This is a guest post by Emily, founder of BodyShape101, a blog where she and her associates talk about exercise, fitness, and yoga.
Running is one of the most effective types of exercises to lose weight and to achieve a stronger body and cardiovascular health. But why does it seem that there are some people who run, but they are not able to reap the benefits?
If you feel like you are one of them, I have some questions for you.
How many times do you run in a week? Do your run often? Do you make running a habit?
If not, well, my friend, I am afraid to tell, you this but when it comes to workouts, the ultimate secret is no other than consistency.
That’s why if you wish to reap the benefits of running, the first thing that you have to do is to make running a habit.
But how can you turn such a seemingly mundane and boring activity into something that you can stick to? Here are some ideas:
1. Start Easy.
Many people quickly give up on running because they get frustrated when they are not able to reach their goals. This is a result of too high expectations of themselves and setting unrealistic goals.
When it comes to setting your fitness goals, it is always best that you keep in mind the half-and-half rule.
If you have your mind set on running for twenty minutes, cut the goal in half then halve it again. That would leave you with a goal of doing a 5- minute run which is more achievable. Stick to this goal for a few days then slowly increase the duration once it becomes a habit.
This works simply because you will have a sense of accomplishment by finishing that easy task and you will have the motivation to come back and do it again the next day.
2. Pick Your Trigger.
According to the author of the book, “The Power of Habit”, we need triggers to remind us to perform a certain activity.
You can try putting visual triggers that would remind you that you should run in the morning or at night. It can be as simple as placing your running gear in a place that is visible to you when you wake up.
3. Enjoy a Good Night Sleep.
The best time to run is in the morning because your energy levels are still at its highest by then. But if you wish to enjoy a good morning run, it is a must that you have a good night sleep.
In fact, you must get at least 6.5 hours of sleep so you can wake up full of energy in the morning.
If you are tired, it is impossible for you to focus on the habit changes that you want and it will be difficult for you to run early in the morning.
4. Have A Plan.
As they say—if you fail to prepare, you are preparing to fail.
When planning your run, be specific about each detail—the running route, duration, time, type of run, what you will wear and even your playlist.
In addition to that, you should include your plan for rewards too, so you will have something to look forward to each and every day.
Keep in mind that having motivation is one of the keys to making your runs a long-term habit.
5. Introduce Challenges.
As times goes by, running can get a bit boring, and boredom can make you lose interest in it. To avoid that, it is a must that you make your running sessions somewhat more challenging.
You can do that simply by running on an incline, wearing a weighted vest for running, carrying weights or try various running styles and routines. The challenge will certainly push you to keep going.
6. Inject Variety.
In addition to challenges, another simple way to overcome boredom is to inject variety in your workouts.
Do you usually run outdoors? If yes, then why don’t you try running at the gym on the treadmill?
You can also try changing your route, or you can even add a few exercise routines at the end of your running session.
Follow these tips, and it will be easier for you to turn running into a habit that you can stick to. And rest assured—you will be reaping its benefits in no time!