You have your bag, water bottle, gym clothes, and new shoes. You are ready to get started at your new gym! After 2 weeks of feeling lost and finding yourself walking on the treadmill, you realize how busy you are, and now you are not attending the gym at all...
Does this sound familiar? I have heard this scenario more time than I can count. When starting a new fitness routine, the hardest thing is getting started and continuing past the 1st month. I have talked, and trained, hundreds of people and the one hurdle people struggle with the most is time.
I have compiled some ways to overcome this obstacle. Here are some ways to make it easier to start, and keep, a fitness routine.
1. Keep a log
Tracking what you do on a calendar makes it very easy to see how often, and what days you actually workout. I also encourage you to write 1 word what you did that day (example: cardio, weights, class name) so when you look back at your calendar, you remember exactly what you did, and then you will remember if you liked it or not.
2. Start with a buddy
A buddy can be a friend, a co-worker, someone you see at the gym, or even a Certified Personal Trainer. You want to make sure your buddy is reliable, and is serious about getting to their own goals. It is nice to have a buddy not only for encouragement, but they rely on you just as much as you rely on them... so this ends up being a great relationship to reach your goals.
3. Go even if you don't feel like
You are going to feel different each day of your life. I have been in athletics since the age of 2, and have been competing in athletic events and sports since I was 6. Trust me when I say, some days I did not want to go. Some days are great! You ate well, you are hydrated and wanting to take on the world. Other days, you will be tired and had a bad a day at school or at work. You just need to go. Once you are there, even if you only get through the warm up, you still kept your commitment to yourself.
4. Reward yourself with something fitness related
Set a goal, and once you achieve it, treat yo self! Rewarding yourself is an amazing way to stay excited and fresh when training. A new pair of shoes, pants, or that $35 water bottle you saw in Instagram is a great way to stay motivated, and relevant to what is going on in the fitness industry.
5. Forming a habit
When starting a fitness routine, I find that if you have never gone to the gym, saying you are going to go 5 days a week to start is probably a little aggressive. You might become overwhelmed with the schedule, how tired you are, and the extra laundry that you didn't realize would pile up. I like to start my clients off with 2-3 times a week. This give people time to adjust their busy schedules and let their bodies adjust to more physical activity. I also like 2-3 times a week because it is obtainable, and you can grow your program once you are comfortable. This is all about living a healthy and long life... not burning out the first couple of weeks and never going back to the gym.
6. Start with activities you like to do*
In my opinion, this is the most important advise I can ever give. Not only start with something you like, always do activities you like! There are thousands of exercises and hundreds of active activities. Get creative. You hate running? No problem! Try swimming, walking the dog (or a friend's dog), kayaking, rollerblading, volleyball, kickball, standup paddle boarding, rowing, climb stairs at a stadium, hiking, going on a bike ride... See what I am saying? With fitness, there is a beginning, and an end (well, an end to one goal). There are thousands of ways to get to there... so why not make it a happy and fun journey. : )
Some of this advise may work for you, some may not. Let me know in the comments what you have found helps!