I started the year joining a new gym and raring to go, filled with enthusiasm for developing a fun new routine and getting into great shape – that stopped when lockdown hit. With the gyms closed, I didn’t have a whole lot of motivation to get going with some fitness fanatics I was seeing online. Instead, I opted for long walks and bike rides. When gyms re-opened in August however, I was keen to get into the best shape possible and start my new fitness journey.
Here are my 5 tips to ensuring that you really do stick to a workout routine.
1. Make Fitness Fit in With You
Try to get in a reasonable amount of exercise each week. They say an adult should undertake 150 minutes of exercise a week to stay healthy, which is less than three one-hour sessions at the gym. You don’t have to stick to a rigid routine, but I currently do because of the class timetable at my gym. If it means that I have to miss a spin class because I’m planning dinner with friends – so be it! As long as you eat healthy and continue to attend sessions, you will see results.
Working out every single day can sometimes take the fun out of exercise and exhaust your body. Make sure to have a few rest days – I tend to opt for 1-2 rest days a week. Don’t plan your life around the gym, plan the gym around your life!
2. Set Reasonable Goals
Whether your looking to tone up, drop a dress size or dramatically change your appearance, baby steps are always key. Going too hard, too much, and too fast can be detrimental to your progress and own expectations. Start slow to built your fitness and tolerance, then increase your visits and you will see progress in no time. Remember each milestone, ‘half a stone’ or ‘one stone’ is actually down to your hard work so congratulate yourself (and reward yourself with a nice little YAY gift, like new gym wear when your old clothes start to hang off!).
Track your progress by taking pictures and measurements. This is something I never did because it feels silly at the time – but the results down the line will shock you. Do it!
3. Variety is Key
For some, sticking to a gym routine and changing it up every 4-6 weeks might work. For others, it may be sticking to the same weekly schedule, but attending varied classes. It’s always wise to have some variety in your fitness plan to ensure you don’t get bored, but also continue to achieve results.
4. Fun is Fundamental
I used to go with friends but now I enjoy going to the gym or classes on my own, I feel like it actually makes me work harder because I’m more focused on me. But for others, the support of a (socially distanced) friend may make it more enjoyable. I’d definitely recommend trying out some classes too, from Body Pump to Spin to Zumba – great soundtracks and disco lighting can really motivate you. Plus, attending a class is much cheaper than hiring a personal trainer! YASSS to saving money!
5. Those Added Extras
From looking like a pro to making changes to attain your goals, don’t forget about the following:
Appropriate clothing and footwear – looking or feeling the part can surprisingly motivate you to want to go to the gym more often. Having comfortable clothing and footwear is a must! (I really do love a new pair of trainers.)
Diet + exercise = good – if you want to achieve specific results rather than maintaining, ensure a healthy diet to support your hard work at the gym. I’m currently using MyFitnessPal to track my food intake and a calorie deficit.
Not quite ready for the gym?
If you’re keen to embark on a new regime, or introduce exercise for the first time, don’t be afraid. Working out in the comfort of your own home is becoming increasing popular and more accessible than ever – for free!
Some may prefer to work out at home, either due to cost, lifestyle or confidence. So, here are some suggestions of free at home workouts to get you started:
Free Online Videos
Chloe Ting – YouTube – her workouts are a killer.. but short and sweet – SO GOOD!
Joe Wicks – YouTube -His HIIT workouts and kettle bell routines really work up a sweat
Tiffany Roth – YouTube – her routines are simple but really effective
Empowered Women Fitness – Instagram – Lauren posts lots of intense IGTV workouts to follow
Alexandra Cane – Instagram – This Love Island contestant is now training to be a PT and her IGTV workout vids are incredible! She’s in the best shape of her life and a very motivating person to follow