Ready to get back into a healthy routine? Let’s talk about how to start working out and find a routine that you love and will actually stick to. I promise, it’s simpler than you think!
Whether you’re working out for the first time or getting back into it after a long break, there’s no doubt that this is the time of the year where we all start re-thinking our workout plans (or lack there of-oops!) so we can start the year on a good note.
But getting started, or jumping back into a routine can feel overwhelming, and finding the motivation to get started and stick with it can feel like too much, especially if you’ve taken a long break or over-indulged during the holidays.
But, we’re going to change that by breaking the cycle so you can actually achieve your fitness goals. We’ll dive into the essentials steps to creating a workout routine and how to stay motivated along the way.
The trick is setting realistic goals, finding workouts that you actually enjoy and creating a schedule that fits into your life. So, if you’re ready to build healthy habits and feel your best, let’s get started!
Why Should You Start Working Out?
We all know that physical exercise contributes to the obvious stuff like weight management, muscle strength and energy and also plays a pivotal role in improving our overall health including improving cardiovascular health and reducing the risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease and diabetes.
Working out extends beyond just the physical benefits. Regular workouts can positively impact mental health by reducing stress, anxiety, and depression, while simultaneously boosting mood and cognitive function. This is a huge reason why I personally enjoy moving my body. With a busy schedule and little kids, it allows me to be a more patient and energetic mom.
It can also foster discipline, perseverance and a sense of accomplishment that usually spills over into more areas of you life. Making it less about just making your body strong and more about truly improving your overall quality of life.
Whether you prefer cardio workouts, yoga, pilates or weight training, committing to a regular workout routine can lead to a more energetic, confident, and fulfilling lifestyle, ultimately promoting a holistic sense of well-being.
Setting Realistic Fitness Goals
The key with creating a workout routine and sticking to it is to be realistic. If you want to lose weight, know that it’s not an overnight process. If you want to be able to run 5 miles consistently, you’ll need to work up to it. The people I find that fail at their fitness goals set completely unrealistic goals, like working out every day, or waking up at 5am when they’re not a morning person at all.
When setting your own goals, be honest with yourself and what’s actually possible with your current routine. Even if that means things happen a little slower than you imagined, when you’re realistic, you’re more likely to stick with it and less likely to get frustrated, overwhelmed and quit.
How to Start Working Out & Finding a Routine that Works for You
Choosing the Right Workout Routine for You & Your Lifestyle
I think the most important thing in any fitness journey is finding workouts that you actually enjoy doing. For years, I tried forcing myself into high-intensity cardio workouts that left me feeling completely depleted, sometimes even nauseous by the end of my workout. That feeling made it really hard to want to get up and do it again the next day.
When I leaned into a workout routine that felt good and left my body feeling energized and strong, I stuck with it. For me, that’s at-home pilates and regular walks around my neighborhood. For you, that might be similar or maybe you love to go to an in-person workout class!
There are so many different types of exercise from running, yoga, pilates, circuit training, workout classes—literally the options are endless and there’s something for everyone. If you’re not sure what you like, try out a few different things to see which ones get you excited and make you feel good. The trick finding something you look forward to doing. If you dread it, then you’re less likely to go and eventually will quit.
Creating a Schedule
This goes back to being realistic about your goals. Take a good look at your schedule and pick days and times that actually feel good for your body. If you want more energy to start your day, opt for a morning or mid-morning workout. If you work full-time job and need to be at the office all day, opt for an early morning or post-work class.
Putting your workouts on your calendar and prioritizing them like you would any other task is essential for staying on track. If you treat it as a legit part of your schedule, then it becomes easier to stick with it and create a lasting routine. If you know that you only have time for a 30 minute workout, then schedule it. Don’t try and force an hour long workout if your lifestyle and schedule can’t handle it. Even 30 minutes can make a massive difference in how you look and feel.
Tips for Staying Motivated & Overcoming Obstacles
The reality is that stuff will come up—kids will get sick, activities will be cancelled, work events will pop-up, you may get sick. It can be so easy to get off schedule, get frustrated and throw in the towel.
When stuff comes up, give yourself grace and let it slide and when it passes, pick up where you left off without being hard on yourself. A few missed workouts won’t set you back very far, and when you have a consistent schedule in place, it’s easier to jump back into your routine.
Incorporating Proper Nutrition into your Fitness Routine
Now that you know how to start working out, it’s time to fully round out your lifestyle. I find that exercise and nutrition go hand-in-hand. When I’m in a good rhythm with exercise, I naturally crave healthier foods. Changing or maintaining a healthy diet can help you reach your fitness goals faster.
If you’re looking for some good ideas for easy, healthy meals, here are a few healthy recipes to get you started:
- Dairy-Free Creamy Tortilla Soup
- Mediterranean Salmon & Orzo
- Easy Oven-Roasted Chicken with Asparagus & Saffron Rice
Tracking Progress & Making Adjustments
This part is totally optional and if it feels right to you, feel free to take progress photos to keep a physical diary of your progress. This can be helpful for anyone on a weight-loss journey to keep yourself motivated when you hit a low point. Being able to look back and see where you started can be all the motivation you need to keep going.
You can also keep progress in a journal by writing down how you’re feeling. Overtime, you may find that your workouts aren’t as challenging as your body and mind get stronger. You can always adjust your workout schedule or intensity as you progress.
Being self-aware of how you feel and how your body feels is essential to progressing in your fitness journey.
Embracing a Healthy & Active Lifestyle and Celebrating your Journey
At the end of the day, starting a workout routine isn’t just about the physical benefits. It’s a complete shift in how you live each and everyday. It may seem overwhelming at first, but little by little, your body and mind get stronger and it gets easier to make healthy decisions. You start to feel so great that you can’t imagine not doing things to make you feel good.
As a new year starts and we set big goals for the new year, I hope you take these tips into consideration as you think about how to start working out and living healthier. It’s a marathon, not a sprint and I can’t wait to see how your journey to living a healthier, well-balanced life progresses!