When is the best time to start a workout routine?
I asked this question recently. Here are some of the answers that I got: on a Monday, right now, beginning of the year, today, there is no best time.
You hear a lot of fitness professionals say that the best time to start a workout routine is “now”.
I agree. There’s never going to be the perfect time to start working out. Things will always come up. Excuses can always be made. If you want to get into the habit of working out then just start working out, but to ensure that you are consistent with this new habit then you definitely need to make sure you are held accountable.
This can mean, signing up for a gym membership or finding a workout partner who has a track record of being consistent with workouts, hiring a personal trainer, or registering for a race in the near future.
If you have fitness related goals then for sure the best time to start working on them is “now”, but let’s dive a little deeper.
If you have fitness related goals and it’s summer time then the best time to start working out is now. If you have fitness related goals and it’s the beginning of a new year then you should start now. If you have fitness related goals and your schedule is pretty clear then you should start now. If you have fitness related goals and you’re in your busiest season of the year then you should start …. now??
Most people start (or want to wait to start) a workout routine when things “slow down”, but I would argue that the BEST TIME TO START A WORKOUT ROUTINE IS WHEN YOUR SCHEDULE IS THE BUSIEST. I know, this sounds counterintuitive, but I’m not suggesting that you have to be a workout rockstar and workout twice a day five days a week when you start off.
Think about it. Most people start working out when it’s “convenient”. When the time is right then they have no problem being consistent. The problem with starting when your schedule is clear is that you don’t have any major obstacles to overcome. Sure, excuses can always be easily made, but for the most part, if you don’t have a lot going on then it’s easy to get into a routine.
So what happens when your schedule starts to get crazy? Let’s say you started in the summer when you didn’t have much planned during the week. Maybe all you have going on is just your work schedule and a vacation or two planned. You get into a routine of working out 2 or 3 days a week and feel pretty good about your progress.
Eventually the summer ends and the fall season begins. Your kids schedules are crazy and work is picking up. It’s not as easy for you to get to your favorite class time because so many hours of your day are filled with other priorities. You try to
shift to an early morning or evening class so that you can get in a workout, but you press snooze on your alarm or get caught in traffic a few times and just decide that workouts will have to wait until things slow down. Missed days turn into missed weeks and missed weeks add up to months away from your workout routine.
Now that you’ve been away from the routine for awhile, it’s hard to get that motivation back. You know it’s going to be hard to get started again. You know you will be sore, but you know you need to do it. You tell yourself that you’ll start on Monday. It’s finally Monday, but an impromptu lunch just popped up for a co-workers birthday so you have to miss your class. You tell yourself you’ll go on Tuesday. Tuesday’s here and your day is filled with meetings so you pack a bag and say that you’ll hit an afternoon class. The end of the day you’re exhausted and just want to sit alone on the couch so you cancel your class and head home. Each day something pops up and it gets easier and easier to succumb to the excuses because you have gotten out of the routine.
If we flipped the scenario and you started in the fall when your schedule was crazy then you could potentially have a different outcome. I know it doesn’t make sense, but hear me out.
You’re motivated to get started, but you know this time of year is just so busy. You decide that at least one day a week is an achievable goal so you hire a trainer to work around your schedule. Your trainer gets you to commit to doing one 30 minute workout session on your own during the weekend when you have a little more down time. You feel good because you’re accomplishing two workouts a week consistently and after a couple of months you feel like you’re ready to tackle two scheduled workouts or classes with your trainer and one on your own. With time you gain momentum and eventually things start to slow down to the point where you can increase the number of workouts you complete each week.
Now that you’ve been successful through the busy season the “slow” season seems so easy and now you have confidence in knowing that it is possible to stay committed to your goal during the busiest season of your schedule.
I guess the point I’m trying to make is that if you really want something bad enough then you will find a way to make it happen no matter how convenient it is to do.
It’s easy to say we want to be in better shape or feel/look better, but it can be hard sometimes to find the motivation to execute those goals. The keys to success in the gym always includes accountability and consistency.
If there is something you want then you should first find things, events or people that will hold you accountable to your goals. Once you have implemented your accountability strategies then focus on smaller goals to help keep you consistent.
You don’t have to be a rockstar in the beginning. Just take it one day at a time. Small wins lead to big wins. Small steps lead to big leaps. If you continue to show up for yourself then a habit is created and overtime that habit becomes harder and harder to break.
The goal is to get to a point each day or week where it’s not a matter of ‘if’ you workout, it’s just a matter of ‘when’ you workout.
If you’re looking for help with accountability. We are here to help!!