Starting a new exercise regime can be intimidating, especially with our busy, fast-paced lives. Long work days and family obligations can make it seem like focusing on your fitness is something you just don’t have time for. But the benefits of getting and staying active far outweigh the drawbacks. Following a few simple strategies can help you keep your sanity and achieve success when you start a new workout routine.
Work With Your Schedule
One of the most stressful things about starting a new exercise regimen is finding time to fit it into your daily routine. To reduce stress, make sure your workout plan fits into your schedule. Don’t sign up for early morning yoga classes if you’re addicted to the snooze button. Likewise, you don’t want to try to exercise in the evenings if they’re already full of family activities and other commitments. By tailoring your new routine to your schedule, you’ll be setting yourself up for success.
Find Time Savers
Finding time savers is another simple way to help you start and stick to a fitness plan. One timesaving strategy is High-Intensity Interval Training or HIIT. These workouts focus on getting maximum impact out of short (12-15 minute) sessions. Check out this HIIT beginner workout video from BodyRock for an example.
Another time-saving strategy is focusing on exercises that work your entire body. These total body moves focus on efficiency, so you accomplish more in a shorter timeframe. This article from Shape magazine details eight total-body moves that will give you better results faster.
Give Yourself a Break
Burnout is a common reason people fail when starting a new exercise regime. To prevent this from happening, you have to give yourself a break – both mentally and physically. Try to avoid being too hard on yourself when you experience a setback or don’t see progress. Being resilient and focusing on getting back on track will help you stick with it.
Physical breaks are important too, so make sure your workout plan includes a rest day at least once or twice a week. These breaks allow your body time to recover and give you a chance to relax.
Take Small Steps
Trying to do too much too fast is another common problem when you begin exercising If you haven’t been getting active regularly, start with 10-15 minute workouts and stick to low intensity activities like walking or lifting light weights. Add time and weight as your body adjusts to the activity.
Make it Fun
Having fun is, well, fun. Your exercise regimen should be fun so you want to do it. Find activities that you like. Try dancing classes, boxing, martial arts, group fitness classes, or any of the many options out there. Mixing it up by trying different activities is another way to keep your routine fresh and fun so you look forward to it.
A strong support system can help you start and keep up with a new fitness plan. Sharing your goals, talking about your progress, and having a shoulder to lean on when things aren’t going as planned will help you keep your sanity and achieve the results you want. Talk to friends and family about your exercise plans or look for fitness inspiration and support groups on social media. Several sites, like Fitocracy, have been created just to connect people on a fitness journey. Check out this article from Mashable for other fitness social network examples.