We have all probably said it at some point or another – “I’ll start working out tomorrow” or “My diet starts Monday”. How often do we keep putting this off as we let time slip away from us? Too often. Fitness is about routine and consistency. There has to be a way to snap yourself back into it when we fall out of habit, right One of the most efficient ways is to be prepared with a plan, so we put together 5 tips to help jumpstart or get back into your fitness routine.

  1. Set an alarm on your phone and lay out your clothes the night before.

We often get wrapped up in our daily to-do lists so often that exercise takes a backseat to these other commitments. Setting an alarm on your phone, or even putting a “workout” time on your calendar helps us block out time for exercise in advance, which rules out the excuses of lack of time and forgetting. You can also take advantage of behavioral cues like laying out your clothes the night before by the front door (or using post-it notes!) to help to keep exercise at the forefront of your mind.

  1. Work out with a friend or join a group fitness class.

One of the biggest challenges to restarting a fitness regimen is holding ourselves accountable – which is where working out with a friend is helpful. It also gives you a sounding board to speak of your plans and goals out loud with people you are closest with to make sure you are continually progressing. Group fitness classes are another great option. Not only are they a fun way to incorporate fitness, but in many cases class attendees become like family, since these members will hold you accountable to show up to class, much like coaches or players on an athletic team.

  1. Get a personal trainer.

Another person you can seek out to hold you accountable is a personal trainer, who will help motivate, inspire, and teach you about fitness. Personal trainers will also encourage you to be consistent with your training and complete exercises on your own outside of working with them, which gives you an automatic support system.

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  1. Plan for meals ahead of time.

Fitness is not just about working out. It’s about maintaining a healthy life through healthy choices in the areas of nutrition, sleep and coping with stress. When nutrition is a second thought, we often fall victim to picking the most convenient options, not necessary those that are healthiest for us. By creating a weekly meal plan, you can shop efficiently and have all the ingredients on hand for easy preparation. Or, you can even cook for the week over the weekend, so you can simply reheat and eat a healthy, balanced meal.

  1. Make it fun!

At the end of the day, we can plan to exercise or eat well, but the bottom line is we will never stick with a fitness regimen if we do not enjoy it. So find a way to make it fun!

  • Pick a race or event to train for and challenge yourself. Set goals to achieve or try some new, crazy things (like handstand pushups!).
  • Try a new exercise (e.g. battle ropes, TRX, a kettlebell workout, row machines, swimming).
  • Work out with friends or family or mix up your routine to eliminate boredom.
  • Do what makes you happy. Find what you like and stick to it.

The most important steps to successfully getting back to your fitness routine are to find ways to hold yourself accountable or have others hold you accountable, planning ahead, and making it fun. You have the power to do whatever it is you want to do. So how bad do you want it? The choice is yours.

Post written by FFC Union Station Fitness Director Michelle Stratton.

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