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Tips for Starting or Re-Starting Fitness

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. 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!

nike fun tights2Wearing: Nike Women’s Metcon 4 Selfie Shoe (more colors here), Nike Power Legend Women’s Training Tight, Nike Dri-Fit Women’s Training Tank 

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.”

tips for reintroducing fitnessWearing: Nike Women’s Metcon 4 Selfie Shoe (more colors here), Nike Fly Lux Women’s Training Crops, Nike Dry Fit Knit Top

MY OTHER RECIPES
 

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!

downward dog fun tights

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!

let's do thisWearing: Nike Dri-Fit Women’s Training Tank 

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!

tricepcurl1

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!

tabletop with arm and leg up

fit tips new year

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!

nike metcon 4 shoes women2

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

Comments

  1. 1

    Great tips! I’ve had to restart my fitness routine so many times of my life the one thing I’ve learned is to keep going, keep doing what feels good and don’t be so hard on yourself!

  2. 3

    I agree with all of these tips, especially about starting off slowly and being realistic with what your progress will look like. I really struggled with this mentally during my postpartum journey back in 2016, but just remember that being pregnant and giving birth is a huge roller coaster for your body, and slowly but surely you’ll get back to where you once where.

  3. 5

    this is great, thank you for sharing anne! i do think you are in an amazingly wonderful position to be able to make fitness a priority so soon after giving birth. i returned to work full time after only 8 weeks, and since my husband also works full time (without any paternity leave) and we have no one locally to babysit or help out regularly, it’s hard to find the time (and energy!) to work out in the limited free hours we have outside of work and caring for baby. you have mentioned many times that you do not prefer to work out at home, but i wonder if you could help moms like me find a home routine that would (at least for the time being) replace sessions at a gym, club or yoga studio (since aside from time, cost is also a real factor for many new parents). i would really appreciate some tips for quick and easy workouts! maybe you’re not the right source for this info, but given you excitement for fitness and your new mom status, i thought you might be up for the challenge!

    • 6

      I’m proud of you for working to make fitness a priority even though you have limited time – not an easy thing to do! I would absolutely recommend purchasing the Fitnessista’s Post Baby Bod program — it’s perfect for new moms who have limited time but who are working to get back into fitness. All the cardio so far has included baby (stroller walks), and the strength portions can all be done quickly at home with minimal equipment (you basically just need weights)! It’s 12 weeks long so would give you a great base, and you could always repeat workouts from it in the future!

      • 7

        thanks! i have been neglecting my body for FAR too long – i had 4th degree tearing during childbirth and then broke my foot when my baby girl was 6 weeks old! – so starting slow is just what i need. i can’t wait to feel good again!

        • 8

          Omg… 4th degree tearing is intense. I can NOT imagine having a broken foot with a 6 week old, either – ahhh! That’s rough. Good for you for getting back into the mix – you can do it! One more resource: http://www.mommastrong.com/ — I haven’t tried this personally but I’ve heard good things! It’s all online workouts specifically for moms!

          • 9

            it was awful awful awful and i wouldn’t wish either on anyone, but now that i’m on the other side of both ordeals i kind of feel like a badass!

            thanks for all the suggestions, i will bive them a try! xo

    • 11

      Try fitnessblender.com

  4. 12

    So many awesome tips in this post and I love the photos! Proud of you for getting back in the gang safely and strategically

  5. 14

    My favorite piece of advice is that it takes 3 weeks to make a routine so to not get frustrated if after a week it doesn’t feel like you have made progress. Progress is slow.

    The one thing I do highly recommend is get everything ready the night before. That means packing breakfast/lunch, arm band and water bottle for the gym and my work bag. I put out all of my workout (in the order I need to put them on) underwear to socks to pants, etc. – so I do not have to even think about it. It’s just there.

  6. 16

    My biggest piece of advise in maintaining a good fitness routine is to view it as “me” time. I truly enjoy it, and I’ve found various workout classes and styles that I love. Changing my mindset from, “I have to workout today” to, “I want to work out today” has made all the difference! I have an online Barre3 subscription that allows me to complete anywhere from 10 to 60 minutes in the comfort of my own home. My twin sister and I, along with her sister-in-law at times, have enjoyed taking different Barre3 and yoga classes together. This week my twin and I took two Turbo Spin Cycling classes, which were very different from our typical fitness routine. Even if I am unable to complete a workout that I had planned, I do not view it as a failure. I simply decide when I would next like to do it. Don’t throw in the towel or think, “well, it’s all downhill from here! I didn’t make it, I stink.” Life happens, just enjoy the next class to the fullest. Thanks for this post, Anne, and you look so pretty and strong!

