Getting back into the swing of working out is especially hard when you’ve been pigging it out over the Christmas break (which I definitely have). There’s no denying it’s hard to get up off the sofa after time off, but if there’s one thing I can guarantee, it’s that you will feel better for it afterwards. I have never been a particularly active person, but I’ve definitely moved more in the past two years – and even ran a half marathon in 2016. Everybody is different, but if you can find a workout that you enjoy it will really make a difference.
Here are my tips for getting back into a fitness routine in January:
Pre-schedule your workouts in advance
It’s all too easy to lose track of time and before you know it, you haven’t hit the gym or been out running in over two weeks. I use an app like Google Calendar to pre-schedule my exercise time (with reminders!) so I know exactly what my workouts look like each week. At the moment, I am aiming to go out for a half hour run twice a week, and hit the gym for a half hour session twice as well. Because I have these in my diary with notifications switched on, there’s no excuse for me to say I haven’t had time.
Pack your gym wear/running gear the day before
Do whatever you can to minimise the ‘getting ready’ part of working out, because often that can be the reason you end up skipping the gym. I’d much rather be prepped ready to exercise, than having to faff around finding my workout clothes and scrambling for my water bottle. If I am planning on exercising first thing in the morning, I always have my clothes folded up ready on the floor by my bed, with my water bottle on the kitchen surface, ready for a quick dash at 6am. If I plan on working out in the evening, I take my gym bag to work so I don’t have to make a detour and risk sitting on the sofa and not getting back up again!
Set yourself a goal
If you enjoy running – why not aim for a half marathon? Swimming? How about your first triathlon? Or maybe you want to commit to practising yoga regularly. Whatever your workout of choice – why don’t set yourself a 2018 fitness goal to work towards? I did this with my running, and went from couch to half marathon in less than six months. It’s very unlikely I would have pushed myself the way I did if I didn’t have a goal in mind. Top tip – if it’s a race or competition that you are aiming for, make sure you sign up at the beginning and commit! There’s less of a chance of you backing out if you’ve had to part with cash to be involved.
Ease yourself back into it
Finally, make sure you ease your way back into fitness if you have had some time off. Going straight to the gym and busting a gut on the treadmill won’t make you feel great, and you’ll tire quickly, leading to an ineffective workout. Start gentle, and work your way up to your pre-Christmas routine, and then build on it from there. If you can get yourself moving to the equivalent of 150 minutes per week, that is the NHS guideline for adults between 19-64. This includes brisk walking and gentle cycling – so your commute to work counts too!
Hopefully getting back into your routine shouldn’t be too difficult if you follow the above tips, and before you know it you’ll be raising your heartbeat and feeling smug with all the exercise you are doing. Not to mention all of the health benefits too.
Are you struggling to get back into a fitness routine after Christmas? Let me know in the comments.