Even the most active people sometimes get pulled away from their exercise regiment due to life demands. Regardless of how long you’ve been away from your fitness schedule, it is easy to jump back in with these helpful tips.
1. Find Your Reason and Why
One of the most important things to take into consideration when taking the steps towards getting back in shape is WHY you are doing it. Maybe you’re preparing for a wedding, or are just trying to feel healthier overall. Maybe you have just set a goal to reach an athletic personal feat that you need to train for. Whatever it may be, it is helpful to recognize the reason for why you are trying to get back in shape to help set realistic goals and motivate yourself.
2. Hydration is Key
Let’s face it, not all of us keep ourselves fully hydrated throughout the day. Studies show that dehydration can lead to issues such as lower productivity, an increase in stress, overeating, and can even make it harder for your body to burn fat.
This is why making sure you are hydrated is one of the most vital aspects of helping you get back in shape. Aim to drink at least 2 liters of water a day.
3. Don’t Forget to Get Your ZZZ’s
Along with hydration, making sure you are getting at least seven to eight hours of sleep is important in restarting your fitness routine. Not only can a sleep-deprived body be counter-productive to your body’s metabolism, it can also make your body miss needed time to recover once you start working out. In addition, you’ll feel better approaching your fitness and nutrition goals after a good night’s rest.
4. SMART Goal Setting
Don’t begin this journey with your gun blazing. It is important to set realistic goals for yourself. One great way to do this is by approaching your goals with the SMART approach.
This system will help prevent you from making broad goals such as “gain muscle.” When goals are this broad, it is harder to get yourself to visualize the goal. Instead, think of creating goals following the guidelines above. Some great examples are:
- Meal prep for lunch and dinner for the upcoming work week every Sunday night
- Increase weekly run mileage from 5 miles to 10 miles around The Villages in Florida by the end of the 5 week run challenge.
These goals follow all the guidelines laid out by SMART, and by writing out goals in a realistic way such as this, you’ll find them more achievable in the long run.
5. Make Time for Your Workouts
Prioritize your workout schedule. If you have a calendar, circle the days you plan to exercise, and write a note of what exercise you plan to do that day. It’s easy to let new habits go on the back burner, but do yourself a favor and find the time to schedule workouts to get yourself in the rhythm. Get out of the mindset of saving things for later, and set exact times for when you plan to exercise. Remember that you are setting this time aside for yourself and your goals.
6. Be Mindful of What You Eat
To make your workouts worth it, you need to make sure you’re also eating mindfully. This means avoiding fake fats, fake sugars, artificial flavorings, chemicals, etc. Read labels to avoid foods with these things in it. Aim to eat whole foods, and try to load up on your colorful fruits and vegetables.
7. You Don’t Have to Do This Alone
One trick to keeping on track is by finding an accountability buddy or a support base in general. Having a friend join you as you begin to get back in shape can be encouraging and fun. It adds that additional level of support that can help you go the extra mile in achieving your workout goals.
8. Find Workouts You Look Forward To
At the end of the day, you need to find workouts that you actually enjoy. You shouldn’t go into any exercise dreading it simply because of the type of workout. Test out different workouts and find which one sparks your interest the most. This is a perfect time to explore and experiment different exercises. Go to that local zumba class, yoga practice in the park, or even take up that groupon for kickboxing. You never know what workout is right for you until you let yourself try new things.
9. Practice Eating Manageable Meal Portions
Ditch all measuring cups and practice measuring out with your eyes. When planning meals, base the amount of carbs and protein you are eating on the size of your palm. By visualizing the meal size instead of measuring it out you can get in a healthier habit of avoiding overeating.
10. Celebrate Every Small Victory
Getting yourself back into shape is a challenge, so remember to celebrate every accomplishment no matter how small. It may be helpful to keep track of these accomplishments in a personal journal as a way to track your process, and see all of your gains. Celebrate by buying a new outfit, going to your favorite restaurant, or whatever makes you happy.