If you took the last month off from exercising and have been struggling to get back into the swing of things, this post is for you. Let’s get back to loving our workout routines!
I suppose I should have prefaced this post with “I hope you already enjoy some form of exercise to fall back in love with” because I do understand that some people just really don’t like exercising at all. If that’s the case, you should try some form of activity that doesn’t feel like work but gets your blood pumping and your heart rate up. Hiking, biking and walking are all examples of “exercise” that don’t necessarily feel like working out.
If you have a certain type of exercise that you prefer but have had some falling out with, let’s try and fall back in love with that kind of exercise that you loved so much. The present time is the best time to get back into the swing of things and make exercising a priority again.
Find a time that works for you
For the longest time, I would try to switch up my times for working out at the gym. Although it may work every once in awhile, it wasn’t very good for a long term workout schedule. I would wake up at 5 A.M. one morning, the next day try and go at 8 P.M. and then wonder why I couldn’t make it on the third day to the gym again in the morning. If you can dedicate yourself to a consistent schedule, stick to it.
For me, I’ve found that waking up early on weekdays that I have a planned workout (I’ve been attempting 3 weekdays a week + 1 or 2 weekend workouts) works best. No, I don’t really love waking up at 5 A.M. on days that I also have to go to work for 8 hours, but I try to go to bed earlier the night before to make sure I also get enough sleep. Nobody likes someone who is sleep deprived AND extra hungry from going to the gym before the sun rises. The first few days/weeks will be the hardest, but you can do it!
Pick a type of exercise that you actually like
If you know that running makes you miserable, it’s probably best to pick something else as your primary form of cardio/exercise. Unfortunately running makes me miserable, but that’s because it gives me terrible shin pains that I’ve yet to have properly diagnosed by a doctor. I actually love running as a form of exercise and it makes me sad that it causes me so much pain.
If you’re more of a group exerciser, maybe a spin class or zumba class would work for you. I took a spin class once and enjoyed it, but I knew I wouldn’t be able to commit to their schedule so I couldn’t continue on with that class. I’ve also been looking into kickboxing and would love to find an affordable class with flexible scheduling.
Workout videos at home are becoming very popular, because it doesn't require leaving the house or dealing with people to get a good workout in. I'm a big fan of the 21 Day Fix videos and eating plan and Shaun T's Insanity videos.
Keep going even when you want to quit
Injuries aside, there are usually few good excuses for missing a workout. My top excuses include:
- But I’m so tired and I would feel better if I just went to sleep instead
- But it’s 5 A.M. and I only got 6 hours of sleep and I’m going to feel like garbage if I don’t go back to bed
- But I had a salad for lunch today so I don’t need to work out
- But it’s too cold/rainy/hot/windy/dark outside (any weather is grounds for an excuse)
- But I have something due early tomorrow.
I realize that my issue is actually getting up and out the door (or up out of bed and then dressed to do a workout at home). If this is also your issue, do whatever you can to make exercising seem like the most important or most exciting part of the day.
If all else fails, stock up on cute workout clothes & accessories
I’m a sucker for cute workout pants and tops. And shoes! I’m currently wearing a pair of Hoka One Ones, and I previously hadn’t heard of the brand until I did a lot of research on the best shoes for shin pain. These seem to be doing a good job of mitigating my pain but I may have to bite the bullet and see a doctor about why I’m in so much pain when I run. They are still super cute and provide a lot of cushion so they’ve been a good investment thus far.
I’m also loving my Fitbit Alta I got for Christmas from my mom and dad. It’s a great fitness tracker and provides little nudges to get 250 steps each hour during a time period that you set. I set it for when I’m at work so I remember to get up out of my desk and trot around the office a little bit to keep my body moving. It has the option to set yourself silent vibration alarms too which I think is a fun feature.
In April 2019 I upgraded to the Series 4 Apple Watch. I love how it tracks your workouts without you having to select it (although I usually remember to track them on my own anyway). It's a little pricier than the Fitbit, but it comes in handy when I don't have my phone on me and get a text and can reply right from my watch. I'm also a fan of using it as a remote to change the song when we're playing music on Spotify.
When in doubt, stock up on cute workout pants and tops if it’ll get you to workout more often. Use new workout gear as a reward for when you achieve a new goal like going to the gym 3-4x per week for a month. If you’ve worked for it, you’ve certainly earned it!
How do you get back into the groove of things after a long time off?
Craving more Health and Fitness posts? I have plenty in the archives!