How to Create a Healthy Routine In Your Fitness Journey
When you’re just starting out on your fitness journey, it’s easy to go full throttle. You’re inspired, motivated, and more than a little pumped. Fueled by your vision, you may go from not exercising at all to committing to running a marathon in just a few weeks! While this fervor is to be admired, it can quickly lead to burnout. To keep your plans from derailing, a healthy routine is key.
By starting small and sticking to a plan, you can see the gains you want without any of the stress or exhaustion that can result from pushing yourself too hard.
Not sure where to start? Today, we’re sharing a few tips that can help you establish and maintain a routine that you’ll love.
Why Does Your Routine Matter?
Research shows that a strong routine can help you optimize almost every aspect of your physical, mental, and emotional health.
Why is this the case?
First, there’s the repetitive nature of routines.
Think of something simple, like brushing your teeth every night. Performing this action once or twice won’t make much of an impact. However, if you’re consistent with the routine, you’ll optimize your oral health for life.
The same holds true for lifting weights or doing cardio. Work out once at the gym, and all you’ll have to show for it are sore muscles the next day. Do those same moves over and over again, and you’ll start to see the results you crave.
Then, there’s the fact that routines keep your stress levels in check.
Every time your brain is forced to make a decision (even a small one), you experience an uptick in cortisol, the stress hormone. At the same time, your sense of self-control decreases.
With a routine, you can take much of the guesswork out of your day. You might not have every second planned out, but you have a few hours already in the books, so you don’t have to think twice about how you’ll spend that time.
Steps to Create a Healthy Routine
When it’s time to think about the habits you want to create, remember that patience is a virtue. Experts explain that it takes around 66 days of practice before an action turns into a habit. For some people, the transformation can happen much sooner or much later.
While it’s tempting to mimic the routines of others, keep yours personal and take your time.
What works for a social media influencer or your co-worker might not generate the same effects for you. Your schedule, responsibilities, family pressures, and physical makeup aren’t like anyone else’s. That means your day-to-day efforts won’t fit theirs precisely.
At their core, all healthy routines will contain some type of:
- Nutrient-rich diet
How can you establish a setup that works for you? Here are a few easy steps to follow.
1. Make Small, Consistent Changes
You won’t become a professional bodybuilder overnight. However, you can start lifting 5lb weights at the gym every day.
When you force sweeping changes all at once, you’re left with an unrealistic overhaul that’s nearly impossible to maintain. Instead of enacting and expecting overnight transformations, choose one small goal each day to work on.
Want to start drinking more water? Invest in a one-quart, refillable water bottle and vow to finish it every day.
Interested in amplifying your at-home meals with both flavor and nutrition? Instead of relying on television dinners from the store or fast food from a paper sack, research new meals with superfood ingredients. Try making one meal a week from scratch to save money and experiment with healthy foods.
These single steps can help encourage you to make other healthy decisions down the road.
2. Swap Out Unhealthy Choices
Another approachable way to create a healthy routine that lasts? Instead of adding a ton of new steps to your day, try slowly swapping out your unhealthy habits for better ones.
Used to staying up until midnight with a glass of wine? Swap the vino for a cup of kratom tea, get to bed at a decent hour, and wake up early instead. You’ll avoid that dreaded morning-after feeling and can be more productive throughout the day.
Used to fueling up with a 4:00 p.m. cup of Jo before you leave the office? If so, it’s easy to understand why you crash on the sofa right after dinner, only to wake up feeling sluggish.
Instead of relying on caffeine to perk you up, head outside and take a lap around the building, or snack on healthy fruits, raw veggies, and nuts. You’ll get the brain boost you want, without the nasty side effects you don’t.
3. Augment Your Existing Habits
While some of your existing habits might not be that great, others are likely just fine! In this case, build on them and see if you can take them even further.
Are you already performing various exercises through a fitness app you love? Move from the free trial to the premium, paid platform and unlock a ton of new content you love. Your health is always worth the investment.
What about your supplement routine? If you already take daily SARMs, consider incorporating botanicals such as CBD or kratom into your regimen. Augmenting your current good behaviors can turn them into great ones.
4. Prioritize Self-Care
In your quest to optimize every aspect of your physical health, don’t remember to prioritize your emotional and mental health, too.
In addition to exercising and sticking to a healthy diet, try to set aside at least 15 minutes a day just for you. Rather than restricting yourself with rules, allow yourself the freedom to truly live in the moment.
For some people, this might mean an elaborate bath ritual, complete with soaking salts and a lengthy skincare routine. Others might prefer to listen to soft music or keep a journal of their day. List out all of the things that bring you true, simple pleasure and look for opportunities to indulge in them on a regular basis.
5. Incorporate Your Plans
When a routine is brand-new, it’s tempting to avoid a step because it interferes with your plans.
For instance, say you’re feeling a little frustrated with your spin class because you didn’t see instant results. You’re supposed to go to class this Friday night. Then, you notice on the calendar that your child’s friend is having a birthday party.
Voila! You can’t go.
While there will be some scheduling conflicts that truly prevent you from fitting everything in, plan your future schedule around your new routine. This way, there won’t be any excuses when it comes crunch time.
6. Reward (and Forgive) Yourself
At the end of the day, your wellness routine is a work in progress. No one gets it right all of the time, and you’ll drive yourself crazy trying to achieve perfection.
As you work to turn new habits into second nature, keep a record of all of your successes. These can be big milestones, such as signing up for your first 5K. Or, they might be smaller, such as swapping a brownie for a yogurt parfait.
In any case, write them down! Then, at the end of the week, take the time to read through all of your victories. Mentally congratulate yourself, and strive to keep going.
At the end of each month, give yourself a little reward. Buy that book you’ve been eyeing or head to that local coffee shop for an hour with friends.
On the other end of the spectrum, don’t be too hard on yourself when you experience setbacks. You’re guaranteed to encounter challenges along this path, and not every one will go your way. Instead of wallowing in your defeat, use it as a catapult to try again harder the next day.
Especially when you’re still learning a new routine, it’s easy to forget a day or veer off course. A little grace and self-love can help you get back on track.
Create a Healthy Routine You Love
A healthy routine allows you to look and feel your best from the inside out.
It’s the antithesis of fad diets and flash-in-the-pan fitness trends. It’s a continuous, steadfast commitment to making smart choices at every turn possible.
From the foods you eat to the workouts you perform, every part of your routine is important. By starting small, making incremental changes, and keeping your mind on your goals, you’ll be able to achieve the transformation you want.
Along the way, we have the relevant fitness and wellness advice you need. Looking to build a routine that makes you feel strong, sexy, and confident? Check out our expert tips on how to build lean body mass!