One of the biggest challenges in terms of our health and wellness is maintaining consistency with our exercise program. The saying, "showing up is half the battle" is, in fact, true. Then there is the frustration of trying to re-establish that consistency after a long layoff.
Even a week off can affect your normal time-clock and schedule to a point where you struggle to get to the gym. Consistency is one of the biggest keys to accomplishing our fitness goals and maintaining health and wellness.
Here are some tips to use to get yourself back on schedule.
- Start small. The longer the layoff or absence from the gym, the easier your first workout back should be. You don't want to find yourself waking up the next day being too sore to walk. This is especially true if your reason for the long absence is due to an injury. Plan to do a very easy workout so that you have that feeling of accomplishment. Then take that feeling and build off of it.
- Add your workout time to your calendar. Regardless of whether or not you go old school and use an actual paper calendar or day planner or if you prefer to use the one on your phone or an app, adding items to your calendar does help you to commit. This way you don't have to think about whether or not you are going to work out in the morning, lunch or evening. It's on your calendar and part of your day.
- Prepare ahead of time. Make sure that everything you need to make it to the gym is ready to go beforehand. This may mean putting out your workout clothes before going to bed or packing a bag for the after-work workout. Make sure this includes water bottle or any nutritional items you might need for before or after the workout.
- Know what you're going to do before you get to the gym. If you're working on your own, write down your workout so that you can get right to work the minute you enter the gym. It's always better to create a plan ahead of time. This will ensure your workout meets your fitness goals and is an efficient use of your time.
- Invite a friend to join you. Working out with a friend is just another way to keep committed. The two of you can help hold the other accountable.
- Think back and remember past experiences and successes. We all have that memory of a great workout or class where everything was just right. Go back to what first motivated you to start working out and re-kindle that commitment.
- Try something new. Take advantage of starting fresh by changing your workout up or trying a new class or program. This is a great way to add variety and excitement to being back in the gym. If you've never utilized personal training, this could be a great opportunity. Not only will you have the benefit of professional guidance, but you will also have the financial commitment to increase your accountability.
The main ingredient for your success with getting back on your fitness schedule ultimately is your commitment. You are the one that must make the decision to start back and then, most importantly, follow through with that decision.