Sometimes life happens and we get a little steered off track. Family commitments pop up, winter sickness kicks in, or you get stuck with overtime at work. Then all of a sudden your exercise routine goes from regular to non-existent. I know what it’s like to have a really good routine, and then something unexpected happens. You miss a few workouts and then all of a sudden you are in an exercise rut. So the question is, how do you get back into it? If you have found yourself a little off track recently, and needing a motivation boost, here are some of my tips on how to restart your exercise habit and get back into a healthy routine.
1. Take a one month challenge
If you want to start making exercise a habit again, then try taking on a short one-month challenge to kick-start your routine. Lots of gyms, yoga studios and boot camps offer one-month challenges or my F.I.T. programs are designed in four-week blocks. By having it broken down into a smaller time frame, it won’t feel so overwhelming. Then once the challenge is finished you will feel great and be back into a good exercise routine.
2. Commit to five minutes
If a long workout feels like too much, then just commit to working out for five minutes. A commitment of five minutes is a lot less daunting than a full workout. Once you are up and moving, more than likely you will just keep going. So, start with five minutes and see where you end up.
3. Remember how good it makes you feel
Sometimes we focus too much on the effort of it, rather than the outcome. The thing with a workout is, whilst it can be hard during, you will always feel absolutely amazing afterwards. So, if you need something to help you refocus and motivate you, just remember that post-workout high. Besides from some sore muscles, you will never regret a workout.
4. Schedule it in your diary
If you are looking for an excuse to not workout, then you will find every opportunity for a distraction to deter you. That’s why it’s important to clear your schedule and make time specifically for your daily exercise. Make sure it’s scheduled in the day for a time that you won’t get easily distracted. If you know that you get caught up at work in the evenings, then schedule your workout in the mornings. If mornings are too busy, then schedule your workout in the evenings. If you know it’s going to be a crazy busy day, then just commit to a quick fifteen-minute HIIT session, as doing something is always better than doing nothing.
5. Prepare your gym bag
If exercising in the morning used to be your thing, but you now can’t get out of bed, then prepare your gym bag the night before and lay it next to your bed. Put your alarm on the other side of the room, so when it goes off you will have to get out of bed to turn it off. Then, once you are out of bed, with your gym bag ready, you may as well get up and go. If you go to the gym after work, place your gym bag ready to go and next to your desk. This will act as a good reminder of what you have committed to and you will be less likely to back out.
6. Just start with something easy
If you are really struggling to get back into exercising, and feeling totally overwhelmed by it all, sometimes it can be useful to just start with something easy. If going to do a big weights session at the gym is too much, then get outside and go for a brisk walk, or a light jog, to just get up and get moving. As soon as you start with something small, and feel good from that, you’ll want to continue on and get back into your healthy habits.
7. Get an exercise buddy
It’s very easy to pull out of your workout if it’s just you holding yourself accountable. Having a friend, work colleague, or family member to workout with is a great way to boost motivation, and hold each other accountable, sticking to your workout routine. It also adds a social aspect, which brings a little more fun back into working out.
8. Don’t just think gym
Being fit and healthy isn’t just about going to the gym every day. Find ways to mix up your workouts, and incorporate other exercises that you enjoy into your routine. Picking up social sports, going for a jog on the beach, or simply walking the dog are all great ways to stay fit and healthy.
9. Do it for yourself, not anyone else
I always say: ‘don’t workout for anyone else but yourself’. Being fit and healthy should be about making yourself feel great, having confidence and aiming to be your best. Remember to do this for you, not anyone else or how they think you should look. Then, each time you workout, know that you have done something good for yourself and celebrate that.
Remember habits are created by the consistent daily activities we chose to put our time towards. So, the more consistent you are with your exercise routine, the easier it is to form healthy habits. Then, once it’s a habit, you just go on autopilot, and exercising is part of your daily life.