So, you want to get back into exercise? We gotchu. Here are 9 tips to help you get started.
1. Make a list
First things first: Make a list of activities you like. Do you dig trainer-based workouts? Then Peloton or a guided group class might be your best bet. If you love being outside, you might like walking, jogging, hiking, or biking.
Oh, and you should make a list of activities you don’t like too. For example, if being crammed into a studio with 20 sweaty strangers makes you cringe, then a cycling class probs won’t be your jam.
But it’s also important to try new things — you might be surprised by how much you like something new!
Keep in mind that you don’t have to stick to one workout or activity. You can create an active lifestyle by participating in lots of different activities.
2. Be realistic and start slowly
Set realistic goals. Don’t leap into intermediate or advanced workouts your first week (or even your first month). This is especially important if you’re new to fitness or if you’re rusty. Pushing past your limits is a one-way ticket to Ouch Town and can also muck up your motivation.
Instead, stick to beginner-friendly workouts 2 or 3 times a week. You also need to give your body plenty of time to recover in between workouts.
Psst… Don’t worry if you’re not where you want to be just yet. You can work your way up to more intense workouts over time.
3. Get into a good groove
Making time for fitness can be tricky at first. But as the months march on, you can get into a groove and make exercise part of your regular routine.
You can keep it chill by adding a couple of workouts to your week. Then decide what times worked best for you and try to make a habit out of it.
Reminder: Working out doesn’t have to be a major time commitment. A 20-minute brisk walk on your lunch break or an at-home strength training sesh can do the trick.
4. Figure out your fitness level
Before setting off on a fitness journey, it’s important to be realistic about where you’re at. You also need to consider health conditions, injuries, and other lifestyle factors when creating a new activity plan. Meet yourself where you are!
FYI: We all have to start somewhere, so don’t be discouraged if your fitness level isn’t where you expected it to be. Again, you can totes increase your strength and stamina over time.
5. Surround yourself with positive people
It can be hard to start an exercise routine solo, especially if you’re a social butterfly. So try to find a workout buddy or even a crew.
You can meet up for walks, hikes, or exercise classes as a pair or group. There’s a good chance one of your friends or family members wants to get more active too.
6. Do it for the right reasons
Becoming more physically active can totally help you lose weight. But weight loss shouldn’t be the only reason for working out. Think about how physical activity impacts your mental health, mood, confidence, heart health, and more!
7. Understand that it may get tough at times
Starting a new exercise routine isn’t all butterflies and rainbows. In fact, it can be seriously difficult sometimes. But try to remember that it can also be rewarding AF.
PSA: Even though working out may feel uncomfortable, it should never be 10/10 painful. And it shouldn’t make you feel bad about yourself. If a gym, class, or trainer makes you feel self-conscious, that’s a hard pass. There are plenty of activities that can help you feel strong, empowered, and good about yourself.
8. Treat yo’self to set yo’self up for exercise success
Treat yourself to some new sneaks, hiking boots, or workout clothes — within your budget, of course.
This may help you feel more confident and excited to start working out. However, you do not have to spend tons of money on workout gear to be more active.
A pair of sneaks and some workout clothes you feel comfortable in will work well for almost any activity.
9. Make it fun!
Working out can be a BLAST! Listen to music, work out with a friend, or go hiking with your dog. If you find yourself actually looking forward to your workouts, there’s a solid chance you’ll want to make them a consistent part of your life.