Did you used to be a regular at the gym, on the road or on the trails until injuries, work, kids, time or just normal life got in the way? Whatever the reason, we have all been there at one point or another. When your exercise routine is derailed for a chunk of time, it can be hard to start again, but here are some ways to help get you started again.
Remember, exercise is good! Rather than viewing your comeback as a daunting task, view it as an opportunity. This is your opportunity to learn and try new activities, challenge yourself, and surpass your old fitness level. Are you ready to make your comeback?
- Break it down. If exercise seems too daunting, break it down into achievable steps. If thirty minutes a day is too much to consider, break it down to one, two or three sessions of ten minutes of exercise until you get going again. Start slow, build success, then increase the duration.
- Buddy up. Commit to working out with a friend or join a class or group. Having someone hold you accountable and vice versa, works wonders for keeping you committed to your workouts.
- Plan it ahead of time. Don’t leave your workout to chance. Plan your session: what you are going to do & when and where you are going to do it. Even sign up ahead of time for a class to ensure you’ll go. Otherwise we may find ourselves saying: “I’ll work out later”, which as we may know, turns into “I’ll just workout tomorrow” and we will never get it done.
- Lower your expectations. Just because you’re not feeling up to your usual routine, doesn’t mean you should skip the workout altogether. Even a little exercise, like a twenty-minute bike ride, walk, run or stretch will keep your brain programmed to your fitness schedule. Whereas, if you don’t exercise at all, it won’t seem like a big deal to skip another workout again in the future.
- Lay out your clothes the night before. When you wake up and see your workout outfit, shoes, and water bottle ready to go, chances are you will use them. Rather workout at the end of the day? Pack your gym bag, including water and pre-workout snack the night before and maybe even put it in the car so you don’t forget it in the morning. Being prepared for a workout leaves less opportunity for excuses to skip it.
- Participate in a workout challenge. Create an achievable goal for yourself or just try challenging yourself to workout everyday or every other day for a month or longer and see what happens. You can also find a gym challenges or online group challenge (those instagram challenges are always popping up). Grab a few friends to join in on the fun too!
- Buy new workout gear. Finding clothes that are comfortable and make you feel and look good, can be important and can help you want to work out more. When we feel good, our attitude changes and we are more likely to participate in the activity. So treat yourself to new shoes or an outfit. Get ready to strut your stuff and get your sweat on.