When it comes to working out, many of us are no stranger to excuses. It can be so easy to come up with all sorts of reasons not to go on a run or sign up for a gym membership. But once we take the leap and finish the first workout session, we realise that it’s not as hard as we thought it would be and the biggest challenge is actually finding the motivation to take the first big step.

Whether your goal is to shed some unwanted weight or gain pounds of lean muscle, these tips will help you start and stick to an exercise routine.

1. Start small.
If your work and personal obligations keep you on a tight schedule, making time for daily workouts can seem daunting. Of course, this doesn’t mean you have to put it off for another year. You just have to take baby steps first.

Don’t sacrifice your priorities by signing up for a gym membership or going for an hour-long jog now; make small lifestyle adjustments, such as replacing short commutes with brisk walks and blending fitness in your daily chores. Eventually, these minor changes will add up and you can ease yourself into an exercise routine.

2. Have fun.
There’s no reason why working out can’t be fun. Sure, the first few weeks can be downright dreadful if you’re used to a sedentary lifestyle. At times, you could find yourself close to tears as you work up puddles of sweat. Muscle fever will make the simplest chores a hundred times more complex. But you know what? These challenges are what make the journey all the more meaningful. And if you are able to maintain a positive mindset and see every lap, rep and set as an opportunity to learn, grow and improve yourself, you’ll come to realise just how fun working out can be.

3. Reward yourself.
Set weekly and monthly goals, and give yourself a healthy reward once you achieve them. Whether it’s upping the total distance of your sprints or adding a few more pounds to the barbell, make sure it’s realistic and achievable. Rewarding yourself with a delicious healthy dessert or a relaxing massage at the end of an active week can do wonders for your motivation and give you a satisfying sense of accomplishment.

Of course, sticking to an exercise routine is not the only step towards becoming a healthier, stronger and happier version of yourself. You also need to start paying more attention to the food that enters your body. A diet of whole, natural, organic foods will nourish your mind, body, and soul, and keep you fueled for your workouts.

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