Restarting a Gym Schedule
As some of you who follow me may know, I’ve been all up and down and around this summer. I’ve been nothing if not mobile, and am just starting to feel settled again as Fall comes around the corner.
I talked last week about back to school, and how this time of year can be really inspiring when it comes to getting back into good habits. For me, it’s eating right and exercising. While I’m a really active person, I’ve had so many wonderful vacations and visitors this year, and with those things come food. And a bit of extra poundage. I’ll say it — your illustrious health editor has gotten a little … smoodgy.
If getting back into the swing of things is your goal too, here is my guide to doing it right.
1. Be nice to yourself
Many of us prefer friendly folk, and find ourselves hiding from and avoiding trainers, coaches and so called “motivators” who are just nasty to us. If your motivation becomes one of these people, you’re likely to hide from it as well. Calling yourself “fat,” “lazy,” or “stupid” is no way to develop a happy relationship with your inner trainer. Do the best you can every day and gently encourage yourself towards constant, positive good work. Don’t beat yourself up when you slip up, quit early or have a day where you can’t seem to get started. Let it pass and start tomorrow new.
2. Take it easy
There’s a temptation to bust your butt as hard as you can the second the idea of getting back into shape comes into your head. If you just eat nothing but lettuce and grilled chicken, then run 5 miles, lift weights and do yoga until you pass out, you’ll be fit in no time! Then the next day, you’re too sore, tired and hungry to do anything and your schedule is already busted. Take it slow and steady as you get back into your routine!
3. Don’t be afraid of change
You may have had a routine that felt really perfect months ago and want to go right back. It might not be possible! I know that after my months off, three days a week of aerials isn’t an option. My schedule has to change for now while I grow strong and fast again, and that’s okay! Your schedule should be solid, but it doesn’t have to be strict. In the beginning, building the routine is the most important part, so focus on that first.
4. Set your mark
“Bikini season” is so fleeting, isn’t it? Find a goal that works for you any day of the week, any week of the year. A look is good, but a skill is a great goal too. Be it handstands or a 5k, make your new goal something that will make you feel like you’re back at the top to achieve. Set mini-goals weekly or monthly, such as a certain number of workouts or simply lowering your mile time each week.
You can do it. I can too! I’ll be working hard alongside you to get back into my best shape, and the way to do it is by being the best trainer I can be — for myself. Forgive the schmaltz, but you’re all wonderful! So be nice to yourselves.
Health editor, Tini Howard is a writer, aerialist and foodie from the East Coast.