Although it does not seem like it would be, working out in summer is HARD. There are so many things that throw you out of your normal routine. Your kids are out of school, which makes it challenging logistically to go anywhere. Your summer holidays come and go. And let’s be honest, most of us did not work during our summer vacations. We chose eating instead. A lot of eating. Your dog sitter was on holiday, which made it hard to be away for long periods of time to workout. It was SUPER HOT EVERYWHERE, so you just did not want to do something that increased your body temperature and made you sweat more.
I GET IT.
But, for many of us, those summer holidays are behind us, the kids are back in school, and the dog sitter is back to their normal routine with your pup. There is no extra polite way to say this so I will just say it as you need to hear it - STOP MAKING EXCUSES AND START MOVING YOUR BODY. Full stop.
Now, I would not tell you that and then leave you to figure out the rest for yourself as I know getting back into a workout routine can be challenging. But with the right approach and mindset, you can do it. Here's a 10 step guide to help you get back on track:
1. **Set Clear & Achievable Goals:**
Determine what you want to achieve with your workouts. Having specific, measurable goals can provide motivation and direction. But they need to be achievable. Many people tend to goal themselves on weight loss or percentage of body fat. The problem with these measurements is that results are not fast so it is easy to get demotivated quickly. I recommend my clients to focus on the number of workouts as a goal target. In the end, if you are managing to get in three or more workouts a week and eat a decent diet, weight loss and body fat reduction will come. But step one to all of it is to start moving your butt.
Be honest with yourself. It's unlikely you will go from not working out at all to working out six days per week. Try to start with two days per week with a goal to work up to three days in 30 days. You need at least that to start to see any type of result. Understand that progress may be slow initially. Don't get discouraged if you don't see immediate results.
2. **Start Small & Choose Activities You Enjoy:**
Don't overwhelm yourself by trying to jump back into your previous workout routine. Begin with a manageable level of exercise that you can comfortably complete. Pick exercises or activities that you genuinely like. This increases the chances that you'll stick with your routine over the long term.
If you do not particularly enjoy working out, try classes where you can distract yourself from the routine. I always recommend people to try Zumba or other cardio dance fitness classes at local dance studios or via mobile fitness concepts, like Breakthrough Fitness, where you can access these classes without being in a gym environment.
3. **Create a Schedule:**
Plan your workouts in advance and schedule them like appointments. And then show up. Consistency is key to establishing a routine. Decide you are going to go no matter what; and then do it.
4. **Find a Workout Buddy:**
Partnering with a friend can make workouts more enjoyable and provide mutual accountability.
5. **Invest in Workout Clothes you Feel Hot In:**
Let’s be honest. We act differently when we feel sexy and/or handsome. Get you some cool workout clothes that make you feel good and wear them each time you workout. Looking the part will help you tackle your workout.
6. **Mix Up Your Workouts:**
Variety can keep your routine interesting. Try different exercises, classes, or outdoor activities to prevent boredom. But always plan them out in advance. Each Sunday I sit down and look at my personal, family, and work calendars and then calendar in and book all of the workout classes I will do that week. Be intentional.
7. **Prioritize Recovery:**
Make sure you're getting enough sleep, eating well, and allowing your body time to rest and recover between workouts. Don’t try to kill it too hard the first weeks. I recommend putting at least one day between your workouts when getting started to allow time for your body to recover.
8. **Stop Making Excuses:**
The most common reason people tell me they do not workout is because they do not have time. I hear it SO much that I even created an entire YouTube channel around this misconception. THIS IS NOT TRUE SO STOP TELLING YOURSELF THIS. We all make time for whatever we want to do. Now that does not mean you will not have to sacrifice something. That something might be going to bed a little earlier so you can wake up earlier to fit it in. Or just deciding that you will get one hour less sleep twice a week in order to fit it in. Or instead of going out for drinks (which by the way does not help your fitness goals) switch that for a workout. Nothing is free and achieving fitness goals is not easy. So you should expect to have to put forth effort to achieve your goals. But you crush so many other things in life. YOU CAN DO THIS.
9. **Don’t be Afraid of Being Sore:”
Naturally being sore does not feel good. BUT, you should not let that stop you from working out despite feeling those muscles. Soreness is a sign that you actually did something that your body was not accustomed to and it is reacting to it. That is EXACTLY what you want. Soreness means you are on the right track. KEEP GOING.
10. **Stop making excuses:**
That’s right. This is Step 8 repeated. But I know you need to hear it again. :)
Remember that building a workout routine is a personal journey, and what works for one person may not work for another. The key is to START. Find a routine that fits your lifestyle and preferences while gradually increasing the intensity and duration of your workouts as your fitness level improves.
Whatever you do, keep moving.
You Got This.
Jess Mateo is an avid leader in the fitness community, a group fitness instructor, and the owner of the Austin based mobile fitness company, Breakthrough Fitness. Follow her on Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube for fitness tips, on-demand workouts, and easy/fast healthy eating ideas.