It’s that time of year again: Summertime is coming to an end. (Insert sobbing emoji here.) Vacations will become few and far between (more crying emojis), kids will soon head back to school (ecstatic emoji here), and schedules become a little more busy but also a little more consistent.
While summertime travel can quickly put everyday routines—including exercise—on the back burner, the return of consistent work and school schedules in autumn can help you get back into the swing of things. Here are four foolproof ways to pick back up your exercise routine and stick with it:
Start Small: If you follow our column, you might be sick of this piece of advice by now. However, starting small is the best approach when establishing a routine. If you typically only worked out once a week during the summer, you probably shouldn’t make a dramatic shift to five workouts per week. Start by adding just one more day to your routine. Once you accomplish that goal, you can increase the frequency. By slowly reinstating your workout regimen rather than biting off more than you can chew, you’re more likely to maintain the changes over time.
Plan Ahead: Take out your calendar on a Sunday evening and schedule your workouts for the week ahead (with “starting small” always in mind). Block off the time for workouts on your calendar just like you would any other appointment. This way, you will have a better chance of holding yourself accountable to your regimen.
Create a Visual Trigger: If you plan to exercise in the morning, lay out your gym clothes the night before in an obvious place that you will see first thing in the morning, such as the dresser or in the bathroom. This will trigger you to put on your exercise clothes after waking up and head downstairs for your workout or to the gym. Without any visual triggers, it can be easy to forget and, consequently, not follow through with your plan.
Consistency: We can’t stress the importance of consistency enough when it comes to creating and sticking to a routine. Consistency creates habits, and habits create routine. If you have a day where you’re short on time, do a shorter workout. If you’re not feeling your best, do a lighter workout. By modifying your workout rather than skipping it altogether, you’re more likely to maintain your routine further into the future.
Jason DeHenzel has trained some of New York’s most prestigious clients, including high-profile lawyers, advertising executives, movie producers and musicians. Sophie DeHenzel is a Pn1-certified nutritionist and former downhill ski racer. The pair founded DeHenzel Training Systems, a 2015 Home-Based Business of the Year from the Loudoun County Chamber of Commerce. DeHenzel Training Systems develops customized fitness plans for clients of different abilities, experience and commitment. Find out more at dtsnova.com.