How to Stick With a New Exercise Routine, According to a Celebrity Trainer
Whether you made a New Year’s resolution that hasn’t seen the light of day since January 1, or you’re just looking to start something new now, it can be tricky to get your exercise routine back on track. And let’s start with this: Don’t beat yourself up if you’re struggling to find time to work out on top of a busy schedule. Instead, issue yourself forgiveness, dust off and decide what your next move (literally and figuratively) will be.
Juliet Kaska, a celebrity trainer who works with Kerry Washington, Karlie Kloss and Pink (among others) recently reminded us why having an exercise routine—and continually restarting your workout routine even when you’ve stopped—is an important focus.
“When I look back at my life and reflect on when I have been the happiest and most successful, I can see that it’s been in times where I have a diligent workout routine and was pushing myself with goals,” she shares. “Being physically active has both energizing and calming effects on me. When my now husband and I were first dating, I told him, ‘If I’m ever cranky, drop me off at a yoga class; 90 minutes later, you’ll get a new person back.’”
So how much do you really need to exercise to achieve the endorphin boost that leaves Juliet beaming? She says doing something active each day is among the tips she offers most often. “Being active can mean many things, so if anything, I advocate for getting movement in every day or as many days in a week as someone can manage. If you’re looking to lose weight, HIIT training is a great option when paired with healthy eating. If you go this route, you should do it five days a week (even six!) but on the fifth day, go with a lighter and more therapeutic workout, like a walk outdoors or a gentle yoga class.”
If you’re re-starting an exercise routine or starting a brand new one in hopes of improving your endurance, strength or health, try one of Juliet’s seven top tips to ensure it’s a success.
7 Tips from a Celebrity Trainer to Jump-Start Your Workout Routine
1. Set the right goal.
Juliet says setting the right goal makes a difference when it comes to how inspired you’ll be to stick with a new fitness routine—it’s all about feeling good, rather than a superficial number. “Make your first goal a commitment to work out, not lose weight,” she offers. “Try a goal like working out 20 times in a month (five times per week). You’ll feel different after doing it, motivating you to create a new goal for next month.”
2. Create a fitness-wellness journal.
Keeping track of your progress through journaling will bring you several benefits. First, you’ll have a record of your hard work and dedication to look at when you’re feeling down. Second, you’ll be able to see if there are any themes or trends, such as feeling unmotivated or less strong during certain times of the month. Plus, it’ll be easy to see how far you’ve come!
“Take time each day to jot down how you feel, what your energy is like, and make notes about your happiness, strength and whatever changes you see in your body,” Juliet says.
3. Treat yourself to new gear.
Crushing your workouts? Go ahead and treat yourself to a new top, pair of sneakers or the leggings you’ve been lusting after. “Get something that feels good, looks great to you and inspires you to put it on,” Juliet suggests. “You can even think about your gear as your uniform or costume; when you put it on, you’re stepping into your fit-self.”
4. Start your day with a workout.
Saving your exercise until the end of the day paves the way for other priorities to get in the way. Instead of leaving opportunity to let your workout fall off the calendar, schedule it for early in the day. “Some studies have shown that participants have marginally better results when they exercised in the morning, versus later in the day,” Juliet adds.
5. Sign up for a program.
According to Juliet, signing up for a program, class-pack or group challenge is like “getting on a train.” She says, “When the train leaves the station, you’ll be along for the ride and WILL arrive at your scheduled destination.” Can’t find something you love locally? Online programs and digital communities can also help you keep accountable, as well as motivate and inspire you.
6. Give home workouts a go.
Strapped for time or stuck inside? Don’t ditch your workout just because you can’t leave the house. “Try online workouts and workout programs that you can do from your home—or even your office,” Juliet suggests. “I created the 21-minute Move for You workout (in partnership with Vionic Shoes) specifically for this scenario.”
Popular programs like BBG, Tone it Up and even national barre franchise The Bar Method also have heaps of ever-changing online classes available, which makes them feel so much more dynamic than an old video.
7. Get enough rest.
R&R is an important component for overall health, but it’s especially critical when you’ve started a new exercise plan. In addition to going to bed early enough to clock quality sleep, Juliet says to pay attention to your body—and to listen when it tells you it truly needs rest. “Like everyone else, sometimes I don’t want to workout; some days I simply take as off days. I know it’s okay to do this, and I usually come back a day or two later re-energized and ready to work harder.”
Interested in more fitness tips? Check out why HIIT is so popular—and how to start a program of your own.