How To Build A Sustainable Exercise Routine In New Year
What matters the most is consistency, adaptability, and finding what you truly love to do. Sevda Bingöl, gym supervisor and trainer at Soho House Istanbul shares her practical tips.
Text Sevda Bingöl
We’ve all been there. As the new year approaches, one resolution tops almost all resolution lists: Exercise regularly or start exercising. Sure, resolutions are great. But how do we stick to them? And how do we make them a sustainable part of our lives? When it comes to having a year-long fitness routine, consistency is key.
Begin by setting two simple goals: First, dedicate three days of the week to exercising. Second, try to move more throughout the day. Let me elaborate on the first goal. We often overestimate the act of creating an exercise program tailored to our needs and lifestyle. But believe me, it’s not that hard. You just need to find the activities that you really enjoy doing. If you dread weightlifting or the treadmill, opt for functional training exercises. A better approach is to figure out the workout that best suits you. This is the foolproof way to achieve consistency. Plus, nowadays, the options are endless. If you don’t enjoy hitting the gym, then join online group sessions. For example, you can have a healthy regimen that helps you maintain muscle strength and reduce the risk of injury by attending a functional training class for two days per week and working with a PT once a week. Back up your 3-day schedule with more daily movement, and the results will surprise you well.
Non-exercise activities involving regular tasks and errands are just as important. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Swap a drive for a walk for short trips. Stand up and walk around for two to three minutes while working. Incorporating such simple habits into your daily routine can help you get into shape both physically and mentally.
The reason for our need to be more active in daily life is closely linked to our biological evolution. This is not exactly breaking news, but it still affects the human body: Our ancestors used to chase animals for food physically, which is one of the reasons why our bodies are not designed for prolonged sitting. We are built to move. Plus, extended periods of sitting and unhealthy diets are the root causes of metabolic diseases. That’s why I support the American College of Sports Medicine’s global health initiative “Exercise is Medicine” to make physical activity a standard in healthcare.