Whether you’ve taken a long break, never had any time or just simply want to change your lifestyle habits for the better, it’s never too late to start working out again. The key is to start out slowly, not overdo it, and have patience. Your body will hate you in the beginning, and that’s fine. But, your body will love you once it starts to change for the better. Your mind will love that it has a new way to relieve stress and that you’re committing to something on a consistent basis. It’s a win-win clearly!
1. Write down your goals.
I suggest categorizing them into weekly and monthly goals and keeping them somewhere where you can refer back to them often. Short term goals are easier to focus on. Achieving something quickly is a big motivation booster. For example, my weekly goal is to get into the gym 3x a week consistently for a month. 3x might not sound like a lot, but when it’s 20 degrees outside and you want to stay inside all day, it gets tough. If you’re working full-time, or are a parent, that can also present obstacles and sometimes, WE’RE ALL JUST FREAKING TIRED. I get it. But having goals gives you something to work to achieve!
2. Find someone who will blast said goals in your face..regularly.
It’s nothing like hearing someone tell us to stop being a fat blob and workout. Ok, that’s a bit much but having someone in your ear or in your inbox bluntly reminding you that you have goals to achieve is definitely helpful. Nowadays, I see a lot of people doing “workout/gym check-ins” via social media and tagging their accountability partners. Weekly check-ins are great and it gives you motivation to have something to tell your partner. Just telling them that you went to the gym 3 times this week and achieved a goal can do loads for your confidence! You’ve achieved something AND get to brag on yourself. I mean….who doesn’t love to do that?! Choose someone who will stay on you and keep it real with you. Relating to your diet, an accountability partner can help you plan out your meals, tell you NO when you need to put that bag of chips down and most importantly, motivate you!
3. Ease back into working out because your body WILL hate you...at first.
TAKE YOUR TIME! You’re not going to see changes overnight. You can’t just go to the gym and run 5 miles, lift 50 lbs and squat 300 lbs. It won’t work like that. Losing weight requires patience along with consistency. You have to take your time to allow your body to adjust to this new physical exertion of itself. Along with that, you have to make sure you rest. Don’t overdo the cardio and split up your workouts onto different days. Listen to your body and STRETCH!!
4. Don't feel pressure to publicly struggle in public...aka join a gym.
You don’t need a gym to get back into working out. There are plenty of home workouts that you can do that require no equipment. Honestly no-equipment workouts may be best to start out with. Let’s face it, a gym can be intimidating. You may not know how to use all the different equipment. You may not want people seeing you sweat all over a Stairmaster. Try consistently working out at home at least 3x a week before you decide to join a gym. My other recommendation is to do a free trial at a gym first. Challenge yourself to get to the gym at least 3-4x while it’s FREE to see how consistent you can be..and to learn about all the equipment so you don’t scream NEWBIE when you start going. There’s no point in paying for a membership and you’re never going to go.
5. Make a BOMB workout playlist because why sweat without it?
There’s nothing like doing 10 reps then twerking to Beyonce afterwards because you’re that much closer to having a booty like hers. Workouts are mini-concerts for me whilst dying in the process. A good workout playlist is critical for me getting through my workout. Cardio, weights, doesn’t matter. Music motivates me to keep going! It makes all the difference, seriously.
6. Put the fries down.
You love french fries and I wish I could eat pizza everyday for the rest of my life…I get it. But, let’s be real, that’s a heart attack waiting to kill us. Losing weight is 80% diet, 20% exercise. You can workout all you want, but if your diet is crap, it won’t matter. Switching your diet to one that’s more healthy can actually yield more physical change quicker than working out. You’d be surprised what eating healthy for a week and drinking water can do to your body, especially if you’re someone who eats a lot of sugar and fatty foods.
7. Switch up your workouts.. doing the same thing is boring.
Doing the same workouts gets boring….quick. Switch up how you get your workout in. I like dance workouts at home as my cardio when I don’t get to the gym. 30 minutes of high-intensity dance movements is all I need to wanna pass out. If you’re not rhythm inclined, there are a lot of fun, cardio workouts on Youtube from zumba to HIIT (high-intensity interval training) to equipment-free workouts to help you switch it up. A brisk 30 min. walk/run outside is great to boost your heart rate!
8. Stop making excuses, seriously.
Working out is not easy but if you want to change your lifestyle, don’t make excuses. I struggle with this too so I can very much relate. If you know you’re not going to workout when you get off work, then you better wake up early and do it. Keep your goals at the forefront of your mind. You’ll have to make sacrifices. But, once you start making it a habit to workout, you’ll see all the many benefits it offers to you mentally, physically and emotionally. Working out is a stress-reliever for me. If you carry a lot of stress, try boxing or kickboxing. Those are phenomenal workouts and I mean…who doesn’t want to picture their horrible boss and punch at it. Ha!