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10 Tips That Can Help You Get Back Into Your Workout Groove

By HERWriter
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10 Tips You Can Use to Help You Back Into Your Workout Groove guerrieroale/Fotolia

After eating a candy bar on a stressful day, I usually think to myself, "Well, I’m spending the night at the gym."

But guess what — it rarely happens. By the time I’m out of work, I want to take a nap, which turns into hours of sleep until work the next morning.

If you’re in a similar boat and feel my pain, I’ve got some suggestions from experts on how to get out of this slump:

1) It's not about finding the source, it's about creating momentum, according to Perpetua Neo, a psychotherapist. When you’re beginning the process of working out again, at first just work out on the days you feel like exercising. Track your behavior and feelings to understand why you may or may not want to exercise, then work around that.

2) Get the ball rolling by breaking your workout down into three simple steps. The plan to exercise may start as a complicated jumble of thoughts, but in order for concrete plans to happen, it’s beneficial to write down your individual three steps, Neo said.

For example, the plan could be to buy shoes, ask a friend where they work out and join that gym. Then decide on what type of class you’re going to take, including time and place.

3) Have a discussion with yourself about what would be your worst fears and your greatest rewards. Figure out the worst end result of not working out, and use that fear as fuel to get yourself back on track, according to Neo. You can also picture the end result of sticking to a consistent workout plan, and use that image of a healthier body as your reward.

4) Make sure that you’re reminded of your goals every day. For example, you can write them out, or print them out, and post them on the walls or your door — anywhere you can see them, Neo said. If you decide to tell everyone and even go to the extent of tattooing your goals, you may have more motivation to stick to those goals, now that they’re clearly out in the open.

5) Make your exercise program simple. For example, Neo said she puts one kettlebell upstairs and one downstairs so she sees them all the time. This reminds her to do a set of 70 swings three times a week.

6) Plan ahead. The night prior to working out, make sure to set out your workout clothes and running shoes near the end of your bed, Neo said. Also put your alarm clock far enough away so you will have to get up and move past your workout clothes to turn it off.

7) Use breaks throughout your day for additional quick workouts. You don’t have to change your clothes, head to the gym, do a specific workout routine and then change back into regular clothes, according to Lisa Nordquist. Just use a few 10-minute breaks during the day to walk and do planks and squats. Nordquist is an ACE certified personal trainer and licensed CORE Dynamics personal coach.

8) Stop thinking of exercise as a formal routine. Any time you move you’re technically exercising, Nordquist said. You can turn your life into a workout — you don’t have to always go to the gym to get in a good workout. For example, you can walk a dog, run around with a child, clean or garden. Start opening your mind up to different forms of exercise. Find the option that you enjoy the most, and continue to do it.

9) Try one of the following quick tips from Kristin McGee, a yoga and Pilates instructor who works with Acacia TV. Get a new workout outfit, or hang up pictures of yourself at your best shape for motivation. Buy a pass to a new workout class, meet up with a friend to work out, and put up notes with positive workout messages throughout your home.

10) Take baby steps — it takes time to get back into shape. Once you feel the switch of motivation flip on in your brain, you may want to initially overdo your workouts in the beginning, said Kim Evans, a fitness specialist. However, take a step back and realize that you can’t overdo it in the beginning.

For example, if you’re just getting back into shape and decide to take a Zumba class, then hop on the treadmill, and then lift weights, you may have issues walking and moving for a few weeks. Instead, ease into your workout routine.


Neo, Perpetua. Email interview. September 22, 2015.

Nordquist, Lisa. Email interview. September 24, 2015.

McGee, Kristin. Email interview. September 22, 2015.

Evans, Kim. Email interview. September 22, 2015.

Reviewed October 15, 2015
by Michele Blacksberg RN
Edited by Jody Smith

Add a Comment6 Comments

I totally agree with the tips mentioned in the post. Failing to keep up your exercise routines is normal, but what can make you get back to form is a commitment, planning, and challenging spirit. When you take up a challenge, it gives you that extra zeal to achieve it and will keep you motivated. It is all about how you plan and schedule and make it fit in your daily routine.

January 5, 2017 - 11:10pm
EmpowHER Guest

Getting back into the grove is really important. I find if I stop it takes time to get back into it again and a lot of perseverance, which is why I try to always stay on my routine. Even when I don't feel up for it I go for a workout anyway because otherwise I may well fall out of my routine!

December 26, 2016 - 5:31am

Keeping it simple and making it part of your daily routine is a good idea. Less stressful that way I think. Good article.

December 14, 2016 - 6:14am

Perfect Tips. Motivation and self preparation are very important. When I used to workout during post-pregnancy, I used to watch myself in mirror while working out and that bulky me in mirror used to remind me how was I before pregnancy.

May 19, 2016 - 1:57pm

In this article, all tips are explained in a proper way. Motivation always helps you to do any work in a proper way. So, if you want to achieve workout goal then you will have to need a proper planning and new ideas related to workout. Try to meet your friends because they will support you to achieve your workout goal.

April 20, 2016 - 10:37pm

It is also helpful if you have girlfriends with the same mindset. A good friend with workout goals will get you motivated to get going on the right path.

January 17, 2016 - 6:59am
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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

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