The Research Findings
While most people assume that a lack of motivation is the driving factor in this fitness crisis, that’s actually not the case. It’s true that motivation may be one factor in why people work out, just as perceived value, guilt, and shame contribute to people’s chances of exercising. But what trumped all these factors to be defined as the leading predictor? Convenience.
People who find convenient ways to work out in their day-to-day lives are more likely to stick with an exercise regimen. Check out these five tips to make exercise more convenient.
- Just get started. A little bit of activity goes a long way, especially if you’re just beginning an exercise program. To get yourself into working out, start at home with five or ten minutes a day. Simple activities like squats, planks, hip bridges, or carrying something heavy for five minutes can yield results if done regularly.
- Stick with what makes you happy. Consider activities that you enjoy doing, and find ways to do them close to home. If you love being outside, for example, go to a park closest to your house and spend a little time walking or running. If having company makes you happy, invite a friend or two to the park with you a few times a week, or join a fitness class at a local gym.
- Always be prepared. Keep exercise equipment – like small weights and athletic shoes – in the trunk of your car. This way, you can stop for a quick walk or a little weight lifting if you’re out and about when the mood strikes.
- Forget about “the hour.” It’s completely untrue that you have to exercise for at least an hour at a time to see results. In fact, shorter bursts of activity often lead to the same or better results when done consistently. Not many people have an extra hour each day to devote to working out, but most of us can find ten minutes at a time to get active.
- Embrace imperfection. When you’re trying to get in shape, movement is more important than perfection. Don’t worry about doing the perfect routine every time you exercise; just keep moving.