Exercise adherence: Inside and outside the gym

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Exercise adherence: inside and outside the gym, outdoor exercise

I learned shortly after becoming a personal trainer that the gym isn’t natural for everyone which may be the reason why people find it so hard to stick to a gym schedule. The first commercial gym opened in the late 1840s. The 1950s and 1960s ushered in the first Barre, Bally, and Gold’s Gym. The idea of commercial fitness grew and is becoming more popular with each decade. Now in the year 2020, every fitness professional has their own method, and most require getting in the gym.

Commercial gyms

Before the birth of commercial gyms, people burned calories and stayed active through daily living. Without the luxury of modern inventions, many folks exerted energy with daily chores. Walking to the store, school, or work, gardening, farming, washing laundry, baking, cooking, etc. Our lives have become more effortless because we don’t have to exert energy to accomplish daily tasks like laundry, going to work, and making dinner. We have also become slower and more sedentary when compared to our active ancestors. It’s no wonder some people don’t enjoy going to the gym because it’s not entirely natural. But note that I wrote some. My husband LOVES the gym. He thrives among the iron, punching bags, and sauna. While I, on the other hand, prefer being active outside in nature. Others might prefer being involved in sports. But no matter where you like to exercise, there is one thing we all have in common: motivation or lack of.

Discipline trumps motivation

Motivation is temporary, and we cannot always rely on it. So, ditch the dream boards and turn your attention towards something more difficult but more reliable: discipline. Discipline helps mold new habits and break old ones. Whether your goal is to hit the gym for 30 minutes, walking around your neighborhood, or join your local rec center’s volleyball team, it’ll take discipline and preparation to adhere to your health goals. Discipline is like a muscle we have to work in order to strengthen. If you’re building new activity habits, go easy on yourself but try to stay consistent.

Prepping for exercise adherence

Set yourself up for success by preparing for your week. Set aside your work-out clothing, water, and whatever gear you may need for the following day or week. Like meal prep, prepping for your activities will help you stick to a plan. Have an alternative plan set in place in case your routine is disrupted. Let’s say you walk outside every Tuesday, but it’s storming outside. Find an alternative like walking inside at your local mall or walking at your gym. Perhaps your volleyball team had to cancel practice. Don’t let that stop you from doing your warm-ups and/or practicing at home.

Exercise and support

Seek out support. Studies have shown that social support helps increase self-efficacy (your belief in yourself to succeed), which helps increase exercise adherence. You don’t need studies to tell you that having a strong support system significantly improves your chances of staying active. Sometimes, all you need is one or two reliable people who support you. Support may be anything from a work-out buddy, someone who offers verbal encouragement, a friend or family member who watches your child(ren) while you exercise, or in many cases, your spouse. Spouses play a considerable role in exercise adherence. If you want to become more active or stay active, try to surround yourself with supportive people.

Medical support

Talk to your doctor. Keep in mind that I am only a personal trainer. I am not a doctor. The information provided in this article is not intended to substitute for medical advice from your provider. Any recommendations within this post are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. With that being said, you should talk to your doctor. Whether you’re considering starting an exercise program or you just want to be more active. Your doctor will undoubtedly be supportive and may be very beneficial, considering that they know your medical background.

Whether you’re trying to lose weight, improve your health, want to compete, or just want to be more active, it’s essential to stick with it. I hope this article gives you the tools to start being more active and improve your health!

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