Working out is a great way to improve your health, longevity, and quality of life, but sometimes things get in the way of being able to keep up with it.
Life gets busy. Unexpected things happen. Good habits, like working out, get thrown out the window in order to prioritize a job, family, friends, etc. Maybe you just had a baby? Maybe you’re traveling and won’t be able to work out for a few weeks, or maybe you just fell off course and lost motivation? Whatever reason it may be, here are some helpful and proven ways to get back into a fitness routine.
1. Find an Exercise You Enjoy
Finding an exercise you like is so important in getting back into fitness and working out. It will start you on the right track and will motivate you to exercise more in the future. There are all kinds of exercises you can participate in. Resistance training, running, swimming, long walks, dance classes, and pilates to name a few. Mix it up! Doing the same thing every day can be boring, so make sure you find other forms of exercise to make it interesting.
2. Make a Good Playlist
Music can make all the difference when working out. It can pump you up and get you excited, which is exactly how you want to feel before and during a working out. Finding your style of workout music can really get you in the mood to move!
3. Make It a Lifestyle
An excerpt from James Clear’s book Atomic Habits says, “Your habits shape your identity, and your identity shapes your habits. It’s a two-way street. The formation of all habits is a feedback loop…but it’s important to let your values, principles and identity drive the loop rather than your results. The focus should always be on becoming the type of person, not getting a particular outcome.”
Clear continues, “Ultimately, your habits matter because they help you become the type of person you wish to be. They are the channel through which you develop your deepest beliefs about yourself. Quite literally, you become your habits.”
Making your fitness goals a part of your lifestyle is a critical part of establishing your goals. Let’s say you want to get into pilates and start taking classes. It’s a good goal, but not the optimal way to approach it. You don’t just want to take some pilates classes. You want to become “a pilates girl.” Embodying the lifestyle of your goal will make it more fun and fulfilling. You have to believe you are what you wish to become before you become it. Every time you participate in the habit, it reinforces the belief that it’s a part of your lifestyle and the type of person you want to be.
4. Make Sure You’re Sleeping Enough
Sleep is crucial for your energy levels and overall health. Make sure you’re getting 7+ hours of quality sleep a night for optimal energy throughout the day. This way you will have enough energy to exercise the way you want to. Sleep will also help you recover faster and get the results you desire.
5. Get an Accountability Partner
Having an accountability partner when starting something new can be very helpful. Bringing a friend, sibling, boyfriend, or parent can make the experience more comfortable especially when starting something new. Going to a new gym can be quite intimidating the first time. Attending your first kickboxing class by yourself can trigger a lot of anxiety. So, having someone along can help you feel more at ease and be more likely to motivate you to go again in the future. It can also be used as a great way to reconnect and spend time with your friends and loved ones.
6. Find Your “Why”
Finding your reason to work out can make all the difference. It keeps you focused. Your “why” can serve as a reminder and a motivator to keep going, but make sure it’s a realistic “why.” Having a physical goal is not a bad thing, but it needs to be attainable, sustainable, and healthy. Everyone has different physical goals, such as getting stronger, being more active, losing weight, getting leaner, etc. Or maybe you want to stay fit and healthy for your kids or even your grandkids. All are good and valid goals. Just make sure they are realistic and motivational for you.
7. Treat Yourself to a Cute New Workout Set
Don’t feel like going to the gym? Putting on some cute, new workout clothes can really up your mood and give you a boost of confidence. You’ll want to go to the gym or studio to show off your brand-new set! Clothes can have a big effect on our mood and can serve as a great motivator.
8. Avoid Burn Out
When we were all babies and were transitioning into eating solid food, our parents didn’t just hand us a steak and expect us to be able to eat it. We would have choked! But by slowly introducing baby food, yogurt, applesauce, etc., we were eventually able to eat harder things over time. We should approach getting back into regular exercise the same way. Each week we can add more intensity, higher reps, or heavier weights. This way you give your body time to get used to exerting itself regularly. Don’t take on more than you can chew.
9. Set Reasonable Expectations
Reasonable expectations can make all the difference in how you see yourself and your goals. We often think, “Once, I have the body of my dreams, then I’ll be happy.” What if you never get it? Will you never be happy? Health and beauty can look different on different body types. Is a rose more beautiful than a lily? It’s an opinion, but both are beautiful, even though they’re different from each other. Nothing is wrong with wanting to improve yourself, but improve yourself because you want to be the healthiest version you can be. That’s going to look different on everyone. Set reasonable expectations for your specific body type so that you can work toward something you know to be realistic.
The most important thing we should all take from this is that exercise is a blessing and shouldn’t be viewed as a chore or something we have to do. Not everyone has the ability to move how they want due to injury, being physically handicapped, etc. So even though you may not look or feel the way you want in this moment, find the joy in movement and do it daily. Movement should be used to make our lives better and more enjoyable.
With all these tips, you should be ready to tackle your fitness goals and have fun while doing it! So, get some good sleep, stay positive, wear that new gym set, make exercise a part of your daily life, put together a good playlist, and go for it! Most important of all, have fun working out!
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