Exeter, Devon UK • Mar 4, 2024 • VOL XII

Exeter, Devon UK • [date-today] • VOL XII
Home Lifestyle How to maintain a sustainable workout routine

How to maintain a sustainable workout routine

Zoe Sperry explores how to prevent exercise from being a New Year's resolution that falls off at the end of January.
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How to maintain a sustainable workout routine

Image: Jonathan Borba, Unsplash.com

Zoe Sperry explores how to prevent exercise from being a New Year’s resolution that falls off at the end of January.

Year after year, one of the most classic New Year’s resolutions set by people is to do more exercise. Immediately the gym comes to mind, seen as the fastest and easiest way to get results. On social media, a new trend seems to be circulating around weight-lifting, building muscle, drinking protein shakes and becoming a gym-geek. And while there’s nothing wrong with using the gym to achieve your goals, issues arise when those goals are set for the wrong reason, like losing weight very quickly or conforming to external pressures to get “fit” in the span of a month. The reality is, not everyone enjoys the gym, and that is why these new year resolutions often fall through by the end of January.

In my personal experience, I’ve found that the only way for exercise to remain a consistent part of my routine is to do something that I actually enjoy. As someone who was never been really sporty, finding a sustainable fitness routine felt like a daunting task. But it was when I realized that moving your body can come from a place of pleasure, rather than a means to change your body, that everything changed.

It was when I realized that moving your body can come from a place of pleasure, rather than a means to change your body, that everything changed.

Hence, I abandoned high-intensity workouts and jumped on another craze going around: pilates. Similar to yoga, pilates improves flexibility and mobility, but also incorporates more intense movements that really work your strength. What I love about pilates is the emphasis on mental wellbeing and an inner connection with oneself; workouts will often focus on breath-work and tuning in to your body’s needs. Rather than seeing it as a chore, I see pilates as an easy way to move my body, with enjoyment, and at my own pace, removing any pressures to perform a certain way by the end of the session.

Exercising can also be turned into a social event, providing more incentive to partake in it regularly. That could be through workout classes, or joining a team sport. Again, the focus should be on sustainability – what sport do you know you’ll enjoy playing? Can you involve your friends to make it more fun? It may be a question of trial and error until you find the right form of exercise for you – but that’s okay. Don’t force yourself to run x miles at the gym or play tennis every week if it feels more draining than energizing.

Exercising can also be turned into a social event, providing more incentive to partake in it regularly

When it comes to these resolutions, I think compassion and flexibility are key. Creating a new habit is hard, but I’ve found that identifying something that works well for my own body, something that might be different to what others are doing, helps sustain these goals in the long run.

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