I enjoy working out, so I do it often and have been working out since middle school (I'm 24 now), but unless I've signed up for a class or have steady gym dates with other people, I do lose consistency. I keep coming back to it because I enjoy it.
How long should you wait if you want to make it a set in stone habit?
You could also learn a sun salutation and add in 1 or 2 yoga poses for stretching, blood flow, and mental clarity at the beginning as a way of getting the gears turning and centering yourself before the day.
There is no set in stone answer, or formula you can apply. (I wish there was!) If you add on and find yourself falling out of your routine or being discouraged, reduce the time or amount again and go back to where you were comfortable.
If you add on and find it's a good fit and feels right, stick to it for two weeks and add on again.
Once you get to a certain level of both fitness and routine you'll find that adding on – increasing time, distance, strength, reps, etc. will be a more natural process.
Once the routine is set and the habit built you base when to increase on performance. If it's weight lifting, you lift a heavy weight a few times. Heavy might be 3, 5, 8, 20, 60 pounds. Just depends on where you're at. You do 3-5 reps, failing at the 3rd or 5th. When you do it enough days that you don't fail on the 3rd or 5th rep, next workout increase the weight by 2.5-5 pounds if it's a free weight, and 1-5 pounds if it's a dumb bell.
For walking, cycling, elliptical, swimming or any cardio, after the routine and habit are set, once you find at the end of your fitness session that you could do more or would like to do more, add in another walking block, or down to the next stop sign and back. If it's cycling outdoors, add in going to the next signpost or stop sign, or a big tree further down, some kind of visual marker. If it's indoor cycling, add in another 3 minutes, or sprint for 30 seconds and then pedal at a slower pace for the last 2.5 minutes.
For an elliptical, try adding in 1 more minute, or a 30 second sprint and then regular pace to cool down for 2 minutes.
You could also just increase the resistance so you're doing the same amount of time but with increased work load.
You could go from 10 minutes at a steady pace to 10 minutes of intervals of mixed sprinting and steady state.
Even before you increase the time you can increase the intensity by upping weight or resistance, or by adding in sprints.
If you do add sprints, start small. Maybe do steady state for 2 minutes, Sprint for 10 seconds, steady for 2 minutes, Sprint for 10 seconds, steady for 2 minutes, Sprint for 10 seconds, steady for 3 minutes, Sprint for 10 seconds, steady cool down. Then you're worked out for 10 minutes but upped the intensity in a way that boosts metabolism, boosts cardiovascular function, and boosts metabolism.
If you're dancing for your 10 minutes, you could add stretching before or after.
There are so many ways to increase. You can add time at the beginning or end, or increase the intensity of the 10 minutes and find that 10 minutes is still enough and that you don't want or need to increase again until you're comfortable at that intensity.
You can add dynamic stretching, static stretching, or yoga to the beginning and/or end.
Hatha yoga is a type of yoga that is great for strength and flexibility.
Kundalini yoga is a type of yoga that is great for breathing, focus, flexibility, and mindfulness.
When you feel ready, add either more time, more intensity to your existing time, or stretching to the beginning, end, or bookend of your 10 minutes.
If it's not a good fit, don't be afraid to switch it up. Try to do something you enjoy and avoid things that make you miserable.
I hope that helps and that you have a great day.
This is a journey to understand your bod better, so please listen to it before making a progression .
PS: the one exception I would potentially make is for structured fitness plans or classes. Just be sure you’re really ready for the added commitment. It’s much better to slowly, steadily improve than to overwhelm yourself and end up losing your drive.
Have a great day, and best of luck in your goals!
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