Your cart is currently empty.

Blog / Tips

3 Simple Tips to Jumpstart Your Home Workout Habit

18 Jul, 2022 | 4 minutes read

Why is getting into the groove of a home exercise routine so hard? I mean, you're at home.

You don't need a membership.

You can exercise whenever you want.

No one is watching you.

You don't have to wait for the machines or spend time wiping them down before/after each use.

No vying for parking spaces, running into random acquaintances when you look like a hot mess or trying to figure out how to sign up for a treadmill.

With all these great benefits, working out at home should be the most attractive option out there. Yet you ignore your treadmill over there that has turned into the most expensive laundry drying rack ever and you'll be darned if you could even find your running shoes.

Some fitness experts will say you need more motivation. 

They're wrong.

You truly only need one thing to get started... a plan. 

#1 MAKE A PLAN

Studies show that people who set an intention (a.k.a. make a plan) are more likely to follow through on that intention compared to those who do not. The study below specifically focused on the benefit of making exercise intentions.

A study in the British Journal of Health Psychology found that 91% of people who planned their intention to exercise by writing down when and where they would exercise each week ended up following through. Meanwhile, people who read motivational material about exercise, but did not plan when and where they would exercise, showed no increase compared to the control group1.

 

 

woman planning, holding a coffee mug and a journal

HOW TO DO IT:

Figure out the What.

What kind of exercise would you like to do? Ideally your exercise routine is a combination of cardio, strength, and flexibility. If you're just starting out it matters less what you do, the critical point is that you do something! Start with your favorite type of movement until your habit becomes routine and add variety as you go. 

Add the When, Where, and How Long.

Creating a plan can be as simple as adding an entry in your home and/or work calendar for the day/time, place, duration, and type of movement that you will do.

Be as specific with the entry as you would with any other important meeting or event. And, like the commitments you make to others, keep this commitment to yourself.

If something comes up, reschedule your "movement meeting" as you would any other event. If you don't use a calendar, then grab a good old-fashioned piece of paper and write down your exercise intentions for the week. Try using this structure:

On <day> at <time> I will <type of movement> for <duration> at <location>.

Examples:

  • On Saturday at 8:30 am I will complete a Sprint 8 workout on my elliptical for 20 minutes in the basement.
  • On Monday at 5:00 pm I will practice yoga for 30 minutes in my office before dinner.

Hang this piece of paper on your refrigerator, on your computer monitor, on your bathroom mirror ─ wherever you will see it each day to remind yourself of the date you've made with movement that week.

For that extra good feeling of accomplishment, cross off each line as you complete your workouts throughout the week!

person writing workout plan list

 The best laid plans... a plan will go a long way toward establishing your new workout routine, but plans can (and do) go astray. To reduce the risk of interruptions, here's your next tip.

#2 MAKE IT EASY

You are more likely to follow through on a plan if it is easy! Here are a few tips for making your workout habit frictionless.

HOW TO DO IT:

Design your workout space in advance. Identify a space at home where you can move comfortably and without interruption. Set up any equipment you will use and leave space for warm-up and cool-down. You can even use our free 2D room planning tool to design your home gym space. 

overhead layout of a bedroom

Make the sessions short. There's plenty of time to intensify and extend your workout but first, you need to practice the habit of showing up. Start by committing to just 10 or 15 minutes per workout. Once you get started, you may find you just want to keep going. 

Prepare your workout space beforehand. Make sure it's ready to go for the type of movement. For example, pick up your kids' toys or other items around your treadmill a day before your planned workout and set up your portable fan so it's ready to go.

Get your gear ready. Pick out your workout clothes and shoes and set out any fitness accessories like your Bluetooth heart rate strap, towel, headband, and water bottle the day before your workout. If you work out first thing in the morning, put your gear next to your bed so you can't miss it.

workout gear laying on the floor

Set reminders. Schedule reminders on your phone, tablet, or computer to reinforce your intention.

Tell your family or housemates when you plan to workout. Ask them to allow you the time uninterrupted. If you have a family calendar, be sure to add your workouts to the family schedule.

