Saying that we are going to get in shape and workout on our exercise bike each day is one thing. Putting it into practice is a whole other story. There will be times when you feel like giving up. You will resent the bike for the pain you go through. You may find that you have plateaued in your weight loss attempts. This is when you need to take a step back and find your motivation again. Remember why you started and why you need to continue. Find the best approach to get back in the saddle and succeed. Here are some top tips on how you can achieve this.
1) Remember why you are trying to create this workout plan
What is your motivation for working out and getting fit? It might not be enough to simply say that it is because you want to lose weight and get more in shape. Often there is a deeper reason and we need to dig deeper into that. For example:
~ Are you trying to lose weight because you want to return to a previous weight or get into an old piece of clothing that no longer fits?
~ Are you trying to get fitter for a specific event that you have coming up, such as a holiday or party?
~ Are you trying to improve your form so that you can get out cycling on the road and compete?
If you have a clear goal in mind, write it down and stick it onto the machine, or onto the wall in front of your bike. Whenever you look at your bike and feel like there isn’t any point in trying that day, read the note and think about the end goal. Where possible, put photos up or some other visual reminder of what’s to come. Put up pictures of yourself in that piece of clothing. Put up a picture of your holiday destination or something related to your next event. If the latter is a bit of a pipe dream, consider the next tip.
2) Book a place on a cycling event
If you want to get back into shape so that you can head out on the road and compete again, but it is just an abstract idea right now, make it a concrete reality. Sign up for a place at a local cycling race. If it has been a long time since you rode out on the road then you can keep it short and light-hearted with a charity event. If you are serious and really want to push yourself then look at more competitive events in the area. Once you are signed up, you have a clear deadline and real goal to work towards. The excitement of fulfilling that dream should be enough to kickstart your training regime again.
3) Don’t treat your exercise bike as though it is your enemy
There is an inclination to hate our exercise machines when we feel that we aren’t progressing. We personify them into cruel beings getting in our way or taunting us from across the room. This is when we often pack them up out of sight or hide them under piles of clothes. Remember that your machine is there to help. It has different options in its settings and programs to help you get fitter. It gives you a data stream to make use of. It does its best with what it has and you owe it to the machine to make the most of it. Therefore, it might be time to try the next tip.
4) Try new things and diversify your workout a little bit
A big problem with a daily workout on an exercise bike is that they can get a bit boring and repetitive. We end up going through the motions and lose the incentive to challenge ourselves and make the session fun. Take some time to step out of your comfort zone and preferred settings to do something else. Make a point of trying a different approach or setting each day of the week. One day could be all about slow endurance and another about faster sprints. Both skills could come in handy if you have competitive goals in mind. Take a look at some of the pre-set programs, such as any heart-rate or specific weight loss goals. They might not be a daunting as you imagined.
Another tip for diversifying your workout a little more is to try HIIT – high-intensity interval training. This is great on exercise bikes with manual resistance as you can turn the intensity up and down at will. You can work through patterns of tougher sessions and cool-down periods to really help you shift the pounds. Once you see how beneficial this can be for your workout and your gains and losses, it becomes a real motivational tool to continue.
5) Keep it fun
There is no reason why you have to treat your daily workout as a chore. Yes, it is something that you “have” to do. But, you don’t have to starve yourself of entertainment at the same time. That is why so many exercise bikes have media shelves. Promise yourself one episode of a box set each day with your workout. You can’t find out what happens after that cliffhanger until your next session. If TV isn’t your thing, create a fun workout playlist to listen too. Add in emotive songs that will trigger that need to reach your goal. For example, if you are getting fitter for the summer festival season, choose artists that you will be seeing.
6) Turn it into a routine
While it is fun to diversify the workout and try different things, it is still important to make it an enjoyable part of your daily routine. It needs to become a habit that you can get into without too much thought or reluctance. When you have those goals on the wall in front of you, your more diverse workout plan for the week and your chosen form of entertainment, it will all become much easier.
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