Tips for Easing Back into an Exercise Routine

| Fitness

Maybe you're setting a New Year's resolution to lose weight, or simply just to exercise more. Well, congratulations on taking the first step toward fitness! Getting back in the swing of things will be difficult at first, but completely worth it. Check out our tips to easing into a fitness routine!

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Walk to build aerobic stamina. If you want to become a runner, it's best to work your way up to running instead of starting from square one. For example, try walking every day for a month before you start running again. You can gradually increase the speed and intensity of your walks over the course of the month. Walking will ensure that you build the aerobic endurance your body needs to be able to run for long distances.

Strengthen your core. Core strength will be important no matter what type of exercise you plan to pursue. Adding biweekly core and upper body workouts to your schedule will allow you to ease into the routine and still prepare and strengthen your body.

Find other beginners and exercise with them. Exercising with people at your fitness level will be encouraging and less intimidating than joining an advanced group would be. Whether you join a beginner's running group or sign up for a beginner's level fitness class, there are many ways to enjoy the benefits of group fitness. Ask a friend to be your fitness partner; you can go to the gym together and text each other whenever you work out. That way you'll stay motivated!

>> Read more: Joining a Gym in 2015? Here's What You Need to Know

Expect discomfort. Your body isn't going to magically be accustomed to the new workouts you're putting it through right away, so you're going to experience some discomfort. However, the good news is that it gets better! Plus, the discomfort means that the workout is doing its job.

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Listen to your body. Knowing the difference between the initial discomfort of a workout and the painful beginning to an injury is very important. Listen to your body. Being sore the day after a workout is normal, but you need to pay attention to know if the pain you're experiencing is the result of an injury.

Hydrate and fuel. Getting enough carbs and protein before and after workouts helps the weight loss aspect of fitness immensely! Click here to learn what foods are best to eat before a workout and click here to see what you should eat after workouts. Don't forget about the recommended 64 ounces of water per day!

Set goals! Your goal will be the little voice urging you on when you hit that third mile and just want to give up. It will keep you on track and allow you to realize how strong you truly are. It's also important to remember to set realistic goals. Even if you have a significant milestone end goal, make sure to set baby goals along the way. With each realized goal, reward yourself!