Shift your behaviors. Unless you have a lot of spare time, you may need to shift time away from a current behavior to make time for your new workout habit. Determine if this is true for you and identify what you are willing to trade. This leads us to our last tip:

#3 MAKE IT A PRIORITY

Treat your workout sessions as you would any other commitment and show up. You deserve to move and reap all benefits!

HOW TO DO IT:

Identify temptations. Consider the types of events or temptations that might keep you from following through on your workout (happy hour anyone?) and decide ahead of time how you will prioritize your workout and what your response will be when faced with temptation. Being prepared for distractions and having a plan to respond to them will help you keep your commitment to yourself. 

Be consistent. Being consistent about getting your workout in is almost as important as how you workout. Did you know moving your body for 10 minutes a day, 5 days per week is better than cramming a single 50-minute session in for the week when starting an exercise habit? The repetition and consistency establish priority of finding time to work out regularly. 

Short on time, big on energy? Look for a HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) class in your fitness apps or try a Sprint 8 workout. HIIT requires you to work hard for a short period of time and research has shown it has big benefits. Here are 8 of them!

woman looking at a screen on an upright cycle

Give yourself grace. If you miss a planned workout on occasion, don't fear! All is not lost! Give yourself grace and identify how you can get back on track right away.

Hints for getting back on track:

Move when you can. If there's any chance to squeeze in some type of movement during your day – take it! Even if it's not an optimal workout, do what you can. Maintain the behavior of making movement a priority now, optimize later.

Reschedule immediately. If your workout is scheduled on your calendar, reschedule it as soon as possible. If you wrote it down on paper, add a new line for your next available opportunity to get movement into your week.

Skip the negative self-talk. You may feel frustrated or disappointed, but don't fall into the downward spiral of negative self-talk. Instead of berating yourself or making excuses, remind yourself that these situations happen but you can deal with it. Make the next best possible choice for you and move on.

Conclusion

Establishing a workout routine takes time and consistent performance. It isn't all or nothing, you receive tons of benefits every time you move your body, so start a habit and do your best to stick with it when you're able. Sure, a little motivation, discipline, and smart goals can help you establish behavior, but the real keys to ongoing success are:

#1 Make a Plan

#2 Make it Easy

#3 Make it a Priority

The Last Rep: Success doesn't require perfection; it only requires consistency.

1 Sarah Milne, Sheina Orbell, and Paschal Sheeran, “Combining Motivational and Volitional Interventions to Promote Exercise Participation: Protection Motivation Theory and Implementation Intentions,” British Journal of Health Psychology 7 (May 2002): 163–184.

_______________________________________________________________

About the Author

Rebecca Isensee, Matrix Master Trainer, USA

Rebecca has worked in the health and fitness industry for more than 10 years, fueling her deep passion for helping clients honor health as part of a full life through practical strategies and healthy habits.  She holds Master Trainer certifications in MX4, multiple Les Mills disciplines and has earned ACE Personal Trainer and Fitness Nutrition certifications.  

Explore

Related Posts

Balancing Home and Gym Workouts

Balancing Home and Gym Workouts

Most of us have a gym membership. Whether it’s a full-service gym,...

Discover More
Work Out to Reduce Your Worries

Work Out to Reduce Your Worries

Did you know a single workout can be effective at limiting your...

Discover More
Amplify Results with 3 P's: Progression, Pairing, & Plyometrics

Amplify Results with 3 P's: Progression, Pairing, & Plyometrics

You’re in the groove. You’re getting it done. You’re working out regularly...

Discover More
How to Pick the Perfect Console

How to Pick the Perfect Console

Buying fitness equipment is a big decision. It's a major purchase with...

Discover More
The Myth of

The Myth of "No Pain, No Gain"

In the US, one in three adults has been encouraged to exercise by their...

Discover More
Commercial vs Home Treadmills — What's the Difference?

Commercial vs Home Treadmills — What's the Difference?

What's the difference between commercial treadmills and home treadmills? What are commercial-grade...

Discover More
Enhance Your Workout with Bluetooth FTMS

Enhance Your Workout with Bluetooth FTMS

In the fitness world, some things never change.  For those looking to...

