Turn Your Health Kick Into A Long-Term Fitness Regiment

2017 is really underway and you’re working to hold true to your New Year’s Resolution of getting in your best shape ever.  Maybe you hit the gym hard after the holidays, but now its February and that “New Year, New Me” drive is starting to fizzle out.  Or, maybe January was a little too soon to fully commit to the extreme workout regimen you had intended, so instead you just didn’t really start at all.  Don’t worry, it’s never too late to get into a new fitness routine.  Here’s a couple pointers on how to start one that you can stick with for the long run, and help you make your health kick into an overall healthy lifestyle. 

Start Small

If you’re just getting back into the gym, you probably won’t be at the same place strength and endurance wise as you imagine having left off.  This is important to remember.  It is good to challenge yourself, however, setting unreasonable challenges and goals your first month back may only discourage you further.  Try to start small.  Pick an activity you like, and a reasonable time to do it for.  For example, maybe you’re going to jog for fifteen minutes, three days a week.  By doing this, you will get in the habit of setting aside time to get in shape, but not overcommitting to so much time that you feel overwhelmed with other things you may have to accomplish during the week.    

By starting small, you also allow room to give yourself weekly goals in order to build up your strength.  If you start with fifteen minutes of jogging, then the next week you could decide to jog for eighteen minutes, or you could set yourself a long-term goal of being able to run a certain distance within the next three months.  Doing this can allow you to measure your progress, which makes exercising a little more fun.  This also motivates you to keep the health kick going because you’re always working towards a little something new.  And then, out of nowhere, you’ll be like, “wow, look how strong I’ve gotten.”  Crazy.

Choose an Activity You Enjoy

This may seem a little tricky.  We know sometimes it seems like there are just those people who absolutely love working out and then people who just, well, don’t.  This isn’t true, though.  First of all, no one loves working out all the time, and you probably aren’t going to either.  Like everything in life, sometimes you’re going to really enjoy it and sometimes it is going to feel a little bit like a chore, but that’s why the key here is finding something you at least have an interest in. 

There are so many different fitness classes and activities these days that there honestly is something for everyone.  Maybe you want to try cycling, or you like to do yoga at the end of the day to relax, or you decide to join a hiking group on weekends to socialize and get outside.  All of these activities are different, and all of them are exercise.  And, the beauty in having so many choices, is if you don’t like one thing, just try another.  Just because you start a class or think you’ll enjoy a certain type of exercise, doesn’t mean you’re forever indebted to it if you hate it.  You can keep trying different types of activities, exercises, and classes until you find one that you’re at least a little fond of.  Then, once you find your niche, you’ll be more excited to go.  

Another thing to remember is that anything that gets you moving technically counts as fitness, so start dancing while you’re making dinner or take a turn jumping on the trampoline with your kids after work.  Everyone starts somewhere, and once you find that thing that works for you, you won’t want to stop.

Every Fitness Regime Falters

Even if you’re loving your new workout plan, and loving the results, you’re going to have those days that you just really do not have the motivation to get to the gym, and that’s fine.  Everyone has lounge days, even lounge weeks, and everyone has cheat days.  One of the biggest factors to being successful long term is not depriving yourself of these days and not beating yourself up over them.  By allowing yourself rest and recuperation time, you won’t get as burnt out on your fitness regimen.  No one is perfect…we all eat carbs and lounge around the house sometimes, so don’t get down on yourself, just get back into it fitness routine next week.   

Taking breaks helps it feel less like a job, and more like a choice, which again, makes it easier to stick with long term.  And, no matter how long of a break you take, you know what they say, “muscle has great memory,” so it really is never too late to start again.