(contains a previously gifted item in photo) Only a couple of months ago, the only exercise I would ever get was the dog walk I would go on a few times a week. Flash forward to now and I’ve managed to keep up working out each week. I thought I would put together some of my tips on how to ease yourself into working out.
Around 2 and a half years ago, I stopped working out due to health reasons. I always meant to get back to exercising and keeping fit when I felt better, but I never quite was able to until the start of this year. It hasn’t been easy, but keeping it up during the harder moments has been extremely worth it.
I always feel so much better after a workout. I feel refreshed and energised. It feels so good to get my body moving. I workout 2-3 times a week from home for a short period of time, therefore I’m basically a beginner and a newbie to the whole exercise thing, so if you’re like me and need some help or motivation to get back on it, keep reading.
Workout with intention
Before I even began working out again, the first thing I did was set some intentions. My intentions were to get my body moving, to feel fitter and stronger, whilst toning up the parts of my body I already love like my bum and legs. This has really helped to keep me motivated and focused.
Everyone’s intentions will be different. You might decide to work out to get fit, to find a new type of exercise or sport you love, to move more, to improve your mental or physical health.
Whatever it may be, set the right kind of intentions from the start, ones that you know are attainable and not going to be such a big pressure e.g not to lose a certain amount of weight or to compensate for the unhealthy meal you had at the weekend.
Remember to do it for yourself and no one else.
Set realistic goals you can stick to
Tying in with your intentions, set realistic goals and habits to go alongside them. This will really help to keep you motivated and focused to not only start but to keep going even on the more challenging days when you’re feeling run down or not in the mood.
Think about how many times a week you’re going to be doing it for and how long the duration of your workout will be. At the start when you’re going to ease yourself into your workout, set yourself a much smaller attainable goal.
For example, twice a week for 20 minutes, rather than five times a week for an hour, which will be unattainable if you’ve not exercised in a while and not used to doing it so much. Be realistic.
Also, contemplate the fitness level and ability you’re going to be using. When I went to the gym a couple of months ago, I did every at a really low intensity to be kind to myself and ease myself back into working out. I didn’t want to overwhelm myself and I definitely helped me to enjoy as well as feel better after each session.
Now I do a mixture of low level, medium level and high level in my workouts. It’s good to have a mixture of impact levels the further you get through your workouts when you’re easing yourself into working out again.
You could also think about where, when, who and how you’re going to work out. I workout from home, before lunch, on my own and with a workout app called SWORKIT to guide me through my exercises. Having a clear plan can be very beneficial in keeping you focused and encouraging yourself to do it.
When working through your goals, focus on making habits rather than the results such as keeping up with a workout routine rather than how toned you’re body looks or how much weight you’ve lost or gained.
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Don’t beat yourself up
It can be easy to beat yourself up and put yourself down when you’re trying to get back into working out again. The important thing to remember is that we all have to start somewhere and it won’t be easy at the beginning. But if you stick with it, it will 100% be worth it.
Failures and mistakes can and will happen. This is ok. It won’t always be perfect but this is so normal. Accept how you’re feeling and the situation, but remember to pick yourself back up and keep going. Don’t quit at the first sign of defeat. Keep going. You can do this.
I didn’t believe that it would work for me at first, I thought the positive effects you get from exercise was a myth, but it wasn’t until about 6 weeks into it that I finally felt the benefits.
But I also like to remind myself that it’s ok to skip days if I’m not feeling so good or if I miss out an exercise because it feels too hard on a particular day. It’s ok if you try something and you don’t enjoy it. Experiment with different exercises until you do.
It’s ok if you’re doing all you can or you’ve reached your limit. There’s no shame in that and we all have our own limits. It’s about doing your best and learning to rest once you’ve done enough. Be kind to yourself and care for yourself not only during but before and after.
To ease yourself into working out means being there for yourself and taking it step by step.
Find what works for you
Everyone exercises in a different way. We can all have similar intentions and routines we follow, but we’re not all at the same stage or even the same when carrying out these exercises. That’s why it’s good to do it for yourself and to allow yourself to practice and experiment with different things until you found yourself.
Make your own routines. Find something that works best for you and around you. Whether this is at a class, club or own your own, in a group or with someone you know, with a PT or you follow along online through video.
Feel free to flick between different ways. This can really help to keep you inspired and motivated to not only ease yourself into working out but also to keep you trying new things and exploring new ways of feeling the benefits.
Start small and slow
As I said, when you’re going to ease yourself into working out, a good place to start is small and slow. Don’t try to complete the big picture all in one go or race to get there. Take small steps and slow ones. You’ll thank yourself for doing it in a more mindful way.
Celebrate every small win and victory you make through your journey whether it’s by keeping up your routine or being able to attend a class with a room full of strangers. Be proud of your wins. This initial success will help motivate you to go further and also increase your self-confidence.
Reward yourself for your efforts. I like to do this by treating myself to something I’ve been wanting for ages or going to soak my muscles in a warm bubble bath with my favourite pamper products. It’s the little things in life, right?
Once you’re able to get started and to ease yourself into working out, you will soon find that your efforts will turn into habits and your habits will turn into success. Keep going. You totally got this!
How do you ease yourself into working out?