Written by Jessica Takimoto

As the weather gets colder, classes get busier, and social activities increase, how do you stick to your exercise routine?  For many people, finding the motivation to continue with a workout routine can be very challenging.  As a certified Personal Trainer and Group Fitness Instructor, here are my best tips for making regular exercise a habit:

Find Something You Love

Intramurals?  Dance?  Yoga? HIIT Circuits?  Exercise doesn’t just mean lifting weights or running on the treadmill!  Try different types of workouts until you find something you genuinely enjoy.  When you enjoy it, you are going to be much more likely to stick with it.  Besides, who wants to spend their free time on an activity they don’t like?!

For me, group fitness is where it’s at! As a participant, I don’t have to think, worry if I am doing it correctly, or get nervous that other people are watching. push myself harder because of the energy in the room and I think it’s FUN! As an instructor, seeing a bunch of people smiling, having fun, and fighting to be the best versions of themselves might be one of the best feelings in the world.

Make It Social

Social accountability is one of the oldest tricks in the book. Having a workout buddy, group, or class you know is counting on you is really motivating to SHOW UP.  Think about it, it’s much easier to cancel on yourself than it is on your friends. 

Pro Tip: Instead of making dinner, coffee, or drink plans with a friend, go workout together – whether that is a game of squash, a new class, or the weight zone, now you’re killing two birds with one stone!

Schedule It

When you commit to the same time, same place, & same activity every week, it becomes part of your routine. It’s not about finding time, it’s about making time for it.  Put it on your schedule at a time that works, and then fill up the rest of your time. If you wait to schedule exercise, it is easy to fill up your calendar with other events first. YOU should always be your first, and most important, priority. 

Make It Non-Negotiable

One of my favourite phrases is “you can’t take care of life if you don’t take care of yourself first”. So, be selfish! If someone wants to schedule a meeting or do an activity during your pre-scheduled exercise time, don’t accommodate! Even if it’s an individual activity that you could reschedule, like a jog on the treadmill, stick to it. You don’t need to tell the other person the activity you’re taking part in.  Simply tell them you have a prior commitment and offer a different time that works for you. It might be hard at first, but you are building a lifelong habit and your future self with thank you for it!

I hope these tips help you stay motivated this fall! Let’s get stronger, happier, and more confident together – we CAN do this!