If you follow me on social media now, you are probably thinking, “what tips can Madison really give me on starting a workout routine? She works out every day.” Let me start by saying, creating a workout routine has taken me years. I tried creating a healthy routine starting way back in college (almost eight years ago, yikes!), but I could never get the habit to stick or not feel like torture.
In this post, you’ll find tips that I used to start and keep a workout routine.
Tips for Starting a Workout Routine
- Find a workout you enjoy. This is really the key. If you find something you enjoy, you will keep doing it. There are SO many options when it comes to working out…. fitness classes, weight lifting, running, spinning, pilates, barre…. and the list goes on. Start with a workout you love when you want to start working out, you are more likely to continue something you enjoy. I am a group fitness junkie, but I also enjoy a good run or powerwalk. Don’t discount powerwalking on an incline. I have seen wild results even from walking. I like to think of movement as medicine, not something we HAVE to do.
- Find a time of day that works for you. You’re never going to keep working out if you plan to work out at 5 am every day, but you’re not a morning person. That’s not realistic, so find a few days a week where you can plan to workout. I would try to habit stack adding in a workout. (If you want all of the deets on habit stacking, click here for one of my favorite authors’ article.) The high overview of habit stacking is to stack a new habit, aka working out right after an old one. A great example of this would be, getting home from work, having a snack like you usually do then putting your gym clothes on and heading right to the gym. You’re committing to working out directly after something you do every day anyway. It’s easy to add a habit to an already existing routine.
- Plan your workout ahead of time. It’s easy to say I will run 7 miles and lift weights for 45 minutes every day, but again, this isn’t realistic either. My hot tip is to plan your workout at least a day in advance. If I am going to a workout class, I have the class time on my calendar so I can’t get lazy and talk myself out of it at the last minute. If you’re going to the gym, I will plan exactly what you are going to do while at the gym. Having a plan keeps you on task while working out and not thinking about what you should do next.
- Find workout clothes and shoes that work best for your workout. I know this can sound silly, but the proper clothes help! Especially shoes, if you’re a runner. I recommend going to a shoe store that specializes in running shoes if you are wanting to add running to a workout routine. I was using the wrong shoes for years but had no idea. As for the clothes part, having the proper clothes is a game-changer… no see-through leggings, no leggings that fall down all the time, something you can move freely and confidently in.
- Work out somewhere you feel comfortable. This kind of goes along with the first one, but it’s worth mentioning. Feeling comfortable in your workout environment is absolutely necessary if you want to keep the routine, ya know? You’re not going to go to a gym where you get hit on every 5 minutes because you might be uncomfortable, or even a workout class where instructors are rude, don’t go! Find somewhere you feel comfortable and will want to go.
All in all, you guys, starting a workout routine is hard yet rewarding. You might find things you love and some things you hate, but it’s all part of the process. Also, I should mention don’t beat yourself up if you miss a day, don’t have six-pack abs, or look like the IT girls on TikTok. Stay in your lane and be proud of yourself for exactly where you are today.
As always, thank you for reading!
PS. If you want some other fitness-inspired posts, here are some of my favs!