Eight tips to get back into exercising

Life throws us all curveballs at times. Maybe you once exercised regularly but because of changes in work, family, health or a variety of other reasons you haven’t been getting to the gym lately.
Whether it’s been two weeks, a month, or even much longer, there’s no time like the present to get back into exercising.
Here are 10 tips to get you back on track to fitness, and stay there:
1. 30-day guarantee – Promise yourself that you’ll work out regularly over a 30-day period. Even if you practically have to drag yourself to the gym, do it. After 30 days of doing something regularly it will become a habit. With planning going to the gym will become second nature and something there’s a good chance you’ll even look forward to.
2. Schedule time for fitness – People schedule appointments for health care, pet care, having work done on the house, getting their hair cut, visiting with friends, etc. Doesn’t your own physical well-being deserve priority somewhere on that list? Plan ahead and schedule time when you can get to the gym, work out at your house, or do things like go for a run.
3. Buddy system – If you can get a friend to exercise with you it will help you both stay more committed and often achieve better results.
4. Keep score – Mark Xs off on your calendar on days you worked out. Also keep a workout log to chart progress and set goals.
5. Have fun – If working out is no fun, then you’re not likely to keep doing it. It is going to require some hard work, but at least try to find exercises that you like doing and if you really don’t like doing certain exercises don’t do them.
6. Ease back into it – If you’ve taken considerable time off from exercising, don’t go gangbusters when returning to the gym and try to pick up where you left off last time. That would only set you up for frustration and maybe even injury. Ease back into it and you’ll start making gains in no time.
7. Mix it up – Variety is the spice of life and will also help keep your workouts more fun. Mix up what you do and find ways to cross train, such as mixing in a bile ride or jog in addition to your regular weightlifting and cardio exercises. Maybe add a piece of fitness equipment to your home gym for more variety.
8. Compete against yourself – Don’t worry about what other people in the gym are doing. Set goals for yourself and try to improve your own fitness.

At Home Fitness consultant Aaron Dorksen’s blog deals with a variety of fitness topics, ranging from workout tips, motivational ideas and feature stories on how exercise impacts people’s lives. E-mail him with comments, questions or ideas for future blogs at aaron@athomefitness.com