10 Tips to Re-start Exercising (and keep it up)

It’s okay, you can admit it. It’s been awhile since you’ve seen the inside of the gym. Getting sick, family crisis, overtime at work and just a lack of desire have all kept you for exercising. Now, the question is: how do you get back into it?

Exercise is a habit, and it can become automatic. You just go to the gym, there is no force involved. But after a month, two months or possibly a year off, it can be hard to get started again. Here are some tips to climb back on that treadmill after you’ve fallen off.

 

  1. Don’t Break the Habit – Easier said than done; I know.  If only it were that easy, you won’t be reading this blog.  But seriously, plan on taking ‘little’ breaks along the way; but try not to ever ‘just stop’.
  2. Reward Showing Up – I’ve heard it said that, “Half of life is showing up.” I’d venture to say, that 90% of making a habit is just making the effort to start. You can worry about your weight, amount of laps you run or the amount you can bench press later.
  3. Commit for Thirty Days – Make a commitment to exercise 3 times a week for one month. This will solidify the exercise habit. By making a commitment you also take pressure off yourself in the first weeks back of deciding whether to go.
  4. Make it Fun – If you don’t enjoy yourself while you are working out, it is going to be hard to keep it a habit. There are thousands of ways you can move your body and exercise, so find the ones you enjoy and start there.
  5. Schedule During Quiet Hours – Don’t put exercise time in a place where it will easily be pushed aside by something more important. Right after work or first thing in the morning are often good places to put it.
  6. Get a Buddy – Grab a friend or three, to join you. Having a social aspect to exercising can boost your commitment to the exercise habit..
  7. Create a Ritual – Your workout routine should become so ingrained that it becomes a ritual. This means that the time of day, place or cue automatically starts you towards grabbing your bag and heading out. If your workout times are completely random, it will be harder to benefit from the momentum of a ritual.
  8. Stress Relief – What do you do when your stressed? Chances are it isn’t running. But exercise can be a great way to relieve stress, releasing endorphin which will improve your mood. The next time you feel stressed or tired, try doing an exercise you enjoy. When stress relief is linked to exercise, it is easy to regain the habit even after a leave of absence.
  9. Measure Fitness – Weight isn’t always the best number to track. Increase in muscle can offset decreases in fat so the scale doesn’t change even if your body is. But fitness improvements are a great way to stay motivated. Recording simple numbers such as the number of push-ups, sit-ups or speed you can run can help you see that the exercise is making you stronger and faster.
  10. Start Small – Trying to run fifteen miles your first workout isn’t a good way to build a habit. Work below your capacity for the first few weeks to build the habit. Otherwise you might scare yourself off after a brutal workout.
About Michael

Michael Bonetti has been a certified personal trainer since 1994. His true passion is helping people. Whether you need help losing weight for a wedding, playing golf better, or living without pain; Michael is dedicated to learning everything he can to help you achieve all your health and fitness goals.

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