How to Get Back Into A Fitness Routine

Today I drove to the gym, sat in the parking lot for 20 minutes and drove home. This happened twice this week, and I didn’t go to the gym at all. I was disappointed, but sometimes I just don’t feel the desire to get back into a fitness routine.

I have fitness/health goals which is why going to the gym helps me feel better physically and mentally. On the other hand, the thought of working out sometimes feels like more than I can handle.

Being in a funk is completely okay. We all have those days or weeks where it feels better to curl up and lay in bed. Sometimes, it’s better to relax. Especially if you’ve been feeling sick, stressed or overworked.

However, sometimes you need to get outside your head and push yourself, even if it’s the last thing you want to do. Excuses will get you nowhere.

You can’t say you’re not ready. If you’re scared to lift weights, there are five pounders to start out with, or even body weight exercises to perfect before adding weights at all. You can’t say you’re not a good runner because jump roping or biking is an option. There are always ways to get a workout in, so excuses don’t fly.

Getting outside your comfort zone is where you’re going to see and feel the changes taking place.

If you’re trying to get back into a fitness routine, but aren’t sure where to begin, this will help. These steps will set the groundwork to help you get back into it and back on track to achieve what you set out to do.

1 – Reassess Your Goals

Think of what you want. Do you want to have a lean body, do more cardio, or bulk up with more muscles? Do you want to try studio classes like hiit, barre, spin or yoga?

Your goals are what will help drive you when you’re feeling down. It’s easy to give up, but it’s amazing to set goals and watch yourself achieve them.

Knowing your goals is the key to any plan of action. You need to set clear ones to know what you’re working towards. Your goals and mine are completely different, so don’t base your goals off of anyone’s but your own.

For me, it helps to actually write out my goals and pin them on a board. If I go a week without doing anything for them, I reassess the goals and take better action.

It also helps me to turn my goals on that board into more of a vision board. If I want to eat better, I’ll post pictures of amazing looking healthy meals. I’ll post fitness motivation and quotes that will inspire me when I’m feeling down. If this is something that you’d like to try, here’s a simple way I created my vision board.

2 – Understand That Progress Can be Slow

Now that you have your goals in mind, the only way to crush them is to start doing things to help you achieve them. If you never try and get out there, you’ll never get the results you want. 

If you need to get back into running by going for a walk 3x week for 2 weeks, do it. However, aim to build up to the next step and know that your body needs the change to keep improving.

When that 2 week mark is done and it’s time to run, you may feel like you’re dying when running. But you’re not. You can start slow, one lap is fine if you’re going to keep increasing to get to your goals. Don’t rush into it. Do what is pushing you outside your limit, but never into an area of pain.

It may take awhile for you to feel at ease with the activity. Getting your body back into it with small steps is still better than sitting on the couch. Your progress might be slow at first, but once the activity is a part of your routine, you’ll be crushing goals left and right.

3 – Find a Program or Create A Log

There are tons of programs and apps out there that allow you to track your workouts and progress. For example, the Tone & Sculpt App is a great tool for anyone. You can follow the videos to know proper form and track your weights with the reps.

There is also a nutrition area to this which is critical to improving your fitness and overall health. This layout with the workouts, nutrition and even progress section allows you to hold yourself accountable, know when to make changes and see how far you’ve come.

If you’re going to a studio class, it might even be beneficial to track how often you’re going. I joined Orangetheory and I love that I can see my past stats. It helps me to see if my recent workout was as intense previous ones, and make sure I’m going as consistently as I think.

At one point when I was trying to figure out my fitness routine, I actually kept a small notebook with me to track my workouts. I recorded the exercise, the weight used, reps and how many sets. I also made sure to record the date and time to know when the workout was done.

A workout log is a great tool that I’d use to make sure I was always improving and keeping a consistent workout routine. It helped me see if I was adding weights to build my muscles each time I did a certain exercise.

This was actually one of my favorite ways to put a plan together and bring it to the gym. I’d list out the exercises and have them laid out without any thought as to what I was doing that particular day.

Following a program or having a log will help you keep track of the progress you’re making to your goals. It will also allow you to see how consistent you’re being to get towards those goals.

4 – Create a Consistent Schedule

If you make a dentist appointment, chances are you put it on your calendar and made note of the date and time. You made the commitment to go to the appointment, so if you can’t make it, you’ll reschedule.

It should be the same with working out. Take a look at your schedule, figure out the best time to get in your workout and commit to it like you would an appointment.

You want to make sure you’re consistently pushing yourself to get a workout in about 3x a week. By doing this, you’re allowing yourself to hit your goals, make progress and see changes in your body and mind.

Personally, I try to workout 5x a week, but I forgive myself if I don’t make it all 5 days. I know schedules can leave little time for anything, but what’s necessary. But on the other hand, isn’t your health a top priority? When did your physical and mental health get considered to be something that isn’t a focus?

Creating a consistent schedule isn’t meant to be something to dread. Actually, I’ve noticed that once I get back into a fitness routine and I’m used to it, I HATE to skip out. I feel like I’m letting myself down because I’m not committing to taking care of my body, which can impact all areas of my life.

5 – Have Accountability Buddies

It makes a huge difference to have friends or people that will hold you accountable to workout, eat right and focus on healthier choices. For me, my friend Billy will text me and ask if I went to the gym today. If I didn’t, it will inspire me to get outside my head and hit the gym.

When we tell each other it was a bad day – didn’t go to the gym, ate pizza and ice cream, took 2 naps before 1pm, and don’t feel like doing anything – we usually encourage each other that tomorrow will be better. Tomorrow you can put a better plan in place for productivity, but today rest and know that you’re recommitting tomorrow.

By having a friend to hold you accountable, you’re not only making a commitment to your own goals, but helping your friend feel encouraged to reach theirs too. You will have a source of inspiration and motivation to keep your mindset in the right place to reach what you want.

The Takeaway

It can take a lot to get back into a fitness routine. There are a ton of other things to be doing and I know all too well how easy excuses can be. However, if you’re willing to look at your goals and take action, things will be able to fall into place.

In order to get back into a fitness routine, it helps to reassess your goals, understand that progress is slow, find a program/create a log, follow a schedule AND have accountability buddies. These steps all contribute to helping you return to working out and into a clearer mindset.

If you’ve found yourself off track when it comes to working out, how have you gotten back into it?

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