How To Create & Stick To A Healthy Routine

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February 2, 2018

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Before we get into the nitty gritty of setting up a new routine, it can be helpful to ask yourself what is a priority for you when it comes to your health and fitness. 

Do you want to aim for two workouts each week, or four? How important is it to have things like yoga and meditation in your week? How much sleep do you need to feel your best? If you want to improve your nutrition, is it about cooking more meals at home, choosing healthier snacks, or perhaps carving out time for meal prep?

By taking some time to think about what you want in your routine, it will be easier to create new habits that feel good for YOU, rather than copying what works for someone else.

Whether you’re taking part in a Sweat Challenge or you have your own goals in mind, here are some tips to help you form a positive and productive routine.

Find workout times that suit you 

Look at your weekly schedule and figure out which time of day works best for you to exercise around your other commitments. Mornings might be best if you work from home, but an evening or lunchtime workout could be a better option if you have an early work commute. Perhaps it’s a mixture!

If you’re new to working out or have a flexible schedule, try exercising at different times of the day to help you understand when you have the most energy to get the most out of each workout. 

Once you’ve decided on your optimal times for exercise, schedule your workouts in advance using the Planner feature in the Sweat app! You’re more likely to stick to your routine if you have a solid plan. 

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Try weekly food shopping or meal prep

Nutrition is also important when it comes to creating healthy habits. Eating well can support your goals and help you feel better each day.  Having a healthy eating routine can make it much easier to reduce your intake of  processed or convenience foods that are usually low in nutrients.

A great way to kickstart healthier eating habits is by creating a list of healthy dishes you enjoy, then set aside time each week to choose which one you will cook, make a list of ingredients (and healthy snacks!), and do a weekly shop to set yourself up for success. 

Some people prefer to do meal prep each week, where you cook food in large batches, portion them into meal sizes for you or your family, and freeze them for days when you’re short on time. Meal prep can be for your main meals, or making things like bliss balls or muesli bars for snacks!

However you prefer to do it, planning and preparing your meals can make it much easier to stick to your health goals.

Don’t forget sleep and relaxation

Having enough energy, reducing your stress levels and allowing your body to rest are just as important as exercise and nutrition - especially if you’re working out regularly.

Most people need around eight hours of sleep each night, so work backwards from when you wake up and make a regular bedtime part of your routine. You also might want to pick a day or two each week to be your rest days.

While getting rid of all stress isn’t realistic (and in fact, some stress is good for us), you don’t want to burn out or neglect your mental health. Think about what you could incorporate into your week to take care of your mind too. This could be reading, journalling, watching your favourite show, doing yoga, having a bath, or starting a meditation practice

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How to stick with your routine

So you’ve got your routine planned out, but sticking to it is a whole different story! Here are some of the best ways to help you stay consistent. 

Create a weekly schedule that covers everything 

As the saying goes - fail to plan, plan to fail. To make healthy habits  part of your routine, a plan or weekly schedule is your best friend.  

In your weekly schedule, find time for everything you want to prioritise - from workouts, food shopping and meal prep, to rest days, bedtime and relaxation. Plan one whole week at a time — this way you can make changes depending on your commitments or how your body is feeling. 

Create habits you enjoy

Your chance of sticking with anything long-term is going to be much higher if you actually enjoy it. If you’ve lost interest in your training style, try something new! 

Move your body in a way that makes YOU feel good, cook recipes that YOU think are delicious and make time for things that YOU find relaxing. 

Be your own cheerleader

Creating a new routine and breaking old habits can be hard. In those moments where negative self-talk creeps in, tell yourself you CAN do this and how good you will feel. Over time, it will become easier to dismiss any thoughts that might hold you back and stop you from sticking to your schedule.

Even the best schedule isn’t foolproof - life can throw us all sorts of curveballs! If you have a fitness setback or your routine doesn’t go to plan, don’t beat yourself up. Being healthy is a lifelong journey - just try again tomorrow! When you succeed, be proud and find ways to reward yourself.

Be prepared 

As you start to follow your new plan, you might find that some things are more challenging than others. Getting out of bed to work out might be a struggle, or you might find it hard to cook when it’s so easy to order takeaways. 

Being as prepared as possible can make a big difference. That might mean laying out your workout clothes the night before like Chontel does, finding a workout buddy to make exercise more fun (and hold you accountable), or taking out the meal ingredients you need earlier in the day.  

You might even bookmark healthy recipes for the days when you’re short on time and need some inspiration.

Find your why

Unless you have a strong, motivating reason why you want to stick to your new habits, it can be easy to return to what you were doing before. 

Whatever habits you want to implement, ask yourself why. Perhaps you want to have more energy, confidence, fitness, improve your mood, or simply feel healthier overall. 

For Kayla, working out makes her feel her most energised, empowered and confident self. She feels like she can achieve absolutely anything after a solid workout, and it allows her to show up as her best self - for her daughter Arna, for her family and friends, and most importantly, for herself. 

Think about why your new routine is important to you, and remind yourself of that whenever things feel tough. If you need some inspiration, check out the comments on this post!

Finding a healthy motive for movement is something Kelsey Wells is passionate about, and you can try her Redefine Fitness program in the Sweat app to start honouring your body today.

Sweat is about so much more than your workouts

Feel your best - inside AND out

Get committed — and start now!

If you want to revamp your routine and make long-term changes, it’s going to take discipline and commitment. 

Figure out what you want to prioritise or change, break those goals into small tasks to make them more achievable, schedule them into your weekly routine, and keep focused by reminding yourself why you wanted to make changes in the first place. 

The best time to start is right now. Do you have tips for sticking to a healthy routine? Let us know in the comments below!

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A more empowered you starts with Sweat, and our editorial team is here to bring you the latest fitness tips, trainer recommendations, wellbeing news, nutritional advice, nourishing recipes and free workouts.

* Disclaimer: This blog post is not intended to replace the advice of a medical professional. The above information should not be used to diagnose, treat, or prevent any disease or medical condition. Please consult your doctor before making any changes to your diet, sleep methods, daily activity, or fitness routine. Sweat assumes no responsibility for any personal injury or damage sustained by any recommendations, opinions, or advice given in this article.


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