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The 10 Step Guide to Getting Back onto the Exercise Bandwagon

Have you recently lost your exercise mojo? Join the club! It’s human nature to go through the ‘I can’t be bothered anymore’ phase. The hardest thing is to get back on track so here is a step by step guide to help you.

  1. Schedule in your first workout. Don’t ask why, just do it! The most common excuse or reason which people use is ‘lack of time’. Remember this, the most successful people in life are the busiest so it stands to reason that the healthiest people are the ones who make time to get fit and healthy. Where there is a will there really is a way so stop trying to talk yourself out of making time, grab your diary and block out at least one hour per week if this is all you can manage at first. Consider two half hour slots instead if this makes it easier.
  1. ‘So now what do I do with my allotted time?’ I hear you ask. Firstly, think about what you enjoyed doing before and ask yourself why you enjoyed it? It’s a well-known fact that getting back into a routine is initially difficult, both physically and mentally. This has a lot to do with your self-talk, you know exactly what I mean, the good and the bad, the angel and the demon…. yes, see, I know you know and do you know why I know? Because most of us have been there! The point I’m trying to make here is that you might not do an iota of exercise at first but what you might do is use some of your time to figure out the reasons why you stopped exercising in the first place, address those reasons, find solutions and then decide that actually getting active again isn’t so bad after all!
  1. fitness in enfieldOn the evening before your first workout have your clothes and gear ready and waiting so that when you get up you will have no choice but to dress in that outfit. You are more likely to stick to the plan if you are appropriately dressed and I can almost guarantee that you that you will feel superhuman the instant you don the Lycra again. So, get out that Febreze, give your clothes a quick spritz and be happy! Let’s face it, those clothes were almost destined for the charity shop!
  1. We’ve sorted out the clothes so let’s now turn your attention to your trainers. If these haven’t seen the light of day for a while, the odds are that they are either old and knackered or they are so embarrassingly out of date it would be criminal to be seen wearing them in public. Do some research first and then go treat yourself. There is nothing nicer than slipping your feet into a new pair of decent, good quality sneakers and literally walking out of the door with a spring in your step.
  1. Working out in the morning is best. There is no real hard evidence and there are conflicting studies but most would agree that if you exercise in the morning you’re revving up your metabolism early and you will continue to burn calories throughout the day. Another good reason is that you won’t feel like your workout is going to disrupt your schedule. From my experience as a personal trainer, the client most likely to cancel is the one whose training is scheduled either in the afternoon or evening.
  1. You’re going to do this right? So why not announce your intentions of taking up exercise again? What, hang on, you’re saying that you don’t want to so then you can just back out without people noticing? Oh no, that isn’t the deal. There’s no back tracking, the only way is forward so make that commitment to yourself by telling others, in particular family and friends, and then talk about your progress frequently. Support and encouragement from others close to you can be extremely helpful especially if you’re ever feeling off kilter.
  1. Now that you’re in the swing of things it’s time to get serious and set some SMART goals, specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and timely. This is a really important step as it’s going to get you from A to B. Goals give you a sense of purpose and keep you focused; without a goal you will more than likely get distracted and even worse just give up your hard work. Start with small goals if necessary and ensure you monitor and record your progress.
  1. You are doing just great and should be proud of how far you’ve already come. Ok, so you might not have formed a routine just yet but you should already be in a good place and are hopefully well on your way to forming a long term sustainable habit. By now I’m guessing that exercising has become a little more enjoyable and less of a tedious, time wasting chore. Your self-belief and self-motivation should have increased considerably so don’t falter; continue crushing your demons by making effective daily affirmations. Write these onto sticky post it notes, place them strategically around the house and say them out loud for maximum effect.

Mary Huckle Fitness

  1. This is going to sound completely ridiculous and wacky but wearing your keep fit clothes whenever possible, keeping your work out mat visibly handy and leaving your Gymboss or Garmin by your bedside or just lying around the home are all easy peasy things you can do to keep your mind on the matter. It will be like wearing a uniform or a different hat with the idea of stepping into a role. The props and equipment will also act as triggers or reminders. Trust me, this works so don’t question me, it’s for your own good.
  1. Everyone has a ‘to do list’ either in their mind or on paper. Keep your workouts at the top of your list and make them a priority. Life will continue to throw curve balls at you because that is just what happens but don’t be swayed. Even in times of adversity, being healthy and remaining active can be your saviour. Persistency and consistency are key in ensuring that you never fall off the exercise bandwagon again!
1 reply
  1. Helen Doherty
    Helen Doherty says:

    Another thing to consider is that if you feel down in the dumps about exercise or need a spot of motivation to start, remember that after you finish your exercise you will feel better than what you feeling before it.

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