Routine interrupted by a summer vacation? Work got on top of you? Family commitments eating up all your spare time? Whatever the reason, you’ve ended up neglecting your fitness program and are struggling to find ways to start exercising again. Don’t worry! Read on for our tips and tricks on how to get back into exercise after a long break…
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How to start exercising again: 4 tips for you
Ditch the guilt!
Sometimes you’re your own worst enemy. “I’m just never going to get fit.” “Why can’t I stick to a simple exercise routine? Everyone else manages.” Sound familiar? Self-blame and critical thoughts can be paralyzing, but the key is to talk back to that demanding inner voice with compassion. Everyone has their off moments, but we all have the power to effect the small changes necessary to get back on track.
Do the groundwork for success. Are you going to exercise first thing in the morning? Nothing’s going to kill your motivation faster than scrabbling around for exercise gear at the back of the closet in the dark. Solution? Set out your workout gear the night before – by the bed or in the bathroom, someplace where it’s going to be instantly accessible when you are planning to use it. If you’re planning to hit the gym after work, ensure that gym bag is packed and hanging by the front door ready to leave with you in the morning.
Keep it small and manageable – don’t make this bigger than it is. No rushing out to buy a load of fancy new gym kit – this will only add to the burden of any guilt or pressure you may already be feeling. What you need are measurable, achievable goals. What does that mean? Pick your activity, and set some parameters – how much? How many times a week? For example: I plan to walk to work three times a week; I will do 20 minutes of yoga stretches upon waking up; I will take two exercise classes per week in that sleek new gym by the office. Now write your goals into your diary – this shows your commitment to starting to exercise again and will give you the satisfaction of being able to check each session off as you complete it.
Here comes the fun part! Just as your goals need to be specific and measurable, you should also plan for some concrete rewards which will motivate you towards maintaining your commitment. You decide the time frame – after two weeks of sticking to your schedule for example – and treat yourself to those new gym pants, or some wireless headphones for running. You’ll soon wonder why you ever stopped!