I can remember the last time I exercised regularly and had a solid fitness routine… it was about eight years ago (pre-kids.) Once the third baby came (not to mention the extra pounds from three pregnancies) I decided it was time to get back into it. Although carrying a constantly growing human around all day was great for my biceps, it wasn’t improving my overall health. Just walking across a parking lot with a Costco cart would put me out of breath!
I tried to jump in with two feet, buying one of those 12-week at-home fitness plans. I could keep up for the first week, but after that I started finding excuses as to why I couldn’t work out that day. I’m too tired. The kids won’t let me exercise at home. My back hurts. I don’t have time.
On my 30th birthday I made a commitment to myself. I was going to start working out, I was going to enjoy it, and I was going to make it a habit.
I’m seven months into my new fitness routine and I am excited to share that I have been successful in fulfilling my commitment! I’m going to the gym four times a week, I’m running regularly (I’ve never been a runner), and I can already see changes in my body. I feel stronger and healthier.
I teamed up with my good friend Andrea Krupa, Certified Group Fitness Instructor and Nutrition Specialist, to bring you our six step plan to get you back into a fitness routine and help you reach your goals.
Decide what environment will be best to meet your needs. Is working out at home the most convenient for you? Or maybe getting a gym membership with childcare is easier. For me, working out at home had not been successful in the past. I could always find a reason why I needed to skip my exercise. So I knew, to be successful, I needed to hit the gym!
If you decide that the gym is your best fit, too, Andrea suggests having a backup plan. “Life happens and sometimes you can’t make it to the gym. Whether it’s sick kids or a nationwide quarantine, you might need to workout from home. Having a few weights on hand is enough for a great at-home workout. Get outside and soak up some vitamin D while you’re at it. Don’t forget to drink water!”
Buy cute gym clothes. Okay, I know this one might sound a little silly, but feeling cute/sexy can help motivate you to get your sweat on! Just get one workout outfit that you LOVE and make a deal with yourself: if you put on the cute gym clothes, you must sweat in them. Andrea’s top choices for exercise clothes:
Start small to build habits slowly. Going from zero exercise to 5-days-a-week might be hard to maintain. I started with one class a week and worked my way up. I found classes that worked well with my schedule so that I wouldn’t have “I’m too busy” as an excuse not to go. Andrea agrees that making small commitments, like “This week I’m going to go for a walk every evening after dinner,” is a great way to get started. She also suggests hiring a fitness coach to help motivate you to get moving!
Find a workout that you enjoy. Yoga, cycling, kick boxing, hiking… the options are endless when it comes to ways to exercise. Try out a few until you find the one that you like! Find one that is so fun, that you didn’t even notice the hour fly by. I started with barre. With a background in dance, I had a hunch that I would enjoy this class. And now, I’ve even branched out to tabata (NEVER thought I would be in that class, but Andrea is a great instructor.)
Feel the burn and learn to appreciate it. Feeling sore after a workout is good. It means all that work you put in is paying off. So if your thighs feel like they’re on fire, be proud of yourself! You did it, girl!
Make goals. Write down your goals, for three months, six months, and beyond. Make them realistic. My first goal was to get in the habit of going to two group fitness classes a week. Once I started doing that regularly, I updated my goal and started working on it right away.
Getting into a fitness routine takes work. Nothing good comes easy. So make a plan, write some goals, and get at it! And if you need a little guidance and accountability, Andrea takes personal training clients! Connect with her on Instagram @andrearashelle.