Workout articles, healthy lifestyle tips, and fitness advice.

5 Tips to Help Ease You Into Your Gym Routine

Planet Fitness member working out at the gym
Setting and achieving small goals help you gain confidence while building momentum toward your bigger-picture goals.

by Steven Auger

Taking control of your fitness by dedicating yourself to an exercise regimen is an honorable (and healthy) endeavor. But getting back into the gym — especially after you've been away for some time — doesn't have to be complicated.

There's no reason to rush things. In fact, it's better to take your time and enjoy the process. Here are five tips to help you ease your way into developing healthy gym habits.

1. Start With Small, Smart Goals

Maintaining an exercise routine becomes easier when you determine what it is you're trying to accomplish.Setting and reaching a goal provides tangible proof that your method is working.

Remember that attainable goals need to be realistic. Make the goal something small to start; something you know you can achieve. Bench-pressing your weight after one week of getting back into the gym isn't that realistic.

Maybe consider something more along the lines of walking three miles on the treadmill. Meeting small benchmarks can help you gain confidence while building momentum toward your bigger-picture goals.

2. Be the Early Bird

Try setting your alarm 30 minutes earlier than usual. Beginning your day just a bit earlier will energize your body and brain. You can use the extra time to go on an early morning walk and clear your mind. Or, head to the gym!

The earlier your gym session, the less crowded the gym typically is. While it's great to exercise with a workout buddy, you can take your time to readjust to the environment (and equipment) when there aren't as many people around.

3. Opt for Extra Activity

You don't have to be at the gym to be active. There are many opportunities throughout the day to introduce some extra activity into your life. You just have to look for them!

Perhaps you opt for the parking space farthest from your office's entrance. Or maybe you take the stairs instead of the elevator. You could even walk the dog for a couple extra minutes.

These small adjustments will work your muscles and help get your blood flowing! This way, your body won't be shocked when you step back into the gym.

4. Ask a Trainer

If you have questions about your specific workout routine, or are wondering what exercises you should be doing to ease back into your regimen, ask a trainer. That's what they are there for! Whether you need help designing a new routine or you're not sure how to use a machine properly, Planet Fitness' team of certified trainers can help.

5. Listen to Your Body

Once you do find your gym footing — and you will — you might be tempted to fully throw yourself into your training. While being motivated is great and your newfound dedication is admirable, you still need to show your body some TLC.

That means listening to your body when it is trying to tell you something. Don't worry; your body knows how to talk. Some days you might feel too tired and decide that a relaxing massage is a better option. Whatever your body is trying to tell you, take its advice! That will make getting back into the gym much easier (and more enjoyable).

Keep these tips in mind to reduce your chances of injuring yourself and stay committed to your new active lifestyle. As always, please consult with a physician prior to beginning any exercise program. See full medical disclaimer here.