Often, the hardest part of a fitness routine is actually starting. Whether you’re restarting your exercise routine after a break, or are completely new to the gym, it can be difficult to know where to start.
After a month, two months, or even a year away from the gym, it can be daunting to get started again.
We’ve all been there – maybe you’re recovering from an injury, or you’re just returning from a vacation that derailed your fitness routine.
Regardless of the reason, stepping back into a fitness routine can be tough, but it is not impossible!
Here are five simple tips that you can use daily to restart your fitness routine after a break.
1. Commit for 30 days
Committing to a new exercise routine for 30 days can make profound changes to your mindset. Make a commitment to exercise for 30 days in a row, and this will transform into a habit.
This commitment will also take the pressure off yourself to in the first few weeks when you are deciding if you truly want to exercise.
Consistency is key when you are engaging in a fitness routine. Your body craves consistency when it comes to fitness, and exercising daily for a specific period of time will help your body become accustomed to the routine.
After you commit to exercising for a 30 day period, it will become easier to engage in your routine, and it will become a regular part of your day.
2. Track your Workouts
When I began working out consistently, I invested in a fitness tracker. Having visual cues that tracked every workout gave me a sense of achievement each time I reached a new goal.
Achieving small milestones is a good way to build fitness momentum. If you don’t have a fitness tracker, simply marking a calendar for each day that you exercise will keep you motivated.
(US News, 2011) Tracking your workouts is also helpful if you are new to exercise as it enables you to stay accountable for your fitness.
Online fitness programs are ideal for tracking daily and monthly progress toward your fitness goal. I often exercise with the guidance of a workout app on my phone that gives me specific exercises each day.
I set reminders each morning, and not only does this track my daily workouts, but it also holds me accountable for my own fitness!
3. Create your Vision
Seeing is believing. The mind is a powerful ally, so visualizing results you want to achieve from your fitness routine is a tool that you can harness as motivation.
How do you want to see your body in two weeks, a month, or even a year? Create the health, fitness routine, and vision that you want to achieve and paint a picture of it in your mind.
Better yet, creating a real vision, such as an exercise vision board, will help you concretely visualize your goals. One way that I created my own fitness vision is by purchasing new workout clothes.
A little retail inspiration was just the motivation I needed to jumpstart my routine! If you look good, you feel good, and feeling good about working out is a perfect place to start. Upgrading your workout clothes can really encourage you to test them out during a workout.
The key point is, it is easier to get moving if you know that there is a reward waiting for you at the end of your workout. Another way to visualize your fitness journey is to take before and after photographs to document your progress.
4. Start your Workouts with a Warm-Up and Cool-Down Session
Warm-up and cool-down sessions are essential to a workout, especially if you are easing back into a fitness routine.
A good warm-up prepares your body for the increase in activity while a cool-down allows your heart to return to its resting rate.
A proper cool-down session will also reduce some of the post-workout soreness that you may feel in your muscles.
Both warmup and cool-down sessions should include stretching to keep your muscles in top-shape and to reduce the risk of injury. Try fitness routines that have built-in warm up and cool down sessions if you are unsure of where to start!
5. Schedule your Workouts
Scheduling each workout holds you accountable to it. If you are looking for an excuse to avoid working out, then you will find a way to deter yourself.
Because of this, it is important to schedule a specific time to complete your workouts each day. Ensure that you schedule your workouts during a time that is free from distractions.
If you know that your mornings are busy, then schedule your workouts for the early evening. If you get caught up at work in the evenings, schedule your workouts for the morning before you leave for the office.
If you know you have little time to exercise on a specific day, schedule a quick fifteen-minute session. Even engaging in a small amount of exercise each day is better than doing nothing!
It is important to remember that habits are created by the consistent daily activities that we choose to devote time toward.
The more consistent and accountable you are toward your workout routine, the easier it will become to maintain it.
Once exercise becomes a habit, it will feel like another part of your daily routine, and you may even find yourself exercising on autopilot! With a little motivation, inspiration, and accountability your fitness goals will be easier to reach and maintain.
While the idea of starting a new fitness routine may seem daunting, the key thing to remember is that it is all about putting one foot in front of the other.
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Inpost Image Credit: shutterstock.com