I’ve been on this healthy living journey for almost seven years, and I still struggle with working out consistently. I usually start strong, but as the days pass by, life slowly takes over, and before I know it, I worked out two days out the week at best.
I feel that by now I should have a plan, and decided to go on a mission to figure out how to exercise at least four times per week. I am excited, to share my solution with you.
Before we get into how we can work out consistently, let’s talk about why we have this problem in the first place.
In my experience people, especially me, do not workout consistently for two reasons: time and motivation.
Three weeks ago I was finding every excuse in the book to justify why I did not have a chance to exercise. In my mind all my reasons are valid, and I am sure yours are too.
Here is a little secret, both you and I have more than enough time to work out.
Hear me out.
The problem is not how much time we have; is how we are using it.
If you want to exercise more or finish your to-do-list you have to start prioritizing.
Review your day and look for a 1-hour block to workout. For me, two options came to mind, before work, and after work. During the morning I work on IAHF, and after work I do not have the energy.
Since my mornings and evenings are not available, I shifted gears and looked at my work day.
It turns out; I was wasting my lunch break browsing social media. I realized that my job has access to a gym, and decided to switch my lunch hour for a workout break.
I’ve been hitting the gym at least four times per week for the past two weeks!
Now that I have a set time to get moving, I have no issues working out consistently, and I tend to exercise more days during the week. Last week I went to the gym six days.
You might be thinking, Yenory, an hour is not a lot of time, is that enough?
The answer is yes! You do not need a lot of time in the gym to see results. All you need is consistent and a good plan.
In the gym, I focus on compound exercises and cardio.
First, I spend 20 minutes doing compound exercises. Compound exercises are great if you are short on time because they work out different muscle groups at the same time. I do these first because I have the energy to maintain proper form.
These are my favorites:
- Jumping Squats
- Pulls ups
I complete each exercise for 1 minute and rest for 20 seconds in between for three rounds.
After the compound exercises, I do 12 minutes of high-intensity interval training (HIIT) on the treadmill. HIIT is a cardiovascular exercise strategy alternating short periods of intense anaerobic exercise (high intransitive exercises last from seconds to up to 2 minutes) with less intense recovery periods.
The HIIT cardio method burns more fat, targets weight, not muscle.
Please adjust the pace to fit your fitness level.
Here is my HIIT workout:
My workout is 32 minutes! Leaves me time to shower, get back to the office and have lunch!
What happens when I can’t make my usual time?
Last week I had to postpone my lunch break. I had a snack to hold me over and went to the gym as soon as my meeting was over.
If I can't make to the gym during the work day, I go right after work, I do not wait until I get home.
The key is going no matter what! PRIORITIZE IT, say it, write it down and live by it.
The second reason most of us do not workout is the lack of motivation.
Here are five ways I motivate myself when I am not in the mood.
I am a very competitive person, and so is my husband. We turn everything into a contest because bragging rights are the best rights. He uses this tactic whenever I start making excuses for not working out. He knows that his trash talk will push me to go to the gym because I hate losing lol. I don't even need a prize.
Before getting married I would get a group of my friends together, and get a competition going. You can do a fitness challenge, for an upcoming trip or someone's birthday. Fitness challenges are excellent because you will feel better, look better and have the support of people you love. Win, Win, and Win!
I love taking pictures, and videos to keep track of my progress. Sometimes it can be discouraging to keep going when you do not see results. Pictures and videos do not lie. By documenting your journey, you will get that extra push you need when you are not motivated.
Little progress is better than no progress. Remember that it takes about eight weeks before you start seeing changes in your body. So be patient with yourself.
Something about a new workout outfit makes me want to run to the gym. I am not telling you to go shopping every week, but reward yourself a little. Get that sports bra you’ve been eyeing at your favorite active store. Or maybe is time for a new pair of running sneakers. A few months ago I fell in love with a workout outfit, every time I wear it, I am invisible. Whenever I have it on, I have to get moving.
Use Social Media
Social media can be a double edge sword. But, there are a lot of amazing people who will motivate you online, especially on Instagram. Now, avoid comparing yourself to others and putting yourself down. You are in your lane! I’ve done this in the past, and nothing good came from it. If you are going to use social media, take what you need and leave what you don’t.
Here are some of my faves.
Join the iAmHealthyFit Private FB group
We are your tribe, and we are here for you. Not only do we motivate each other, work out together, but we also share helpful information, and we will hold you accountable.
I will be the first one to admit that I don’t always want to go to the gym but knowing that it is good for my health, I will look and feel better, makes it all worth it.
I would love to know how you are staying active consistently during the week? Leave me a note in the comments with your tips and ideas.
Yenory is the creator of iAmHealthyFit. She prides herself in teaching and empowering women of color to eat clean, meal prep, exercise and balance healthy living.
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