9 Steps to Start a Workout Regimen

Remember that time you held yourself to a really strict diet and intense workout regimen so you could have a rockin’ hot beach bod this summer?  Yeah, me neither.  That always may be the plan, but  life gets in the way.  Let’s be honest, saying no to drinks with co-workers so you can hit the gym is rather depressing, not to mention anti-social.

I can’t promise that you’ll drop 10 pounds or have Victoria’s Secret worthy abs by reading this, but it will give you the ammo  you need to get started.  And isn’t that always the hardest part?

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  1. Buy cute workout clothes

I’m not saying to go and break the bank at lulu, but get a nice outfit or two.  You want to get clothes that you feel comfortable in, that fit well, and that make you excited to go to the gym.

Nothing says lack of motivation like a pair of your brother’s old gym shorts and a Class of 2008 t-shirt.

  1. Start off small

Your first day you hit the gym you don’t want to try and run five miles off the bat.  Unless you’re an ex-cross country runner, you’ll just depress yourself.  Start small and build your way up.

Maybe you can only run for four minutes and do three push-ups on day one.  Who cares?  Three more than you did yesterday.

  1. Join a class

Finding motivation to work out can be difficult.  And if you’re new to the game, you may not know what the heck to do.  What was that thing you saw in the Insanity video that one time your friend made you try it with her?  Chances are you’ll end up hurting yourself that way.

Joining a class is a great way to learn some moves.  Plus, you can pick a class based on how you’re feeling or what you want to work on that day.  Pilates, yoga, and spin are my go to!

  1. Find a workout buddy

Workout classes are so great because working out with others is motivating.  Maybe you don’t want to spend money on classes or your schedules aren’t compatible.  Find a gym buddy instead!  You’ll both motivate each other and you’ll be more likely to commit to a workout if you know someone is counting on you.

  1. Set goals

Do you want to be able to do 50 push-ups?  Is there a half-marathon on the horizon?  Set goals for yourself so you have something to work towards!

  1. Sleep!

If you thought running was hard, try doing it when you’re short on sleep.  If you’re going to be working out regularly, you need to have the energy to do so.  This means try to get eight hours a sleep per night.

  1. Make it part of your routine

At first this might seem impossible, but you need to adjust your schedule so working out is always in the line-up.  Try to always go to the gym at the same time everyday so you get used to the routine.  You can go before work or after work but just make sure you go!

  1. Plan your workouts ahead of time

Make a schedule for yourself.  Maybe you’ll do pilates Monday, run Tuesday, yoga Wednesday, cardio Thursday, and rest Friday.  Whatever works, as long as you’re held accountable.  If you’re at a loss of what exactly to do in lieu of classes, Pinterest is a reservoir of amazing workouts.

  1. Remember, any workout is better than no work out

Situation: You wanted to do 45 minutes on the elliptical but now you have to pick up a friend at the train station and only have 30 minutes at the gym.  Do you…

     a.  Skip the gym entirely.  Your whole plan is ruined.

     b.  Do a quick run and some abs instead

B.  The answer is always B.  It doesn’t have to be running and abs, but it needs to be something.  Just because you set a schedule for yourself doesn’t mean you can’t adjust as you need to.  Don’t think that a short work out isn’t worth the time.  It is.

Elaina Donofrio

Elaina Donofrio is a Cambridge based twenty something which is incredibly different than being Boston based, thank you very much. She is a Boston College graduate with a major in Communication, a minor in Studio Art, and a self-proclaimed Doctorate in social media. Elaina has a mild chocolate addiction and regularly suffers from BSA (beach separation anxiety). When she's not enjoying her job at the North End based start-up Dailybreak, you can find her pretending she likes to run, re-reading the Harry Potter series, or plotting how to sneak a kitten into her apartment. You can follow her on twitter at @elaina_donofrio or check out her photography portfolio at www.pinterest.com/elainad/my-portfolio.

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