Sometimes the hardest part about doing exercise is motivating yourself to make time for it. In our increasingly busy world, it’s relatively easy to prioritise other tasks over getting down the gym, going for a morning jog, or doing a spot of yoga in the living room.
Even if you do, making just a small change to your routine can feel like a Herculean task when you visualise what you want to achieve and how long that may take.
After all, this is new behaviour that you’re setting in place for a lifetime, not just a quick fix. However, the important thing is to break it down in a way that isn’t mentally overwhelming even before you set a foot outside your door.
“The first thing to establish is why you’re finding it hard to get into a routine,” says movement coach and author Roger Frampton. “Is this because of time constraints, other priorities, discipline or you just don’t know what to do? Once you’ve figured that out, making this new routine a part of your life is far more simple.”
Here, we speak to Frampton about the four things you should consider if you’re finding it hard to fit exercise into your everyday life.
“First up, the hard truth. The reason you’re not training regularly is you’re lacking discipline. It takes real sacrifice and discipline to show up to the mat, the class or the gym on a consistent basis. And It’s not easy. However, as soon as you confront that reality and recognise it for what it is rather than blaming other factors you can make that change.
“The good news is that while you will have to make time in your life for exercise, it doesn’t mean that you can never socialise or binge a Netflix boxset ever again. If you can fit two or three 45 minute exercise sessions into your week, then you are making a real investment in your body.”
Nail Down Your Fitness Motivation
“Before you even think about exercising, what you need to establish is why you want to do it in the first place? If that motivation isn’t strong enough, then you probably won’t make time to fit exercise into your life.
“For me, the motivation for getting myself to a gym after a long day at work is that my 80-year-old self will thank me for it. Just like we save money for our retirements, I believe we should also invest in our bodies so that we can still do things in later years – things like picking ourselves up if we fall down, that we take for granted when we are younger.
“However, whether you’re doing it to preserve your health, build muscle or learn a new skill, the reason you’re doing it needs to be so important that it will make you make the time to get it done and prioritise it over activities that would otherwise take your time.”
Choose A Time That Works For You And Stick To It
“Always make a clear time to train. For me, that time is in the evening after work, but for you that might be in the morning or even during your lunch break in the afternoon.
“The time of exercise isn’t especially important, but committing to it on a regular basis is. You should have at least a 45 minute window where you won’t be disturbed, by anything or anyone – dog, partner, phone. Goodbye. This is me time.”
Find The Format Of Exercise You Respond Best To
“Whether it’s a class that will make you do it or a personal trainer to get down to the nitty gritty of what you need to be working on, you need to take the steps to make exercise interesting and exciting to you.
“I like to train on my own, but if in reality you know you won’t do that, then jump into something involving a group to help motivate you. Side note, I run twice weekly classes at W London hotel to get you moving and stretching, and beginners are always welcome.
“If it’s just learning how to use the equipment during your workout, most gym chains should have somebody on hand to show you how to use all the machines they have properly and some will even write you a programme to get you started. If it’s a cost issue, download a free plan from the web.”
Roger Frampton is a model, trainer and author of ‘The Flexible Body’ (£14, Pavilion Books)