This may mean it’s time to change up your exercise routine to include movements that require more of your attention.
- If you like to do your exercises during TV time, try muting the television and getting up during the commercial breaks to get in an extra set.
- If you like to listen to music while you exercise, try the warm up and cool down without music to focus on the quality of your movements and your breathing.
- If you like to exercise with a friend (a great strategy for sticking to a routine), make sure the conversation doesn’t overthrow the intent of the activity. Try chatting on lower level intervals or during breaks.
Still not sure about sticking to your own exercise routine?
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