6 tips to starting your workout routine: Getting back on that exercise grind
I unlaced my boots, hung up my dress greens, took a deep breath in and one long look around before I drove off post for the last time. I was done – made it. Six years in the army and the last thing I wanted to think about was exercising again. Don’t make me put on another pair of running shoes or do another pushup. I. Am. Done.
A year goes by and I start a new job. Get back into the 9-5 (dang… maybe it’s really closer to a 7-5). Gain a little weight and think to myself, “eh – it’s only a couple pounds.”
Three pounds turns into ten. One lunch with friends turns into eating out every day [what happened to my abs???] And the “cake” job turns into a 12-hour-a-day nightmare.
Now I just wish I could rewind time. My meals used to be planned for me. I had time to workout every day. I had people cheering me on every minute.
Kids, work, home… How am I ever going to find the time to turn this back around?
We’ve all thought it. We’ve all felt it.
“I have so much going on.” “I don’t have the time.” “I’ll do it tomorrow.” “I’m just too tired.”
Starting to exercise again after a long break [or for the first time!] is hard! It’s no joke. It takes commitment and a refusal to quit on the goals you’ve set for yourself.
Back to workout!
Here are a few tips to help you get started:
- Pick your goals and put them somewhere you can see them. What are you trying to achieve? Do you want to lose 5 pounds? Eat healthier? Heck. Maybe it’s just to drink one more glass of water every day. It doesn’t matter. Pick your goals and write them down. Take a picture and make it the screensaver on your phone. Make it a daily reminder of what you want.
- Slow and steady. You’ve decided you want to get into a workout routine. That’s awesome! Don’t try to go from never having picked up a weight to trying to work out every day. You will likely end up hurting yourself or worse… giving up on your goals. Start small and work your way up.
- Find a battle buddy! Does your BFF share your goals? Your significant other? Share your goals with someone who is going to be your biggest cheerleader. Bonus: bring them along with you!
- Accept setbacks. They’re going to happen. And that’s okay. Sometimes we have to take a step back, to take two steps forward. If you fall off the horse, stand up and get back on. You know where I’m going here. Just. Don’t. Quit.
- Reward yourself when you hit benchmarks! One cheat meal isn’t going to ruin your diet. You earned it!
- Find something you love & have fun. Okay, we don’t all love to exercise. I get it. But find something you love to do and make it into a workout! Hate to run? Hey… don’t go running! Love to dance? Go shake that boo-tay! Love the outdoors? Go for a hike, paddleboard, swim! Love to shop? Push that cart, sister! I’ll bet I can get to that sale before you!
Now pick up that pen and get to goal-writing! You’ve got this!