How To Jump Back Into An Exercise Routine

August 15, 2015

Before I left for New Zealand, the last time I didn’t work out was probably August. During my Fall semester at North Dakota State University I went to a cycling boot camp class every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. On Tuesdays and Thursdays I ran on the treadmill or did some sort of low intensity exercise. During Spring semester I completed Kayla Itsines Bikini Body Guide. I followed the guide closely, except the food plan……not so much (I have a Dairy Queen obsession). I saw results but I’ve noticed them slowly fading this past month and a half that I haven’t been working out (and eating like crap). Once summer hit I began putting together my own HIIT (high-intensity interval training) and LISS (low-intensity steady state) workouts. Then I decided to move across the world and my exercise routine went out the window.


Sunset in Fiji

This past month and a half has been very stressful on me. I moved out of my beloved apartment, moved in with a friend for a week, moved home for a few days, spent 15+ hours traveling from Minnesota to Fiji and another 6+ hours traveling to New Zealand, moving in with people I barely knew, and starting a new job. I had such a great routine going but when I made these big changes it was hard for me to stick with that routine. The worst part about it was that exercise relieves stress so I was really not doing myself any good.

Living in New Zealand is wonderful because this place is made of mountains to hike (my roommates call them hills but I come from the flattest part of the States……they are definitely mountains to me). I live right next to a place called the Grampians Reserve that has incredible views, which is great incentive for me to get my ass moving.

View of Nelson, New Zealand from Grampians Reserve

View of Nelson, New Zealand from Grampians Reserve

The trick for me getting back into a routine was to start small. Right when I got here I tried jumping back into my HIIT exercises and my body was like LOL not happening, sister. This made me feel discouraged because I felt like I had lost all the muscle I had worked so hard to build up.

So I started running. I’ve never been a big fan of running but it felt good for some reason (although I’m not sure why because it’s constantly running up hills here). I think my body was just like OMG!! HALLELUJAH!! THANK YOU FOR FINALLY GETTING OFF THE COUCH!!! I ran off and on for a while but it was hard to get out of bed a lot of mornings because the house was so cold. I felt like my whole life was a mess because I couldn’t establish a routine. After a couple of weeks I felt a bit better so I started returning to my HIIT and LISS exercises. Again, I was disappointed in how I didn’t feel as strong as I used to. Two more weeks in and I’m back to feeling energetic and strong.

Whether you’ve hit a plateau in progress or you just haven’t been able to make exercising a routine, I encourage you to take small steps in the right direction. Getting into a routine is so important for your mind. AND MAKE IT FUN. If you don’t like running on a treadmill…..don’t. There are so many ways to get fit, why spend time on things you don’t like?

Go for walks before dusk. Go for hikes on Sunday afternoons. Do some squats while you’re waiting for your breakfast to cook. Do jumping jacks while you are waiting for your clothes to dry.

As long as you get your body moving, that is one step better than you are doing now. And no matter what, stay positive.

Have you struggled to establish and maintain an exercise routine? What did you do to get back into it? I would love to hear from you – leave your comment below!

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