Tips for Getting Back into Your Fitness Routine - Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare

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Published on April 07, 2014

Tips for Getting Back into Your Fitness Routine

It’s been a long, hard winter. Some of us eased the pain of the cold and snow by sticking closer to our couch than the gym. But don’t be too hard yourself. The nice weather is coming so let’s look at a smart plan to get moving again. 

The hardest step is often the first. Take it now with the help of these tips:

  • Be Realistic. Most of us have a pretty good idea of how fit we really are. If it’s been awhile, don’t expect to be an elite athlete in two weeks. Slow and steady wins the race.
  • Design a Program You Can Live With. Plot out something that gets in about 30 minutes of exercise, or any type of physical activity, 4-6 days a week. Add a few more minutes when you feel ready. If 30 minutes at a time is too much, divide it into two 15 minute segments. Write out your plan and put it on your calendar or refrigerator. Putting it on the frig may also reduce the temptation to grab an unhealthy snack!
  • Just Go. You don’t have to run a marathon or spend hours in a gym. Begin with a walking program to build back your endurance. You’ll be surprised how quickly you can move up to jogging or running and working out like you used to. You don’t have to go fast, you just have to go. And it always helps to go with a friend.
  • Build in Variety. Let’s face it. Doing the same old thing every day can get boring. For example, if walking is your exercise of choice, mix it up a little with things you enjoy. Try dancing, weekend hikes with friends or family, a Zumba class, Yoga or a bike ride.
  • Listen to Your Body. If you become short of breath or start feeling faint, dizzy or nauseous while exercising, stop. You are pushing yourself too hard. If you stumble and fall and it’s more than a twisted ankle or if the pain in any of your body parts isn’t going away, see your doctor.
  • Measure Your Progress. You’ll be surprised how your fitness level can change in a matter of weeks. Assess where you are when you start again, at 6 weeks, 3 months and 6 months. You’ll be proud!
  • Be Good to Yourself. Think about fun little things to reward yourself for sticking to your exercise plan. And if you happen to miss a day it’s OK. Silence that inner critic and don’t get discouraged. Pick up and start again and remember why you started exercising in the first place – to enjoy all the health benefits that come with regular exercise.

Check out our Health Library for great fitness-related articles to help you stick to the exercise program that's right for you. You can do it! 

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Tips for Getting Back Into Your Fitness Routine