Has it been weeks, months, or even years since you last worked out? No worries! We’ve got 14 easy tips to help you get back on the fitness saddle!
1. START NOW
“I’ll start my new program on Monday.” Sound familiar? We’ve all said it before! In the words of Walt Disney, “The way to get started is to quit talking and being doing.” Don’t wait a day longer to get back on track. Start now and you’ll be glad you did!
2. GO BACK IN TIME
The last time you decided to shape up, you were probably on a good roll. And then it happened… something made you lose focus. Maybe it was as simple as an extra-busy week, or perhaps it went deeper. Maybe you weren’t seeing the results you wanted and you lost motivation. Whatever the reason, it’s important to identify WHY you got off track. Knowing what led you astray will prepare you this time around should the same obstacles arise.
3. PARTNER UP
It can be scary to share your goals with someone else. After all, once you’ve said them out loud, they can’t be taken back! Still, a little accountability goes a long way. Sharing your goals with a friend – or better yet, have your friend join you in the gym – will increase your odds of success. You’ll be less likely to skip out on a workout if you know someone is there waiting for you. You can also talk and text with each other throughout the week to make sure you’re both staying on track.
4. PUT YOUR GOALS ON PAPER
It’s time to go old school by physically writing down your 30-day, 60-day, and 90-day goals. Record not only WHAT you want to achieve, but HOW you plan on achieving it with specific action steps. Why paper? Just think back to the study conducted on the Harvard MBA grads of 1979. In the book “What They Don’t Teach in the Harvard Business School,” the author shares how only three percent of these grads wrote down their goals for the future. Ten years later, the grads were interviewed again. The three percent who had written down their goals were earning, on average, 10 times more than the other 97 percent of grads put together!
5. MARK YOUR CALENDAR
If your life is busy (whose isn’t?), it can be easy to push fitness to the side. That’s why it’s important to schedule your workouts just as you would other important appointments. Treat them as “must-dos” and not “nice-to-haves.” Google Calendar has a “Goals” feature that helps you pencil in important tasks. Simply click a category (like Exercise, Build a Skill, or Me Time), and add a specific activity. The calendar will automatically find open slots, fill them in with your goal, and send you reminders.
6. EASE YOUR WAY INTO THINGS
It’s great that you’re raring to get started, but try not to go ALL in at once with your fitness plan. Sometimes this can be overwhelming, and we don’t want you giving up prematurely. Instead, aim to take one important action per week. For example, make Week 1 the week that you start adding more healthy protein to your diet. Once you’ve mastered one new habit, you can add another.
7. TRY SOMETHING NEW
Maybe it was the monotony of your old routine that got to you before. If you’ve been exercising for years and have rarely switched things up, then you’re due for a change. This time around, why not try a new sport, exercise class, or workout routine? It’ll be like a brand-new relationship – exciting and mysterious!
8. SEEK INSPIRATION
When you’d rather dive into a bag of chips than go to the gym, it can help to have a mentor –someone who lives the lifestyle you’re trying to lead. This mentor can be in person (someone you already know and look up to), or a fitness icon that you follow from afar on social media. Seeing their motivational posts every day will help you keep positive and on track!
9. HAVE A FALL-BACK PLAN
Life isn’t always predictable, so plan for the unexpected. There will be times when things like unexpected overtime or family commitments threaten your fitness goals. In these situations, stay prepared by always having healthy, high-protein snacks on you. You can also keep a few simple exercise gadgets at home (like an exercise mat and dumbbells) for when you’re too busy to make it to the gym.
10. STAY IN THE KNOW
They say knowledge is power, so keep doing what you’re doing now – reading articles like this one! This site has lots of great information on healthy eating, exercise, and supplementation to guide you in the right direction.
11. GET YOUR SPOUSE / PARTNER ON BOARD
Have a husband or boyfriend who isn’t as excited about fitness as you are? You’ll need to get him on board PRONTO! Find activities that he enjoys so that you can be active together, or suggest healthy meals with ingredients you know he loves. Above all else, don’t let him sneak junk food into your grocery cart! When you’re both on the same page, you’ll be more likely to stick with your new plan.
12. GET ENOUGH ZZZs
Why is it so important to get seven or eight solid hours of sleep each night? Because when you start exercising again, your body will need that precious time to recover and recoup. Bonus: If you’re getting enough sleep, you’ll be less likely to use the “I’m too tired to exercise” excuse the next day!
13. DARE TO GO DEEP
Before getting started, uncover your deep-rooted motivations for shaping up. Ask yourself questions like: “What If I didn’t change my lifestyle right now? What would life look like for me? Would I be OK with not having enough energy to play with my kids, or being three sizes bigger than my ideal weight?” Similarly, ask yourself how you would benefit from getting in shape: “How happy would I be with a new, healthier body? How much more confident would I be in social situations?”Answering these questions will help you get to the heart of why you’re here and help you go the distance.
14. REWARD YOURSELF ALONG THE WAY
Last but not least, don’t wait until the end of your journey to celebrate success.
Reward yourself along the way, because every small milestone deserves recognition. You made a goal, you’re making it happen, and you deserve a huge pat on the back!
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Disclaimer: This content is for informational purposes only and is not meant as medical advice, nor is it to diagnose or treat any medical condition. Please consult your physician before starting or changing your diet or exercise program. Any use of this information is at the sole discretion and responsibility of the user.