How to create an exercise routine that sticks

"I NEED to exercise but for some reason it just doesn't happen."
"I want to get into running but it's hard to get my butt out the door."
"I know I should go to yoga, but honestly I'm kind of intimidated."


Any of these lines sound familiar? 

We all know exercise is an important part of a healthy lifestyle, but with our busy lives, this is often the piece of the equation that gets left out. Let me be real with you - to be your healthiest self, to feel energized and inspired, to be confident in your body - you MUST exercise, or move your body in some way on a regular basis.

I know this may sound intense but hear me out.

Why is exercise so important?

  • It's energizing - Moving your cells wakes them up! Plus physical exercise also requires us to use motor skills and parts of our brain that we don't use most of the day (because most of us work on the computer).

  • It stimulates body’s natural detox functions - Sweating, breathing and elimination (pooping!) are all ways that your body "takes out the trash" and you want that to be happening regularly. No one wants to live in a house filled with trash, do they?? Exercise pretty obviously stimulates your breathing and sweat functions, but it also helps move things along in your digestive system.

  • Movement OUTSIDE creates movement INSIDE - Different exercise types inspire different moods and energies in our bodies. For example...

    > Running and cardio = endurance, stamina, feeling of moving forward
    > Yoga, dance, stretching = flexibility, calm, sense of peace
    > Strength training or high intensity training (HIIT) = strength, energy

What type of exercise should I do?

Every body needs a little something different, but most research shows that we need to do a combination of things for optimal energy and well-being.

If you always do the elliptical, why not try weights one day instead? Or perhaps you strictly go to yoga - maybe skip a class for a long walk.

How do I make it happen?

Here are a few ways to make sure that pilates class or HIIT workout or short jog actually happen:

Buy some special workout clothes/shoes/gear that you LOVE - Being excited to spend time in your workout clothing can make all the difference between getting to the gym or staying on your couch. 

Put your workouts in your calendar. Literally. Block off the time, set a reminder, and don’t accept other commitments during those times. Treat this as if you had a meeting or date with someone - you wouldn’t cancel last minute on someone else, so why do it with yourself? I find it helps to workout at the same time each day (I’m a morning girl), but do what works for you.

Find an activity that you actually enjoy. There are SO many different workouts out there now - you don’t have to spend time doing something you hate (because life is meant to be enjoyed, right??!). If you actually enjoy your workout, you are WAY more likely to stick with it.

Here are some resources for exploring different workouts (without breaking the bank!):

ClassPass - One membership that gets you into all sorts of different workouts - yoga, cardio, dance, high intensity, sports, etc. 

New student specials - Most studios/gyms have some sort of free trial period, or discount for new students. Take advantage of this!

The growing world of online workouts - There are so many inspiring teachers on YouTube or membership-type services so you’ll never get bored! Many of them are free or offer a low subscription fee. Here are some that I love:

  • FORTE Fit - You can now take my yoga classes online (!!!) as well as some of the top workouts in NYC via FORTE Fit's online platform. Use the code 'EMILYFORTE' and receive a FULL YEAR membership for just $50!
  • YogaGlo - A great library of yoga videos with something for everyone. I love that you can sort by body part, mood, duration and instructor.
  • Bikini Body Guide - A printable guide with targeted HIIT workouts.

Okay here's your homework for this week: make a workout plan! This can be ONE new thing you are going to try this week, or ONE tip you are going to take away from this post. Leave a comment below and let me know how you are going to MOVE IT this week.

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