Kick-Start Your Exercise Routine This Summer


As the weather finally gets warmer, it is a great excuse to return to exercise after a break or build on your current routine. Either way, it can be both daunting but exciting at the same time. With lots of opportunity to try new things it can be difficult to know where to focus and where to start. It is worth remembering that getting fitter and stronger doesn’t have to be about the gym and doing a set routine, the key is to find a form of movement that you enjoy.

Where to Start

First things first. You need to consider what you want to achieve from your new regime. Consider what the difficulties or barriers might be to you making a start and how you may overcome them so it does not prevent you from returning to fitness.

Whether you are here for more energy, muscle gain, stronger bones, better posture, improved flexibility, mental wellbeing benefits, better overall health (like lower blood pressure or cholesterol) or weight loss, having a clear goal will help. A note of caution, if losing weight is a key driver, try not to let this be the only reason as fitness only makes a small impact and progress can be slow and demoralising.

Try visualising what success looks like for you in six months and again in two years’ time. Once you know what it will look like and how it will make you feel, think about how it can work realistically. Barriers will crop up along the way. Can you think what they might be and plan a coping strategy to work around them if and when they occur?

Start Slowly

Don’t rush into high-intensity workouts right away. Begin with light to moderate exercises to allow your body to adapt and prevent injuries. It is also worth thinking about any restrictions you might have in your body, like stiff shoulders or sore knees. Yoga, Pilates, or mobility workouts might be a good place to start to work out any sticky bits before you progress to lifting weights, swinging a tennis racket or returning to your favourite sport.

Find Activities You Enjoy

Explore different types of exercise to decide what works for you. There are many options to choose from, whether it’s jogging, swimming, yoga, weightlifting, dancing, or hiking, ultimately, find something that you enjoy. Not to mention team sports like hockey, netball, football and tennis, the list could go on and on, and you are only limited by your imagination.  Start with a beginner’s class or walking versions of team sports if you are new or returning to the sport or movements to help ease in gently.

Create a Routine

Sitting down and planning a consistent workout schedule that fits with your week and lifestyle is a good place to begin. Start with 1-2 weekly activities and see if you can make those stick for a couple of weeks or months. Once you have laid down a base fitness level, think about progressing on to 3-4 days of exercise per week, gradually increasing frequency and intensity as you progress.

Focus on Technique and Posture

Proper form is vital to helping prevent injuries and achieving better results. Doing key exercises incorrectly, like deadlifts and lunges, at the start of a new exercise regime can create poor patterns of movement that our brain and body remember. It can set you up to struggle in the future. If you’re unsure how to do an exercise correctly, consider working with a certified personal trainer, at least initially.

Listen to Your Body

How does your body feel during and after exercise? It’s normal to experience some discomfort, but if you feel sharp pain or excessive fatigue, it is important to take a break and seek medical advice. We can be quite good at ignoring signals from our bodies as our brain tells us we are lazy, but hearing these signals is an important part of our recovery. Training when overtired can lead to poor technique and possible injury. Click HERE to learn more about listening to your body via one of my latest blogs, I explain more about intuitive movement.

Set Yourself Up for Success – Stay Hydrated, Eat Well and Rest

Drink plenty of water before, during, and after your workouts to stay hydrated. Fuel your body with nutritious foods that provide the energy and nutrients needed for exercise and recovery. Allow your body time to rest and recover in between workouts. Aim for 7-9 hours of quality sleep each night to support your overall health and fitness goals.

Monitor your Consistency and Progress

Keep track of your workouts, progress, and achievements. This could be through a workout journal, fitness app, or marking your calendar. Celebrate your successes along the way to stay motivated. Consistency is key to seeing results in your fitness journey. Even on days when you don’t feel motivated, try to stick to your routine as much as possible.

Remember, progress takes time. Be patient and stay committed to the reasons you started. When you start something new, you will have lots of personal bests, so it can be really fun and exciting.

If you would like help kick-starting your exercise routine this summer, please get in touch. I would love to help you on your new and exciting journey!

Sara McDonnell

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