The hardest part of getting fit is starting, yep getting that foot out the front door can be the hardest part. But what happens when you have gone out the door and got into a routine and all of a sudden circumstances have caused you to not be able to workout for a few sessions or weeks. It suddenly feels like a lot of effort to get back into it all over again.
Whether you are trying to get started on your fitness adventures or have been unwell, injured or even just on holiday for a while and want to get back into the routine of working out but just haven’t managed it these tips will help you get back on track.
Whether it is a motivation board, list of things you want to achieve, a pinterest account with motivating pictures etc of how you want to look or of what you want to achieve. i.e. run a marathon or do 30 push ups etc. If you have something to help motivate you make sure you use it and put it in a place that you can be reminded of why you want to start exercising. Not only will it help you get started but will also help keep you going.
Schedule time for your workout
Make time for your workout to prevent anything taking up the time you want to work out, make sure you put the time on your schedule, calendar etc, somewhere you can see it and won’t book something else in. Make it a regular entry into your schedule.
Doing something regularly and consistently will form a habit, habits are hard to break. Not all habits are bad so form a habit of exercise and before you know it you will be looking forward to your next workout and if you do happen to miss one you will find yourself missing it and looking forward to the next one – this may sound crazy to those of you who are trying to start exercising again but trust me you will get to this point, exercise is great for releasing those feel good endorphins.
Don’t go home first
If you prefer to workout after work and don’t have to go home before working out then don’t, once you get home you are more likely to find reasons why you cannot go and exercise, instead go straight to your workout. If you go to the gym to workout then go straight there after work and change at the gym.
If you do go home don’t sit down
If you do need to go home first maybe you can make your trip home as part of your workout i.e. maybe you can cycle to and from work. Once you are home make sure you don’t get into your normal routine, don’t sit down and put the tv on to take a rest (we all know that feeling of just wanting to sit for 5 mins before doing something – which turns into “oh I’ll go in another 5”,”ooo I’ll just wait for the end of this show, song” etc) as you may find it harder to get up again and motivate yourself to get changed and get out of the door as you will have already started to unwind and relax.
Have your clothes ready
Have your workout clothes ready to change into as soon as you get home so you don’t need to waste time looking for a particular pair of socks or your trainers, you can change from your work clothes jump into your workout clothes and head straight out the door again before you even have chance to think of an alternative way of spending your evening.
Arrange to workout out with someone else
If you know someone who is already in the routine of exercising or wants to start then arrange to go for a run or go to a class with them, this way you are less likely to opt out as you will be letting someone else down. It’s a great way to motivate each other. A bit of competition is also healthy.
Book on to a class
If you book a class and pay for it upfront then you will be more inclined to keep to your promise to yourself to go otherwise you will be wasting money.
Have your meal planned for when you finish
Plan in the morning or the day before what you will have to eat after your workout. That way you can prepare everything beforehand and have it ready to be cooked or even ready to eat for when you return.
When making your goals start small, remember that the hardest part is getting out the door, so if you are changed and ready to go you are halfway there already. Even if you don’t do anything too energetic and just a walk round the block or half jog half walk is better than not leaving the house.
This fits in with the above tip on starting small, if you are just getting back into working out you don’t want to aim to run 5k straight away on your first session, just having this kind of goal can make you put off starting as it is easier to find excuses not to go e.g I had a hard day at work and feeling a bit tired so I will go tomorrow when I have a bit more energy. You want goals that are easily achievable and steps towards those bigger goals.
Plan a reward
Set a timeframe, eg a month, once you have successfully kept to your schedule for a month reward yourself. Decide on the reward right at the beginning so you have something to keep you going and aim for. That way if you start to feel like giving up you can remind yourself what is waiting for you at the the end of the month.
Make it fun
If you are struggling to get back into the routine then pick something that you find enjoyable and fun to start with. It won’t feel like you are having to force yourself to do something then. Maybe there is a sport you enjoy or a nice cycle ride in the evening. Maybe you like to skip or do a home workout in front of the tv. Whatever it is you enjoy, if it is active, do it.
Build a habit
This fits in with the above tip on being consistent. Most of the time when people talk about habits it usually refers to something that someone does that isn’t so good but not all habits are bad and the habit of eating healthy and exercising is definitely to be encouraged. Once a habit of exercising is built you are less likely to drop out of the routine of doing it.
Measure your fitness
Nothing is more motivating than seeing results. Although, you do need to keep in mind that just jumping on a scale and weighing yourself may not be a true indicator of how well you are doing. If you are losing fat and gaining lean muscle the scales may not move at all. I always encourage people to forget the scales and use proper measurements instead. So get a tape measure and measure your waist, thighs etc and keep a log book.
It doesn’t just have to be measurements either, keep track of how far you could jog without stopping, how many push ups you do in each session etc. Keeping track of these will allow you to look at how you have improved. Another great way of judging results is taking photos, take one every 4 weeks from the front and the side and then you will have a great way of seeing how much your body is changing.
Don’t overdo it
Too much too soon can be a bad thing, if you are just getting back into exercising due to being unwell or injured you need to take it slowly to begin with so you don’t end up ill or injured again. If you are just starting your fitness journey then it is the same you need to start of slowly and build up your fitness levels to prevent you injuring yourself.
Don’t worry if you fall off the wagon again
If you have a set back and don’t keep to your program don’t worry, don’t give up on it, just start again, the longer it takes for you to start again the harder it will be. Just jump straight back into it and keep going.