You may have had a week off, a month off or a year off, I know though that even after just two weeks off over Christmas, it feels like a lifetime and exercise was the last thing I wanted to do come Jan 1st but somehow, I dragged myself back into it and now I'm back onto the fitness hype like never before. It’s crazy really, I was so motivated once I was in my gym routine (right up until December 23rd) then the mince pies and champagne come out and I eased back into not going to the gym over Christmas. I was sat on my spinning bike earlier this week (happy to say I’m firmly back on the health and fitness bandwagon, smashing out 4 spinning classes last week to make up for all those mince pies) and decided I’d write up a post with my top tips to getting back to fitness after time off. I’m not an expert but these are the things that really help me personally so I hope they’ll help to inspire you, motivate you and mainly, get you back to feeling fit and healthy. Remember, it's okay to have time off.
Find Someone To Work Out With - First things first, working out is way better and easier if you have someone to work out with. I don't really like this rule because I work out alone and always have done (me and my friends never have the same schedules but I wish we did work out together). I do know from experience that if you and a friend are work out buddies, you completely push each other to go so I would recommend finding someone to work out with that fits in with you and your schedule. The amount of times that I would have not gone to a class but me and my friend have both promised each other and I don't want to let that friend down... it's a good way to force yourself into it.
Surround Yourself With Likeminded People - Similar to the above, but I find if me and my boyfriend are both eating healthily, I'll eat a lot healthier whereas if he grabs the Pringles or a chocolate bar, I will too. You have to be very strict but if everyone around you is in that same healthy mindset it will make it easier to stick to.
Motivate Yourself - If like me, you don't always have someone to work out with and hey, maybe the people around you don't want to be healthy, then you've just got to work hard to motivate yourself, it can be done, I have to push and force myself daily to work out and below are some of the things that really help me.
Find Images/Inspiration - My body inspo may be completely different to your body inspo and that's absolutely fine, but I do find following fit and healthy people on Instagram for example really helps to motivate me. I sometimes get their image up in my head when I'm about to collapse on that final minute on the treadmill and it always gets me through. It's fine to have a little bit of inspo. For me, I love Tash Oakley, she is strong and healthy so I always look to her for some inspiration.
Find Your Soundtrack - Just like a good sound track can make or break your mood, a good sound track can also make or break your work out. Never underestimate the power of a good soundtrack. Have a quick Google and look for the best upbeat songs that really get you going. I find Beyonce always helps me power through the final stages of a workout and almost makes me forget I'm working out in the first place. I often stand on the treadmill and feel like I'm going to give in but then a good song comes on and all my energy comes out of nowhere.
Get Your Kit Ready - I find that having a nice, new gym kit really does help. You don't have to spend a lot of money, the new Missguided active wear range is beautiful and won't break the bank. I'm loving LuluLemon too but it is more expensive and obviously, you just cannot go wrong with Nike. All my fave trainers are Nike. At the moment, I am LOVING my kit by Saucony - you may have seen me talk about it this week. I've got matching trainers and leggings (mesh and black and white leopard print, seriously cool) and I couldn't love them enough. I find pretty gym kit just makes me wanna work out so much and have a thing for pretty kit. I also find that getting my kit ready the night before means I basically have to work out.
Book Onto A Class - Every gym works differently but I find if I book onto a class I feel committed and basically have to go. I always want to cancel but if I book myself on, that's it, I have to go! Find a class that works for you, I really enjoy spinning as it really pushes my body but you can take breathers if you like. If it hasn't pushed me enough and if I have the time, I'll pop into the gym after for some really quick weight exercises.
Mix it Up - The gym isn't for everyone, neither are fitness classes. Luckily, YouTube and the internet can help (you can watch me doing my favourite work outs here). There are so many amazing workouts on YouTube and even Instagram now too or in magazines if you prefer to be more traditional. My Mum really doesn't like the gym and instead, she walks 5 miles a day. As long as you're out, about and moving, it's better than nothing. I also find that spinning can get quite tedious (3-4 times a week is more than enough) so I spend a few days in the gym switching between cardio machines and different weights just to add a bit of variety and spice into my work out.
Go When It Suits You - Figure Out What Works Best For You - There's absolutely no point in buying a gym membership if you're not going to go so I'm a big believer in finding something that suits you, whether that's gymming before work, after work, during your lunch break or doing some YouTube videos on a morning. You have to make sure it suits you.
Sort Your Nutrition and Diet Out - I'm completely against dieting and even the word diet, the sooner you note this as a 'lifestyle change' e.g., eating healthily most of the time (80/20 I stick to as to avoid cravings and binge eating) the better. However, I am not and never will be a salad kinda gal, you have to properly fuel your body so healthy eating doesn't mean you have to eat leaves, see my healthy pancakes above for example! Eating healthily and working out isn't a fad, it's something that if you really get into a good routine, will just become part of your life. You could be the fittest person in the world but nutrition is important, you know what they say, abs are made in the kitchen... you can read my shopping list and see what I eat on my post here.
Bite The Bullet - Lastly, don't beat yourself up for not working out/eating badly, we're allowed time off but the longer you put it off, the worse it will get and it'll be harder to get back in the zone. Grab your stuff and work out. You'll never regret working out! The sooner you get back on it, the better and the sooner it'll fit back into your routine (or the sooner you can add working out and eating well into your routine!).
I hope this helps to motivate you and inspire you and mainly, get you back to feeling amazing! Remember, you can do it - it's usually mind over matter with fitness and health, clear out those cupboards, if you don't have unhealthy things stocked in your house you won't eat them. If you think you can't go that extra mile, it's probably your mind telling you, you can!
You can read my other health and fitness posts here and below you can watch my full body circuit work out, it only takes 15 minutes and you can do it at home, in the garden or incorporate these moves at the gym. It burns, it hurts and trust me, it's worth it! You can subscribe to my channel here.
What helps you get back into exercise? What motivates you?
Lots of love, Em x
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