By Bradley Akers, Certified Personal Trainer
Seven Tips to Restart Your Fitness Routine
Whether dusting off those running shoes after a break or seeking new inspiration in your current routine, you’ve come to the right place. Stepping back into the world of fitness can sometimes feel like a mountain to climb, but it’s also an opportunity filled with potential and excitement.
Regular exercise isn’t just about staying in shape; it’s a cornerstone of a healthy lifestyle, contributing to improved mental health, increased energy levels and enhanced overall well-being. A well-structured fitness routine can be a powerful tool for managing stress, boosting your mood and improving sleep quality.
However, even the best routines can become stagnant. Variety is not just the spice of life; it’s also a key ingredient in a successful fitness program. Changing and/or restarting your routine keeps your body guessing, helps break through plateaus and prevents overuse injuries. More importantly, it keeps your mind engaged and your motivation high. It’s easy to lose interest in a repetitive workout schedule, but introducing new activities, challenges and goals can rekindle your love for fitness and propel you towards your health objectives with renewed vigor.
So, whether you’re looking to jumpstart your fitness journey or spice up your current regimen, these seven tips are designed to inject fun, freshness and a bit of creativity into your workouts. Let’s dive in and discover how you can make your fitness routine more exciting and effective!
Nature as Your Gym
There’s something inherently rejuvenating about being outdoors. Why not take your workout to nature? Activities like hiking, skiing or even a simple outdoor workout can invigorate your senses and provide a much-needed change of scenery. Beyond the physical benefits, being in nature can significantly boost your mental health, reducing stress and increasing happiness. Start by exploring what you like to do outdoors then think of ways to challenge yourself in that activity. Hike faster than normal, ski each lift with attention to form and engagement. You can make any outdoor activity a workout if you put intention to it. Plus, the fresh air and natural beauty will make your workout something to look forward to, rather than a task to check off.
Micro Workouts, Major Gains
The idea of micro workouts is simple yet effective. Instead of dedicating a solid hour or more to exercise, break it down into short, intense bursts throughout your day. This could be a 10-minute yoga session in the morning, a quick HIIT routine during your lunch break or even bodyweight exercises like push-ups and squats during TV time or while cooking dinner. Micro workouts are perfect for those with busy schedules, making fitness seem less daunting and more manageable. Plus, these small bursts of activity add up, offering significant health benefits without consuming your entire day.
Your furry friend can be your perfect workout partner. Including your pet in your fitness routine, like going for brisk walks, running or trying pet yoga, can be a fun way to stay active. This benefits you and ensures your pet gets the necessary exercise, improving their health and strengthening the bond you share. Try taking new routes, increasing distance or speed and finding a park to get some movement in, your furry friend will appreciate it! Regular pet-powered workouts will keep both of you fit and the joy and unpredictability that pets bring can make each workout session unique and entertaining.
Fitness Buddy System
Workouts are better when you have a partner to work with! A fitness buddy can provide the motivation and accountability you need to stick to your routine. They can be a source of encouragement, competition and support. Find a fitness buddy through your friends and family, personal trainers, or even online platforms. Sharing your fitness journey with someone can make it a more rewarding and enjoyable experience. Plus, you’ll have someone to celebrate your victories with!
To keep your routine fresh and exciting, dedicate different days of the week to different types of workouts. For instance, you could try running or biking on Mondays, weightlifting on Tuesdays, swimming or water aerobics on Wednesdays, calisthenics on Thursdays, and functional movements on Fridays. This approach adds variety to your routine, helps break plateaus, reduces overuse injuries and helps prevent boredom. Experimenting with different types of exercises not only keeps things interesting but also ensures a well-rounded fitness regimen.
Fitness isn’t just about physical prowess; it’s also about mental well-being. Incorporating mindfulness into your workout routine can enhance the connection between your mind and body. Practices like Tai Chi, Pilates or even meditation and breathing techniques can be incredibly beneficial. They help improve mental clarity, reduce stress, and increase the effectiveness of your workout by keeping you focused and present. Mindful movement is a holistic approach to fitness that nurtures both your body and mind.
Setting up a reward system for reaching your fitness goals can be a great motivator. These rewards should be something you look forward to and are aligned with your fitness objectives. Perhaps it could be a new piece of workout gear for every month you consistently exercise or a relaxing spa day after reaching a certain milestone. The goal would be to reward yourself with anything but food/alcohol. Whatever it is, make sure it’s something that excites and motivates you to stay on track.
The gym environment can be the catalyst you need for profound changes in your fitness journey. Whether you’re lifting weights, joining a group class, or using the cardio machines, each step inside the gym is a step towards your health goals. However, if you ever feel unsure about where to begin or how to proceed, don’t hesitate to ask for help. Fitness professionals, like personal trainers, are there to support, guide, and motivate you. They can provide personalized advice, workout ideas, and the encouragement needed to push through barriers.
Asking for help is not a sign of weakness; it’s a mark of strength and confidence in your commitment to your fitness journey. These professionals can help tailor a routine that suits your needs, preferences, and goals, ensuring that your return to fitness is not just successful but also enjoyable.
Remember, the journey to fitness is as unique as you are.. Together, let’s make fitness the BEST PART OF OUR DAY!