How to start a gym routine in 5 steps

Maybe you’ve been wanting to go to the gym for a while, or maybe you got out of the habit a long time ago and what to start again. Whatever the reason, it can be hard to get to the gym if you don’t have a schedule or routine to follow. Start off by taking a few easy steps to make working out a part of your life.

1. Establish a goal:

Before you get moving, decide why you’re working out. Is it to lose some extra weight, help deal with stress, feel more energized, or to build muscle tone? Your goal doesn’t matter as much as knowing what you want and how you’ll achieve it. Go into the gym with a game plan. That way you won’t spend thirty minutes on a treadmill when what you really wanted was stronger arms.

2. Make a calendar:

Life gets busy. You might have kids, a job, pets, and sports practices, and in between everything, your fitness can be left in the dust. The first way to ensure that you have time to work out is by actually planning it into each week. Even if you only have an hour of free time, take it. You’ll feel much better after you do the workout, and you won’t fill your empty hour sitting on your phone.

3. Plan your workout:

Once you have your days picked out, start making a game plan. If you show up at the gym with no idea what to do, you’ll feel lost or bored, and going back will be even harder. At the beginning of each week, find and create a workout with a warm-up and cool-down that you’re excited about. Once you learn more about exercising, you’ll find five or six workouts that you like, which you can circle through each week, and change-up after a month or two. Over a few weeks, you’ll see the workouts start to get easier as your muscles get stronger, and it will offer some motivation to keep going.

4. Eat to fuel your body:

As you start moving more, you’ll need to adjust your diet to ensure that you have all the proper nutrients. Before a workout, eat some protein and complex carbs so that you’ll feel energized. It should be something small and light, such as an apple and almonds or a smoothie, but filling. If you’re trying to build muscle, protein is important. Make sure that all of your meals contain at least ten grams. Also cut back on added sugars, as they won’t offer any lasting fuel to your body.

5. Don’t be discouraged:

In the beginning, your body won’t be as strong as it once was, but don’t let that make you feel bad. Understand that what you’re doing is for your personal health and well-being, and any progress, no matter how small, is still so much better than nothing. The more you can push yourself to move your body, the easier it will become, so keep working, even when it feels impossible.

Movement is the key to a long and healthy life. In a world that’s becoming much faster-paced every day, even taking a moment to pause and do something for yourself will ultimately keep you looking and feeling your best for years to come.