Well here it is: the middle of February, that time when our New Year’s resolve may begin to fade. Have you fallen victim to this post-January motivation block? Luckily, we’ve got the tips to get you – and your workouts – back on track!
1.) Start with the first workout…Getting back into your fitness routine for the first time after an absence is always the most difficult step. You simply have to force yourself back into the gym, into a yoga or aerobics class, or possibly on a hike or other activity. Rather than thinking about the big picture, you need to focus on the first workout as something independent of your entire fitness program. Just put on your runners and get out there. Then worry about the rest after that.
2.) Take care of any nagging injuries…An injury often keeps us out of the gym. It is important that you see your physician and determine the severity of the injury, then proceed with your fitness regimen accordingly. You can continue to work on the areas of your body that are not affected by injury while you’re healing.
3.) Set a realistic workout schedule…It is fantastic to be ambitious and hope to attend the gym every day, five times weekly or even three or four times a week, but if it has been a long time since you maintained a regular workout schedule, it may be best to start small and work up to something ideal. Commit to twice-weekly workouts initially, and make one of them something fun that you’ll look forward to. It will become progressively easier to attend the gym more often.
4.) Develop a gym workout and a home workout…There will certainly be days when you find it almost impossible to get to the gym, but that doesn’t mean you can’t still work out. There are many functional exercises that can be performed at home, or even at the playground down the street. Get creative, and make time for exercise no matter what the environment. You can purchase dumbbells and a mat and perform many of the exercises you’ve learned in the gym in the comfort of your home.
5.) Every little bit counts…Don’t be discouraged if you only manage to fit 20 minutes of exercise into your day; that amount of activity is better than none at all. Be proud of yourself for making time for exercise at all, rather than beating yourself up about it not being enough. If your busy schedule does not permit a one-hour-daily gym routine, simply walk to and from work, or take the stairs instead of the elevator. Your body will thank you, and you are on the way to a healthier lifestyle.
Remember to focus on why it is important to include exercise in your lifestyle and not on how much or to what intensity you are executing it, and take it one step at a time. Sometimes it is the smallest steps that take us the furthest in the long run.
Shaun Karp is a certified personal trainer in Vancouver. For further information call his office at 604-420-7800.