5 Tips for (Re-)Starting Your Exercise Program


We are 22 days into the new year and people’s resolutions are falling by the wayside fast! According to Forbes, improved fitness is the number one New Years resolution. After big holidays filled with food and merriment, that makes a lot of sense. If improved fitness was one of your resolutions, and you’re struggling, here are a few tips to (re-)start your exercise program.

1. Start Out Easier Than Easy

Your fitness journey is exactly that – a journey. You might enjoy some experiences more than others, get through some phases easier than others, take a break or go ahead full steam. And that’s okay! It’s YOUR journey!

When you are starting, or re-starting, go easy on yourself. Use basic movement patterns so that you can learn and practice proper form and avoid injury. Don’t expect an hour-long workout. Don’t plan for compound movements, heavy weights, or a high number of reps. Aim for 20 minutes that make you feel good and confident and you have taken an important first step! This will also ensure you are not overly exhausted and drained, because those feelings will likely deter you from wanting to work out again.

Exercise buddies

2. Find A Workout Buddy

We don’t like to disappoint other people, so have someone else hold you accountable. Often, having a group exercise session helps me get out of bed at 5:30 a.m. because I already signed up for it and I know the other attendees will be rolling in just as tired as I am. Or grab a friend and set a time to work out together. There are options like FiA (Females in Action) with locations around the country that offer free, outdoor workouts for women. This is an established community of women dedicated to making their bodies and minds stronger! Or find a neighborhood friend that will be your walking/ running buddy. Being accountable to someone else will likely outweigh feelings of laziness. Check out our Prenatal and Postpartum Fitness Guide if you are looking for specialty classes to suit your needs.

3. Schedule Your Workout Times

Make your workouts a priority — just as you would any other appointment! Schedule your workout days and times in your calendar and know what you are going to do BEFORE you begin. I like to lay out my clothes the night before, fill my water bottle, bookmark the workout (if I’m using the Peloton app), and make sure my weights/ bands/ mat are where they need to be if I’m doing a home workout. If you are starting out and aiming for 20 minutes three times a week, that’s one hour out of 168 in a week. You can do it!

4. Involve Your Kids in Working Out

My kids have been working out with me since they were infants on their play mat. I’ve taken them to the gym with me and had them in the child care room; worked out at the park with a personal trainer while they played; taken them to FiA (Females in Action) more often than I can count; and when I work out at home, they play next to me and sometimes even do some exercises with me. I love that they see me taking care of myself and making self-care a priority. When your four-year old critiques your burpees, you know you’re in trouble!

5. Set Reasonable Exercise Expectations

You won’t be running a marathon a month after starting to work out! Set reasonable goals and expectations that fit with your lifestyle and level of commitment so you’re not disappointed. Comparison is the thief of joy – you don’t need to keep up with anyone or compare yourself to anyone. You do you!


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