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8 Tips to Get Back into Exercise in the New Year

After all of the fun and festivities with family and friends over the holidays, getting back to your daily routines in the new year can be a bit challenging, especially when it comes to fitness.

Jessica Varner, Move by BJC assistant manager, recommends starting slowly, if you haven't been active in a while. And, instead of making New Year's resolutions, she suggests looking at fitness as part of your overall lifestyle.

“It's important to challenge yourself to not make resolutions that you’ll forget about in a month or two,” Varner says, “but to make lifestyle changes that you can carry throughout your life.”

Here are some tips to getting back into the gym this year:

  1. Give yourself permission to take it slow, and gradually increase your activity. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself and don't expect to jump back into the duration and intensity you were at previously; both your body and your mind need an adjustment. It's OK to start with 15-30 minutes of activity. This will set you up for success and help to prevent injuries you may encounter from a long layoff.

  2. Find an activity that you enjoy doing. Returning to the gym or exercising is not just a physical challenge — it can also be a mental challenge. Find a way that you love to move, whether it be walking, lifting weights or yoga. Finding something that makes you feel energized will keep you coming back for more, helping to motivate you on your fitness journey.

  3. While in the gym, keep your area and equipment clean and disinfected. Facilities should be equipped with disinfectant wipes or spray, so be sure to disinfect any equipment or machines before and after use.

  4. Work with a trainer, instructor or coach who can give you that extra push and help jumpstart you back into a proper routine. While it's not quite as individualized as a personal trainer, a quality group exercise instructor can help keep you safe and give you modifications to be successful.

  5. Set some other healthy habit goals, such as eating healthier, getting more sleep and taking mindfulness breaks. Be sure to reward yourself when you achieve your goals.

  6. Find an accountability partner to help motivate you. You may find it much easier to enjoy workouts when you have someone who helps motivate you.

  7. Set small and attainable goals. These goals can help you stay focused on what you are working toward. Big changes will not occur overnight, which can be frustrating. Focusing on smaller, consistent successes will help keep you motivated, and you’ll appreciate the hard work more once you reach your ultimate goal.

  8. Plan and track your habits. Having a plan can make reaching your goals easier. Tracking your progress relative to the plan makes you accountable for what you want to achieve.

If you’re looking for a healthier life this year, it takes just one small step to get started. And, remember, change takes time. Just keep going and be persistent.

Move by BJC is a full-service fitness center located in the Cortex area of mid-town St. Louis, providing personal training, massage therapy, group/virtual classes and more. For more information, visit MovebyBJC.org or check out these Move by BJC exercise videos.

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