We’ve all been there – we’re going to the gym regularly, eating foods that energize and fuel our bodies, and feeling on our A-game. And then we fall off the wagon. Life gets in the way. Suddenly that hour we designated as gym time becomes an extra hour of sleep (or scrolling through Instagram feeds in bed until we absolutely must get ready for work or class). Fortunately, springing back into a fitness routine is a lot easier than you think.
1. Enlist a Buddy
Nothing helps pass time in the gym more than working out alongside or with a friend! Take it one step further and agree that you will go to the gym together during certain times on specific days. Hold each other accountable missed days and slow workouts.
2. Take (More) Selfies
Okay, this one might seem strange, but the infamous selfie is actually a great way to track your progress as you ease back into your fitness routine. The best time to snap a photo is when you first get up in the morning. Take it one step further and post before and after pictures on social media. Your friends’ encouragement and feedback will push you to continue working toward your goals every day. Remember: there’s nothing wrong with sharing your pride in making positive changes in your life. Allow your progress to amaze you.
3. Lay Out Your Gym Clothes the Night Before
No more “I don’t have time to empty out my drawers to find those leggings I love, so maybe I’ll just go to the gym tomorrow” excuses. Before you go to bed, set your top, bottoms, sneakers, and socks out in plain sight. Take it one step further and plan your meals in advance, too. I like to get my lunches ready for the week on Sunday nights so I don’t have to worry about whipping up something quick before work (or resorting to fast food).
4. Set Lots of Little Goals
If you want to drop ten pounds by the weekend, you may be setting yourself up for a disappointment that will keep you off track. Focus on meeting attainable goals each week, such as, “I will drink the recommended amount of water (at least nine cups) every day” or, “I will increase my reps or increase my weights for the next set of lifting.” Take it one step further and record your goals in a fitness journal. Each day, write about your workouts, your meals, how you’re feeling, and what you hope to accomplish by the end of the week.
5. Reward Yourself With Awesome Fitness Gear
As soon as I buy cute new gym clothes, I’m eager to put them to good use. Earn your next online or in-store purchase by meeting a goal at the top of your fitness priority list. Take it one step further and create a wish list to provide an added incentive to achieving your goals.
6. Mix it Up and Enjoy Each Workout
Not only is running for forty minutes at the same pace on a treadmill boring, but it also doesn’t allow you to burn the maximum amount of calories you may hope to burn. Focus on different areas of your body each day in the gym so you get the total-body workout you want by the end of the week. Try complex exercises (like power cleaning, squats, and pull ups) to work multiple body parts at the same time. Take it one step further and join an online or social media-based fitness challenge. Look up different trainers on Instagram and Facebook who post “30 Day Challenge” videos, healthy recipe ideas, and transformation photos of other challenge participants. I recommend “howtoshedfat” because the trainers post a new workout every day that you can try at home or in the gym.
Don’t get discouraged if you aren’t where you’d like to be with your personal fitness goals. With a few manageable suggestions to work working out back into your life, the commitment will be less of a burden and more of a new, exciting opportunity every day. Most of all, the payoff will look and feel so good.
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