Starting something new can be an intimidating experience, but oftentimes pushing ourselves outside of our normal comfort zone ends up being a rewarding experience. That sentiment rings especially true for people who are thinking about starting a workout routine. Beginning a workout routine can be great for your physical and mental health, but it’s not always easy to start and stick with a routine. In today’s blog, we share some tips for people who are looking to begin a workout routine or physical therapy program that they’ll continue for an extended period.
Starting A New Workout Routine
Anybody can go for a run and then put their running shoes back in the closet, never to be used again. If you’re hoping to start a new routine that you’ll also be able to regularly complete, here’s what you’ll want to do.
- Prep – Before you jump into your new routine, make sure you are ready for the exercise. That means wearing clothes that are appropriate for the activity, whether you’re going to the gym, completing a run, performing a yoga routine or swimming laps at the pool. Once you’re dressed, take a couple of minutes to stretch before you begin. Stretching helps your muscles transition from an inactive to an active state, which ensures they are ready to handle the stress that is about to come their way. Stretching also helps to prevent injuries like strains and sprains.
- Find An Activity You Enjoy – The key to starting and sticking to a workout routine oftentimes revolves around the type of exercise you choose to pursue. Odds are you can find an activity that you enjoy (or at least don’t dread doing) on a regular basis. Don’t just limit yourself to running or doing a lifting routine at the gym. There are so many other physical activities to consider, like swimming, cycling, canoeing, yoga or recreational sports. Find ways to make a game of your physical therapy exercises and challenge yourself to beat your previous best. If you can find little ways to have more enjoyment with the activity, you’re more likely to pursue the activity again in the future.
- Start Slow – You want to take things easy in the beginning and then slowly work to take on a greater challenge. Not only is this helpful for your body, which may not be used to this physical stress, but it also helps you feel accomplished. If you try to take on too much too quickly, you may be discouraged by your inability to hit your goals or you could suffer an injury because certain muscle groups were overstressed. Start with attainable goals and then slowly take on a greater challenge over time.
- Start – They say that a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step, and that’s true about your workout routine or physical therapy program. At some point, you have to jump in and start your program. Whether that’s a short lifting routine at the gym or 15 minutes on the treadmill in your basement, you need to take the leap and dive into what will become a regular workout routine. The only way to release those reward hormones in your brain is to actually begin your workout routine, so take a deep breath and give it a go!
- Try To Develop A Regular Routine – We understand that life can get hectic, but try to make exercise a regular part of your weekly routine. You may not always be able to exercise after work on Mondays and Thursdays, but really challenge yourself to find time to exercise 2-4 times a week. Look ahead at your schedule every Sunday night and start to map out what days and times work best this week. Know that you may not always be able to find time to exercise, but you always have the opportunity to make time to exercise if you plan ahead and prioritize the activity. Wake up 15 minutes earlier or pack your gym bag so that you can stop at the fitness center after work. Cultivate a regular routine, and soon exercise will become a normal part of your week!
If you’re still finding it difficult to find an exercise routine that you find enjoyable, or you’re finding that physical pain is making you shy away from activity, consider connecting with the team at OrthoRehab Specialists. We can develop a routine that works for you and help you overcome an injury that is making physical movement uncomfortable. For more information, or to set up your first session, give our team a call today at (612) 339-2041.