I have received several emails from readers lately asking how to get into a fitness routine. They have a strong desire to start exercising and getting into the habit of it, but can’t seem to stick with it. Those of you that are avid exercisers and have your routine down pat, props to you! I encourage you to still read along and share any other advice you have in the comment section.
1. Write out your goals on paper
What are you wanting to accomplish? Ensure that your goals follow the SMART principle (S = specific; M = measurable; A = attainable; R = relevant; T = timely). You can also read tips on how to reach your goals HERE.
2. Do research and gain knowledge
If you don’t have much experience and/or knowledge with fitness, I would highly encourage you to speak with a fitness professional to get down the basics. Sign up for a few sessions with a personal trainer, do research at the library or online, and/or take some group fitness classes! You don’t want to get into a fitness routine without any knowledge otherwise you could be setting yourself up for injury and/or failure.
3. Schedule your workouts into your daily planner or calendar
Treat your workouts just like you would any other important meeting. So many people tell me “they don’t have enough time.” Sorry, bad excuse. If you want to wake up early and do your workout in the morning, go to bed earlier. If you want to do your workout after work, get other things done during your lunch hour or before you leave for work. Workouts don’t need to be an hour or more long to be a quality workout either. There are plenty of workouts you can do in 20 minutes or less that are just as effective.
4. Don’t overwhelm yourself
You don’t need to workout 5-6 days per week to see results. Planning workouts 3-4 days out of your week is completely reasonable! Also, don’t go balls to the wall crazy for every workout. You will burn yourself out! Take it easy and work up to your goals.
5. Look for ways to be active outside of your planned workouts
If you can only get to the gym 3 days out of the week, don’t stress! Look for other ways to be active in your day to day life. Go on an after dinner walk with your family or a friend, park far away so you have to walk more, take the stairs, go on a walk during your lunch break, chase your kids at the park. There are endless activities you can partake in that will add up in the long run.
6. Eat a nutritious diet and focus on REAL foods
A lot of people tell me they don’t have enough energy to add a workout on top of their already busy days. I get that, we are all so busy these days. One thing that will help give you that extra boost of energy is eating a nutritious diet full of lean protein, whole grains, healthy fats, and produce. I promise you will feel SO much better!
7. Find a type of exercise that you enjoy
So many people assume that the only way they can get into shape is to run or go on the elliptical for hours on end. Wrong!! There are SO many different types of exercise out there. Try them all until you find one that you enjoy! If you find something you enjoy, you are more likely to look forward to it and keep up with your routine. Exercise isn’t supposed to be a dreadful experience!
I hope these tips can help those of you that are wanting to get into a routine with your exercise. It takes dedication and hard work, but you can and will get there if you truly want to! I find that for most people, the first month or so is the hardest. Once you get past that point, it will most likely develop into a daily habit. Feel free to email me if you have any other questions!
- What stops you from getting into a regular exercise routine?
- Avid exercisers: Any other tips you’d like to share?