This Simple Trick Ensures I Exercise Every Single day

Asmita Karanje

Even days when I don’t wish to lift a finger

This lockdown is certainly not good for the waistline.

I have put on a few kilos ever since the lockdown started in mid-march this year. It’s not that I don’t exercise enough, but I realized I wasn’t doing it right.

Over the past 6 months, I have realized the single biggest mistake I have made— I was exercising intermittently (instead of following an intermittent diet.) There were several factors contributing to my weight gain, but the single biggest factor was the habit of breaking in between workout schedules.

Studies suggest that with just two weeks of inactivity, your fitness level starts deteriorating

So it did.

I gained 5 kilos in the last 5 months despite working out. When I saw this, I decided it had to change — I need to be more disciplined. And it’s not because I dread workouts. It’s quite the opposite, I love the adrenaline rush. But some days are just bad — days when you work long hours, have a dirty kitchen, are PMSing, or get demotivated by the news.

Does that sound familiar?

If you are like me, you probably are nodding and smiling right now because you resonate with that feeling. We all do. We can’t operate at our optimum capacity all the time. We are humans.

When I saw what intermittent exercise was doing to my body, I finally decided — I have to be more self-disciplined and reprioritize workouts in a way that would help me get back in shape.

I did my research — read up on how I can be more consistent, and how I can incorporate it into my routine without making it a task. I also tried a few different tips and techniques such as maintaining a calendar to track my workouts and blocking time in my diary, so I am mentally prepared for it. They are all great advice, but it didn’t help me as much as this little trick.

Be in your gym clothes the entire day.

Personally, I work out in the evening, as I dedicate mornings to work calls and meetings.

After a quick shower in the morning, I would put on my activewear. I have invested in some comfortable activewear that I can wear all day long. However insane it may sound, changing clothes to workout is a herculean task for me and by doing this I don’t dread it anymore.

I am now ready to work out any time of the day. Bring it on.

Why does it work?

It works both ways — physically and mentally.

Physically the first step has been taken, and the next step will simply follow. Mentally, I am conditioned throughout the day to work out. I am ready for this. This is equally important. When you are mentally not ready, you aren’t going to do it.

Self-discipline has a lot to do with mental readiness.

James Clear, in this bestseller book Atomic Habits, states that building new habits requires visible, hard-to-miss cues. He says if running is your goal, don’t just say, “I will run more often.” Create a specific and measurable plan, followed by an obvious cue like leaving the running shoes out where you can see them.

Every time I have put on my activewear in the last month or so, I have completed a work-out. There are still those bad days and in full honesty, maintaining an active workout schedule will take time. But by such simple tricks, I am able to switch from work to fitness routines faster than before.

Another trick for the bad days is that — I tell myself I’ll only do a set of 10 crunches, and I more often than not, end up doing the entire workout. Your brain would be able to push you once you are in the rhythm.

Follow through with a shorter routine, but ensure you don’t skip the workout.

An experiment to help stick to workout routines

Have you ever worn activewear just to be gym-ready throughout the day? It’s an experiment worth trying.

Depending on your schedule, you may have to switch a few things in your diary to let this happen.

Do this:

  • Set a fixed time when you can workout
  • Switch-off (mentally and physically) from work 10 minutes prior to workout time
  • Start small — if you are a beginner it is always recommended that you take baby steps. Do a 30-minute workout session.
  • When you’re scheduled, grab a bottle and a towel and put on your shoes.
  • Do not waste time on any other frivolous things
  • Repeat the routine until it becomes a habit.

Observe if this trick helped. Does it help in being mentally prepared? Does it help in getting one step closer to your goal?

The visible cues are a great way to signal the body on what’s to come.

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Thinker, self-experimenter, and a newbie writer. I write about personal growth, socio-political issues, and career advice.

Dallas, TX

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