We can have the best intentions to exercise more throughout our week, but before we know it, schedules get busy, and it can be hard to stay on track. A key to exercise consistency is taking the time to schedule your workouts. Scheduling your exercise sessions can help you plan to work around conflicts and time constraints. It allows you to be more dedicated and realistic with your time, keeping you more committed and consistent.

Treat Exercise Like an Appointment

When we make appointments, such as a doctor’s visit or an important meeting, we put them on our calendars. We do this so we don’t miss them. Treat your exercise the same way. Think of it as an appointment with yourself. If we schedule a specific time and place for a workout, we’re more likely to stick to it instead of skipping over or procrastinating. If you still struggle with staying on track, consider exercising with a trainer or a buddy, or join a class to make it feel even more like an appointment you can’t miss.

Make Your Schedule Visual

Keep your schedule where you can see it regularly. Think about how you schedule other events in your day and use the same method. You can see all your important tasks in one spot and plan accordingly. Maybe you use a whiteboard or calendar in your kitchen. Do you have a planner that you physically write in? Or perhaps you prefer entering events into the calendar on your phone. Whichever method you choose, make sure it’s one that you will see often. The more visual we keep our schedule, the more we’ll stay on track.

Set Reminders

As the day takes off and more things get added to our plates, we can quickly lose track of time. Set reminders for your workout sessions. You can use your phone, computer, watch, or even a giant sticky note where you won’t miss it. Reminders make us acknowledge things on our schedule even if we get busy or forgetful. It’s usually harder to talk ourselves out of the workout once we see that reminder too!

Have a Backup Plan

Even a fool-proof schedule can go off course. For consistency with your workout, you’ll have to remember there will be days that don’t go according to plan. Sometimes you’ll need to adjust the timing or length of your workout. Other times you might need to skip it altogether and pick back up the next day. Having a backup plan allows you to be more prepared for the unexpected. Maybe you couldn’t complete an entire workout routine, but you could squeeze in a ten-minute walk instead. Take a few moments to think about your alternate exercise plans in case of poor weather or your schedule doesn’t cooperate.

If you’re striving to create a long-term habit with your workouts, you want to focus on consistency rather than perfection. A little planning goes a long way when keeping your exercise consistent.

Always consult with your physician before starting a new exercise program.

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