You don’t have to be a new mom get into a workout funk. At various points in my life I have gone long stretches without seeing the inside of the gym and it’s always a struggle to get back into a rhythm.
Since I wasn’t able to workout throughout most of my pregnancy, I was itching to get back into my routine as soon as I gave birth and was medically cleared to exercise. This was my first goal in the list of 12 things I want to accomplish in this next year. Now that I’m finally in a groove, I’ll share what worked for me:
1. Forgive yourself
There are many reasons we get out of shape. Maybe you got really sick. Or things got busy at work. Or you got injured. Or you couldn’t find the energy at the end of the day.
Whatever it is, forgive yourself. Everyone can get out of his or her rhythm, but the last thing you should be carrying around with you is tons of guilt and embarrassment about how “far you’ve fallen.” It’s hard not to obsess over what you used to be able to do, but what’s important is to just get moving again and you’ll catch up in no time.
2. Connect with your motivation
We know we have to exercise because it’s good for our health, but how many of us truly connect with our deeper motivation for working out? Personally, I want to workout so I can be my strongest self and:
- Play with my growing daughter
- Run a marathon
- Clear the mind on a daily basis
- Continue to go on active vacations where I hike, run, bike, kayak and (maybe one day) surf!
Before you do anything, it's important to know what drives you!
3. Find the exercise style that fits your taste
You don’t have to worry about keeping up with the latest fitness trends (it’s OK if Crossfit is not for you!). Just find a way to move that YOU genuinely like. If you prefer to workout alone and in private, there are great programs like YogaGlo that you can do from the privacy of your own living room. Or does a group dynamic motivate you? There are great sports leagues like Zog Sports or charity-driven teams like Team In Training, where you can train for a major event like a marathon. I personally trained for the NYC Marathon with Team in Training because I knew I needed the camaraderie of the team to get up everyday and run all those miles!
4. Put it in your calendar!
If it's important to you, it should be scheduled! Whether you're interested in a group class at the gym, or you plan to do a 20 minute yoga workout at home, it should be written down in your planner or calendar. If it's written down, chances are higher that you'll prioritize and honor that commitment.
5. Keep track of your progress
If numbers drive you, don’t be afraid to keep track of some metrics that are important to you. For a lot of people, it will be weight, but I personally love keeping track of things like number or pullups and pushups I can do, as well as how fast I can run a mile. Find what will give you that extra motivation and keep track of it!
Got any other tips that helped you get back into shape? I would love to hear it!