We allow ourselves a much needed mental and physical break when the holidays come to town. Delicious home cooked meals, seasonal flavored goodies, and Christmas cookies fill our bellies and keep our hearts warm. When the new year begins, we suddenly realize our indulgence is over, and it’s time to kick it in high gear! Whether you’re a new-years-resolutioner who loves to vow to healthy habits at the start of the new year, or you’re a regular just trying to get into the swing of things, we’re all looking for easier ways to getting back in the gym. It can be stressful, and mostly scary being surrounded by people who you feel look and act like they have it all together (newsflash: they don’t!). Self-confidence can be slim when trying to work up the courage of getting back in the gym, but I’m here to help! Your self-love will increase, and your pant size will decrease if you have patience and love for yourself above all else. Here are eight tips for getting back in the gym come the new year!
1. Start Slow
Our Instagrams are flooded with fitness influencers, and people who look drop-dead-gorgeous almost daily. It’s hard to not feel like we need to crash diet and do two hours of cardio every single day to get reasonably similar results! Getting back in the gym is easiest when you start out slow. Fifteen to thirty minutes of physical activity a day is all you need to start out with! Whether you take your dog for a walk, use the stairs instead of the elevators at school, or just hit the gym to incline walk on a treadmill…the key is just to start out slow!
2. Be Realistic
It’s easy to get discouraged whenever you’re just getting back in the gym after some time off from your fitness regimen. Being realistic with yourself and your goals will make your sanity remain at peace! To vow to yourself that you’ll lose 5 lbs a week is a bit excessive, and you’ll feel burnt out and overwhelmed by trying too hard too fast, ultimately resulting in your giving up! Trying setting a goal of losing 5 lbs in your first month. Once your unrealistic pressure is off of your back, you’ll feel more natural and confident in yourself, especially when getting back in the gym.
3. There is No Time Limit
To become your best self, there really is no time limit. We like quick results with minimal effort, but being physically (and honestly, more importantly, mentally) healthy is a life long process! Changing eating habits into healthier, more nutrient dense options will not be easy, and will not happen over night. Allowing yourself a lifetime of self-love and healthy habits will set your mind at ease, thus resulting in less pressure when getting back in the gym!
4. Healthy Doesn’t Have To Be Boring
This is a tale as old as time, but it’s true! Healthy eating, or getting back in the gym, definitely doesn’t have to be boring! Steamed veggies and plain grilled chicken are not mandatory for losing body fat, the same way that running 10 miles is not mandatory. Try making noodles out of zucchini or squash for low carb meal options. As for getting back in the gym, this generation of healthy living can actually be a lot of fun when you discover countless options of activity! Spin classes, hiking, Zumba, Yoga, Pilates…pick something that will keep you interested and moving!
5. Have A Workout Buddy
Getting back in the gym, whether you’re a vet or rookie, is a lot more fun and less intimidating when you have someone to go with. Allowing each other to take turns and run the workout in different ways on different days will keep you engaged and excited to get going! Accountability is also awesome for making healthier habits into getting back into the gym. Having a partner that says no to tacos until after the workout is the ideal of balance!
6. Speaking of Balance…
It’s really important to not deprive yourself of free time, foods, special occasions, etc. Balance is a crucial tip in not only getting back in the gym, but creating healthier eating habits to become your best self. If you’re celebrating a birthday at home, eat that slice of cake! Drink that glass of wine! Have a second piece of pizza! It’s also important to remember that skipping a day at the gym will not ruin all your progress. Balancing your normal life with healthier alternatives will only come with time and practice, but it’s worth trying!
7. Plan Ahead
Walking into the gym not having an idea of what type of workout you want to achieve can aid in feeling overwhelmed, under educated, and unmotivated! Getting back in the gym in the new year is a great way to start practicing planning ahead! Write down a work out in your phone’s notes, or watch some YouTube videos of an exercise routine during your pre-lift cardio to get motivated and inspired. It will help the fluidity of your work out, as well as your motivation to get it done!
8. Be Kind To Yourself
A new year comes with a lot of self-reflection. Being kind to yourself while embarking on a healthier life journey is a big commitment and process! Self love will take time, and every effort towards a healthier life should be celebrated. Getting back in the gym for only two or three days out of the week is something to celebrate, as well as your short-term goals versus your long term goals. It’s important to remain kind to your mind and body throughout the process of becoming your better self. It will only get easier as time goes on.