  7. 18

    These are great tips! When I’m trying to set new goals, I find it always helps to write them down and keep them in a space where you can see them. There’s something about seeing your goals written in your own handwriting that just motivates the heck out of you!

  8. 20

    I <3 the pants!

  9. 21
    Roadrunner says:

    Really impressive to see how quickly you are getting back into it despite the c-section. Well done! Great to track the progress. Congrats –

  10. 23

    i love how you are listening to your body and getting back into fitness in such a safe and smart way. so awesome! i’ve heard c-section recovery can be so challenging and you are clearly doing everything you can make your return to fitness successful in the long-term! (also, you look freaking amazing!)

  11. 25

    This is a great post that fits well with my audience and with what I post about. I pinned it and am saving it to post on Facebook at a later date. Thanks for sharing such helpful content!

  12. 27

    Great post topic! After the crazy month and a half I just had, I completely let all my fitness drop. It’s especially annoying moving countries because now I can no longer to go to my favorite yoga or spinning class, I need to find a new gym, classes, routine, everything! I love your point on setting reasonable goals so you don’t get frustrated or worse get injured/burned out. My goal for next week is to unpack my gym clothes and find out where the closest gym is ;)

    • 28

      Lol! I’m in luck! literally just got the email saying our brand new gym on campus is opening next week! Now I have no excuse ;)

    • 29

      Excellent goal. Starting simple is key! And I just saw your other comment – that’s awesome about the new gym on campus!!

  13. 30

    Love this! I’m in the same boat as a new mama and had a rough recovery. Was finally cleared to workout and have been enjoying some really gentle yoga. I love feeling like I’m working toward some more flexibility and working on strengthening again! Thank you for sharing your own journey too!

    • 31

      I feel SO inflexible – everything was so tight during pregnancy and still is! Yoga feels amazing, doesn’t it? Glad to hear you are getting back out there too!

  14. 32

    I’ve also been getting back into fitness lately and making sure I don’t make it “all or nothing” has definitely been key. It’s been especially difficult with the cold weather temps not cooperating lately! I’ve incorporated a lot of home workouts and made a goal to a class twice a month. LOTS of walking to get back into it. P.S. I DO love those cutout tights!

  15. 34
    TrackBuddy says:

    My friends and I just started up a great routine – we have a group text and we all text each other every day to report anything we do re: fitness. A bunch of us are doing a 30 day posture up (daily videos) and so are reporting on that, but others are doing different things. It all counts and everyone cheers for everyone else.

    I’ve been WAY more disciplined on my standard core and MYRTL exercises because of our group text / support group – it makes me want to report something every day, no matter how small! My friends have all said that too – it really makes us look for any time in the day – even if it’s just 5-10 minutes – where we can do something active.

  16. 36

    I can’t wait to re-start my fitness routine after the baby is born. I haven’t been very active during this pregnancy due to my RA so I am realllly missing those endorphines. I’m definitely going to do that core program that you mentioned and then will have to figure out what to add in. There is a place nearby that offers prenatal and post partum fitness classes and the post partum ones are baby-wearing classes. So I’m hoping to go to some barre classes during the day when I am on maternity leave. I’m most nervous about fitting in workouts after I go back to work. But hopefully I can squeeze a quick workout in after I put the baby down for the night. I have a little gym set up in our basement so that will help. I just hope I have the energy to workout after being at work all day and tending to the baby when we get home!

    • 37

      I hear you on the endorphins! Sounds like you have a great plan for once the baby arrives, though – awesome that you have some postpartum fitness class options nearby!

  17. 38

    Lots of great tips here! Thank you for sharing~

Trackbacks

  1. […] Tips For Starting Or Re-Starting Fitness – So much good advice. […]

  2. […] Rocking my new fave Nike Women’s Metcon 4 Selfie Shoe & Nike Fly Lux Women’s Training Crops (more details on those in my Tips for Re-Starting Fitness post) […]

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