Looking for tips to help make exercise part of your daily routine?  As personal trainers in Schaumburg, Charlie and Julie are well-versed on the difficulties that often come up with adopting exercise into an everyday lifestyle.  Because of that, they have put together six tips to help you exercise consistently not just for a few months, but for life.



  1. Beware of fads
    • Explanation: Fads are exercises, programs, or systems that promise large results over a short amount of time.  These are unsustainable and not created for someone interested in exercising for the long term
    • Main takeaway:  Invest your time, money, and energy into sustainable types of exercise that won’t leave you returning to your old ways after “90 days” or whatever the promise may be.
  2. Think long term, not short term
    • Explanation:  Exercise is a long term process.  Thinking short-term (weeks, months, a few years) will not allow you to get the MOST out of your exercise.  Keep your eye on the prize – exercise for life (this may be 10, 20, 50+ years!).
    • Main takeaway: Don’t progress to get the biggest bang out of each day of exercise but progress to get the biggest bang out of your exercise life
  3. Think internal, not external
    • Explanation: Exercise is often mistaken for the exercises that are being done.  When we think of exercise we think of the machine moving or our body’s movements.  We need to remember that exercise is actually the changes and the challenges that your body is experiencing.  The more you focus on your muscle contractions when you exercise, the better!
    • Main takeaway:  Focusing on what is happening on the inside of your body will allow your to realize greater results, in a safer way, at a faster pace.
  4. Listen to your body
    • Explanation: Understand that your body has ONE way of communication.  This form of communication is through symptoms.  These symptoms may be muscle tightness, soreness, or achy joints.  Since this is the only way your body can communicate, we need to be listening to this communication!  These symptoms are not something that should be silenced without justification.
    • Main takeaway:  Listening to your body is not a way of “babying” your body.  Actually, if you progress when you are feeling great and take it easy when you need recovery you will exercise in a much more sustainable way.
  5. Schedule your exercise… with a pen.
    • Explanation:  Things that are important are always scheduled.  If you need to get a work project done, you schedule time.  
    • Main takeaway:  We are all busy.  We will make time for things that are important.  Your health and your body need you to exercise.  Schedule it each week.
  6. Seek help when you need it
    • Explanation: There are many trained professionals that are prepared and ready to help you!  We often go for tactics that seem logical and applicable to us.  This may be different that what a trained professional may see or know.
    • Main takeaway: Find a quality professional to help you with your goals when you find that you are falling away or continuously not achieving them.

If you are interested in discussing any of these tips more in depth, we would love to connect with you.

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Charlie Cates

Char­lie Cates, M.S. is a Muscle Activation Techniques® Master Specialist (MATm), an MATRx® Full Body Specialist, a mastery level Resistance Training Specialist® (RTSm), and a Cer­ti­fied Personal Trainer through the National Academy of Sports Medicine. Charlie attained a Bachelor of Arts degree from Williams College in 2010, where he played varsity basketball for four years. In 2016 he graduated from Northeastern Illinois University with a Master of Science degree in exercise science. A type-1 diabetic, he is the owner of Muscle Activation Schaumburg in Schaumburg, IL. He is an instructor for the Muscle Activation Techniques® program, introducing students of all different backgrounds to the MAT® process. Charlie specializes in managing and improving the function of his clients’ muscular system through the MAT® process and utilizing RTS® principles. He can be reached via e-mail at charlie@matschaumburg.com. Fol­low him on Instagram at @CharlieCates!