We all have been at a point in our fitness journey where we have struggled to stay consistent with our workouts and nutrition. We all have gone through times where we have “fallen off the wagon” for a few days, weeks, or even months. I always tell my clients not to worry too much about falling off, as long as they bounce back quick; “what matters is that you get back to it” is what I always say.
However, when we are trying to reach ambitious fitness goals and build healthy habits, we can’t slack off every 2-3 weeks. Reaching goals requires consistency and discipline. That is why I am going to share with you a major tip that I personally use to stick to my exercise routine on those days where the last thing I want to do is work out.
I will share with you the 10-minute rule. This is a tip that I took from a podcast I listen to on a regular basis, “The Vegan GYM Podcast.” On this podcast, one of the trainers shared how by using this 10-minute rule, he was being able to stick to his training regimen. This guy was training for the iron man race and mentioned he absolutely hated swimming. So, his rule consisted of making a commitment to himself of training for at least 10 minutes on those days when he really did not want to or was at the verge of taking the day off. So how it works is that whenever you find yourself coming up with a million excuses not to wake up early in the morning to hit the gym, or not going for that run, or simply not do whatever exercise routine you had planned, you commit to do it just for 10 minutes. After those 10 minutes, you can decide whether you want to keep training or call it a day. This is a very helpful tip because often times the hardest part of working out is getting started. Just the thought of having to drive to the gym, getting out of the warm bed, having to pack your workout clothes, or whatever other steps you need to do in order to make it happen, feel completely and absolutely draining. However, once we start working out, we feel great. We get in the groove of things and usually want to keep training. Sure, we also will have days where 10 minutes will be enough to reassure that initial feeling of not wanting to do it. Yet, I promise that, 8 out of 10 times, you will want to keep working out. It is important to stay true to the rule, though. So if you really promised yourself to only do it for 10 minutes and after those ten minutes you still felt like taking the day off, then make sure to take the day off.
This rule has helped me enormously. Like everyone, I have days where my body feels too sore and heavy, where other commitments come up, or where the thought alone of warming up is exhausting. You name the excuse, I probably have told it to myself already. It is surprising how creative I can get sometimes. But then I think about the rule and commit to it. I make myself start training for just 10 minutes, and most of the times, I end up finishing the whole session because I begin to enjoy myself and start to feel strong and ready to crush the entire workout. I also have had a couple days where after the 10 minutes I literally think to myself “yup, that did not feel great”, so I pack my bag and go home. That is 2 times out of 10, though. So this rule has proven to be very powerful to me. I have even started to apply it to other aspects of my life. I use it a lot when doing homework and house chores.
So I hope that some of you find this tip helpful and can use it as a tool to overcome the challenges that come on those days when even the simplest tasks seem impossible to achieve.
Author: Dani Ruiz