How to Start Working Out (Consistently)

Check out our guide to kickstarting and sticking to a regular workout routine. We've got the tips you need to tackle hurdles and keep that motivation high!
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After talking with many of my clients, I realized that the number one problem appears to be that they don’t know how to start working out. They either lack motivation or time. Sometimes they even have these, but they’re too shy to go to the gym by themselves so they give up.

Whatever it is, I wanted to help all of you who might be dealing with the same problem. We’ll tackle the essential elements, from understanding your motivations to setting realistic goals and crafting a plan that fits seamlessly into your life.

This isn’t just about breaking a sweat; it’s about creating a sustainable, enjoyable lifestyle change that sticks.

Key takeaways

  • Start by understanding your motivations and setting realistic, achievable goals. 
  • Create a personalized workout plan, equip yourself with the necessary gear, build a support network, and prioritize consistency over perfection. 
  • Listen to your body and adjust your goals as you progress.

1. Define why are you doing it

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Before you move on to the how, let’s talk about the why. Understanding your motivation is like setting the GPS for your fitness journey—it guides your path and keeps you from straying. Are you working out to improve your health? To improve your confidence and feel better in your clothes? To manage stress?

Maybe you’re inspired by a family member’s transformation or motivated by a personal challenge. Whatever your reason, write it down, tape it to your fridge, or set it as your phone wallpaper.

Let this motivation be your anchor on days when the couch feels more appealing than the treadmill, and remember, your ‘why’ can evolve over time, so revisit and adjust it as you progress.

2. Set realistic goals

Set Realistic Goals - how to keep working out regulary
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Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither is a consistent workout routine.

Setting sky-high goals from the get-go is like trying to sprint before you can walk—it’s a recipe for disappointment. Instead, start small.

Aim for two to three workout sessions a week, 20-30 minutes each, to seamlessly integrate this new habit into your life without overwhelming yourself. Choose activities you actually enjoy—be it dancing, hiking, swimming, or strength training—since enjoyment is the key to longevity in any routine.

As these sessions become a part of your routine, you can gradually increase the intensity and frequency, but remember, incremental improvements are the building blocks of monumental change.

3. Craft your plan

Craft Your Plan - How to keep going to the gym and keep consistent at working out
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Now, let’s get down to brass tacks—creating your workout plan. This isn’t about drafting a military-style regimen but about integrating exercise into your existing schedule. Look at your week, pinpoint the most realistic times for working out, and pencil them in as non-negotiable appointments.

Consider your energy levels throughout the day; morning person? Consider a brisk walk or a yoga session to kickstart your day. Night owl? An evening gym session or a bike ride might be your best bet. Remember, flexibility is your friend; if a set time doesn’t work on a particular day, find a different slot rather than skipping entirely.

4. Equip yourself

Equip Yourself with the right gear - workout consistency
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I’m not talking about splurging on the latest high-tech gear. But having the right equipment can mean the difference between a meh workout and a great one. Invest in a good pair of shoes, comfortable clothing, and any other gear specific to your activity.

This could be as simple as a yoga mat for home workouts or a water bottle that makes you want to stay hydrated.

And remember, “right” doesn’t mean “expensive”—it means suitable for your chosen activity and comfortable for you. Proper equipment not only enhances performance but also prevents injuries, making your workout experience both enjoyable and safe.

5. Build a support system

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Starting this whole process can feel lonely, but it doesn’t have to be. Involve friends or family members who have similar goals, join a fitness class, or connect with an online community. This can create a sense of belonging and provide motivation and encouragement.

This will make working out more enjoyable. Plus, a little healthy competition never hurt anyone, right? Support comes in various forms, so seek out what works best for you, whether it’s a workout buddy or an online forum.

6. Embrace consistency over perfection

Here’s the thing—life happens. There will be days when you miss a workout, eat more than you intended, or feel like you’re not making progress. And that’s okay. Fitness is a marathon, not a sprint. Embrace the whole experience with all its ups and downs, and remember, consistency is key.

What matters is not the occasional stumble but your ability to get back on track. Focus on consistency, not perfection, and understand that small, consistent efforts lead to significant results over time. Celebrate the small victories, and don’t beat yourself up over the setbacks—each day is a new opportunity to improve.

7. Listen to your body❗

This is non-negotiable. Your body is your ultimate guide, so listen to it. Pushing through pain or exhaustion can lead to injuries and burnout. Respect your body’s limits and understand that rest and recovery are just as important as the workouts themselves. If you’re tired, rest. If something hurts, stop.

Adapt your workout plan as needed based on how your body feels. Remember, there’s a difference between challenging yourself and harming yourself. Learn to recognize it, and always prioritize your health and well-being above all else.

8. Find your why (again)

Find Your Why for working out - how to stay motivated
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As you progress, your initial motivations might evolve, and that’s perfectly normal. Maybe you started working out to lose weight, but now you love how strong you feel or the mental clarity it brings. Revisit and revise your goals as needed.

This continuous loop of self-reflection ensures your workout routine remains aligned with what truly matters to you. Embrace this evolving path, as the changes in your ‘why’ reflect your personal growth. Keep asking yourself what drives you, and let your answers guide your path forward in fitness and in life.

All in all…

Keep your motivations clear, set achievable goals, and listen to your body. Embrace the community around you, and remember that every small step is a leap toward your overall health and happiness. 

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