Whether you are also coming back to fitness following being pregnant or are simply looking to increase your activity level in the new year in general, here are some of the tips that I’ll be using myself to gradually get back into the swing of things in a sustainable way! Thank you to Nike for sponsoring this post!
With the new year here, I know many of us (myself included) are looking to introduce, or re-introduce, fitness into our lives.
I shared what my approach to fitness has been since giving birth in a blog post earlier this week, and in today’s post I’ll share how I’ll be continuing to gradually scale my fitness routine up moving forward.
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Tips for Starting (or Re-Starting) a Fitness Routine
1) Start slowly and be realistic!
Trying to do too much too soon is a recipe for burning out quickly and establishing an “all or nothing” type mentality towards fitness. Think about where your current fitness baseline is right now, and then set a measurable and realistic goal to slowly start to increase it. So for example, rather than saying “I want to work out more this year”, turn that goal into something actionable, like “I will try one TRX class before the end of the month to see how I like it. If I enjoy it, I will continue to go twice per month.”
Since I’m just getting back into fitness following a C section 7 weeks ago, I’ve decided that my initial goal for now will be to go to one fitness class per week. I’m already enjoying walks with my new little family and doing some postpartum rehab exercises at home, but I miss organized fitness and am looking forward to reincorporating it – going out to a class with friends is a lot more fun than a solo basement workout! Initially I will plan to have that one class per week be yoga, but once I meet with my physical therapist next week to see how my body is healing up, I’ll consider getting back out to a boot camp class with my workout buddies instead/in addition to the yoga class. I’m playing it by ear based on how I feel, and what seems manageable!
2) Think about what makes sense for you and your personal routine.
If you’re not a morning person, don’t try to force yourself to do morning workouts just because others are. Or if you know that happy hours and dinners often come up last minute, or that you often have to work late unexpectedly, perhaps evenings are not the best times to plan fitness classes! What makes the most sense for you? And when you figure that out, can you schedule it into your calendar like any other appointment you won’t miss?
As I get used to my new routine as a mom, I’ll have to see what makes sense in terms of logistics and timing for fitness outside of the home. I’m normally a morning workout gal, but snuggling with my sweet little girl in the mornings (and getting a little extra sleep) has been a way bigger priority so far than a workout has. A 9 a.m. class is about as early as I want to do right now, and afternoon/early evening is even better because I’ll have more time to get organized throughout the day. I’m playing things by ear, and will see how I feel as the weeks go by and we get into a bit more of a routine!
3) Remember that you don’t have to do a long, intense workout for it to “count”!
Have a couple minutes here or there? Use it! My main fitness as of late has been a 10 minute rehab workout in our basement – whatever works! If you haven’t tried it yet, the Nike Training Club App is my favorite for short, efficient workouts – I use it a lot when I travel and only have a few minutes to spare while in my hotel room! They have a huge variety of intensity/style of workout, too – check it out!
4) Sign up for a race so you have something specific to work towards.
If your goal is to start running this year, sign up for a race! Having something on the calendar is a great form of motivation, and you can often find a training club or buddy to train with through your local running store, too. I’m not sure when my body will feel ready/up for running again, but when it does, I’m going to find a local race – it will be fun to have something to train for! I’ll likely start with a 5k and go from there – or maybe plan a 10k a little farther out. I’ll have to see which races look fun!
5) Buy some fun new fitness gear to motivate yourself!
I have been SO excited to get to wear cute non-maternity workout clothes again! I was especially pumped to get a pair of the trendy new workout tights with little see through cut out areas that I’ve seen everyone wearing lately. So cool looking! These are the Nike Fly Lux Women’s Training Crops, and I love them. In addition to being cute, they fit really well, too – no riding up or down. Ditto on the shirt, which is the Nike Dry Fit Knit Top – really comfortable and a flattering cut!
If you’re looking for some fun patterned tights, the other pair I picked up, pictured below, is the Nike Power Legend Women’s Training Tight. I love the design – I’ve already gotten compliments on them – and they have a nice high waist, which I always like because they stay up well. As for my shoes, I’m rocking the brand new Nike Women’s Metcon 4 Shoe. They come in some cute colors, too, but I decided on the all-black version (with fun silver higlights) since I don’t have anything like that! These shoes are made for boot camps and strength training style workouts – they have a nice low profile, a strong, stable base, flexible support, extreme durability, and a really great grip on the bottom so you won’t slip around while sprinting! If you aren’t feeling the pre-set colors, you can also design your own – cool!
What are your best tips for starting (or re-starting) a fitness routine? One last tip from me: don’t forget to have fun! Because if you’re doing a form of fitness you find fun, you’re way more likely to keep it up. 🙂 Exercise can be great restorative, feel good “me time”, but only if you are doing it in a way that reduces rather than adds stress to your life.
Photos: Rachel E.H. Photography // Location: Next Phase Studio Arlington