Discover More
How to Run on Zwift with a Matrix Treadmill

How to Run on Zwift with a Matrix Treadmill

Guest author, Taggart VanEtten, is the 100-mile treadmill world record holder, a...

Discover More
Make Time of What's Important in 6 Steps

Make Time of What's Important in 6 Steps

It’s another one of those days. You begin your morning feeling motivated....

Discover More
Fitness and Wellness for All

Fitness and Wellness for All

Johnson Health Tech is the world's largest specialty fitness retailer, operating more...

Discover More
Retain Muscle as You Lose Weight

Retain Muscle as You Lose Weight

Weight loss is a common goal. We lose weight as a combination...

Discover More
Best Ways to Add Challenge to Your Exercise Routine

Best Ways to Add Challenge to Your Exercise Routine

When starting out or returning to exercise, consistency is important. Focusing on...

Discover More
Sprint 8 — Behind the Science

Sprint 8 — Behind the Science

Why does it work? Muscle mass naturally decreases and body fat increases...

Discover More
Tough Times Call for Tough Training

Tough Times Call for Tough Training

"Unprecedented" is a word we've all heard enough of. A global pandemic...

Discover More
Johnson Health Tech Around the World

Johnson Health Tech Around the World

Johnson Health Tech has manufacturing all over the world. Take a closer...

Discover More
How to Get the Most Out of Indoor Cycling with Matrix

How to Get the Most Out of Indoor Cycling with Matrix

Over the last few years, indoor cycling classes have been popping up in...

Discover More
R&D— Designed to Exceed Expectations

R&D— Designed to Exceed Expectations

From the console to the deck and everything in between, Johnson Health...

Discover More
Excellence Has Its Rewards

Excellence Has Its Rewards

Johnson Health Tech is honored to be consistently recognized by esteemed industry...

Discover More
Enhance your workouts with Sprint 8

Enhance your workouts with Sprint 8

Experience HIIT at home Sprint 8 is an efficient, fat-burning HIIT workout...

Discover More
Johnson Health Tech— The Future of Fitness

Johnson Health Tech— The Future of Fitness

Today, Johnson Health Tech continues to drive the evolution of fitness and...

Discover More
Johnson Health Tech Brand Development and Globalism

Johnson Health Tech Brand Development and Globalism

As Johnson Health Tech matured, they evolved into a vertically integrated fitness powerhouse, owning all stages of production, distribution, and sales.

Discover More
What It Takes to Break the 100-Mile Treadmill World Record

What It Takes to Break the 100-Mile Treadmill World Record

An Interview with Taggart VanEtten: The 100-Mile Treadmill World Record Holder &...

Discover More
Johnson Health Tech: A Family Story

Johnson Health Tech: A Family Story

Take a peek into the 45 year history of Johnson Health Tech, starting with Mr. Peter Lo in Taichung, Taiwan in 1975.

Discover More
Get the Most from Matrix with Console Software Updates!

Get the Most from Matrix with Console Software Updates!

Introducing Software Update v1.4.0.19 for XER-02, XIR-02, and XUR consoles! Technology is...

Discover More
Travel the World with Matrix

Travel the World with Matrix

Missing your regular travel plans? Take a journey with Matrix and Virtual...

Discover More
Why Matrix?

Why Matrix?

In a world full of home fitness options, why choose Matrix?

Discover More
Check fitness off your list this holiday season with Matrix!

Check fitness off your list this holiday season with Matrix!

Keep an eye out for special deals on Matrix this holiday season!

Discover More
Forbes Names Johnson Health Tech on World's Best Employers List for Second Year Running

Forbes Names Johnson Health Tech on World's Best Employers List for Second Year Running

Johnson Health Tech has been named on Forbes Magazine's World's Best Employers...

Discover More
Matrix Holiday Shopping Guide

Matrix Holiday Shopping Guide

Learn about the best equipment to fit your needs, just in time for the holidays!

Discover More
Over 20 Years of Club Heritage Brings Value to Matrix for the Home

Over 20 Years of Club Heritage Brings Value to Matrix for the Home

Matrix Fitness, the premier brand of Johnson Health Tech (JHT) celebrated our...

Discover More