How to get into a fitness routine

How to get into a fitness routine

Around three years ago I started to take my health and fitness a lot more seriously. Why? Well, this may sound a little superficial, but Rob had just proposed and I found out pretty quickly that nothing motivates a girl to sort out her eating habits and get to the gym quite like the threat of fitting into a wedding dress.

But now that we’ve been married almost a year, have I fell out of that routine I worked so hard to build up? The answer is no and let me tell you why. I’ve never felt better. I have more energy, my skin has improved ten-fold and I get a real buzz off of the fact that I’m taking care of my body. These all sound like cliché statements, but they are true. I don’t have a dress to fit into or an event to prepare for, but having adopted a fitness routine that works for me I’m not about to give up all of the positives that come with it.

It took me a while to make fitness a part of my life – it’s not easy. So here are just a few of the tips I picked up along the way that have helped me to get into a fitness routine:

Get walking – You can make a substantial difference by incorporating more walking into your life and it’s one of the easiest changes to make. Rather than spending your lunch hour at your desk, go out for a walk. If you can, walk to work rather than drive and at the weekend, go exploring on foot. I’ve also got really into tracking my steps on my iPhone, which is useful for seeing how many steps you’ve managed to rack up in a day.

Find an activity you enjoy – This is really important. Exercise is supposed to be fun and forcing yourself to do something you don’t like is completely counter productive. Personally, I’m a runner. During the winter months, I use the treadmill in the gym and in the summer I run outside. But for many of my friends, the thought of going for a 10k run is their idea of hell. Experiment with different fitness options and you’ll soon find the one that’s best for you.

It doesn’t have to cost the earth – Don’t be fooled into thinking that getting fitter has to cost a fortune. There are ways to make it work regardless of your budget. If a gym membership proves too costly for you, try either going out for a run or investing in an at-home workout guide like Way of Gray, which is excellent. And as for gym gear, you can spend as much or as little as you like. If you don’t want to spend a fortune, both Gap and Marks & Spencer have excellent fitwear ranges and if you’re willing to rummage, TK Maxx also has some great deals, often on branded fitness clothing.

Make a plan and stick to it – We’re all busy. Especially when you’re working and blogging and trying to catch up with friends and keep the house in order. It’s a balancing act, or at least it is for me. Workouts can be the first thing to go when you’ve got too much on, so the way I get around it is I schedule them in. I have my workout days and unless I’m ill or there’s a real emergency, I stick to it. I also work out in the morning before work. Crazy? Maybe a little, but getting up an hour earlier to go to the gym or head out for a run means I have my evenings free. Plus, I feel like I’ve achieved something before the working day has started.

Create a playlist – I never exercise without my music. When I think I’ve hit my limit, a track will come on that seems to revitalise me. I swear it’s a form of magic. We all have different tastes in music and find different sounds motivational, so put together a list of songs that you think will keep you focused. Here’s a running playlist I made on Spotify, if any of you are in the need of some inspiration.

These five things help to keep me focused on my fitness routine. It takes time and if at first you can’t find something that works for you, keep trying. You will get there in the end, I promise!

What are your tips for getting into a better fitness routine?


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  • http://www.fullofbeansandsausages.com/ Holly Hollyson

    The finding something to enjoy is my problem. I used to pole dance and I loved going to the gym, but I can no longer afford either options. I do have a pole at home, but online tutorials just don’t motivate me the way a class would, so I just don’t use it! I wish I could find a free or cheap way to exercise that actually motivates me!

    • http://www.wineandolives.co.uk/ Chiara Pannozzo

      Gym memberships are so expensive! It annoys me how much they charge as it just doesn’t make going to them accessible. Pole dancing sounds like great fun though, I’ll need to give it a try. I know what you mean about classes though, they do tend to motivate you more. The atmosphere is normally fairly electric x

      • http://www.fullofbeansandsausages.com/ Holly Hollyson

        They are so much fun Chiara! It isn’t like you would think, it isn’t sleazy or anything like that, it is just like being a child and playing on the fireman’s pole!

  • http://acrossthehogsback.wordpress.com/ Gianni Washington

    Making a plan and sticking to it is my biggest obstacle. I love walking, so I need to settle into a routine that incorporates more walking into my day. Thank you for that link to Way of Gray! It seems like a helpful system!

    • http://www.wineandolives.co.uk/ Chiara Pannozzo

      Way of Gray is really helpful Gianni, especially since it can be done at home. But if you love walking, that’s also a good place to start! :-)

  • http://the.pyreflies.org/ Jessica ThePyreflies

    These are fantastic tips. I really need to come up with a plan, a realistic one, and try my best to stick with it! and music + fitness just go together… I don’t think I could work out without listening to some music!


    • http://www.wineandolives.co.uk/ Chiara Pannozzo

      I definitely couldn’t work out without music either Jessica – it totally keeps me motivated and sometimes makes me go for a little bit longer :-)

  • Sooae Lee
    • http://www.wineandolives.co.uk/ Chiara Pannozzo

      Thanks Sooae!x

  • http://www.splendorway.com Jaclyn

    Great tips! I think the big one I’d like to try would be working out before work to free up my evenings. It’s a definite motivator knowing I could have more time to do what I want. :)

    • http://www.wineandolives.co.uk/ Chiara Pannozzo

      I find it the best way to get my workout in Jaclyn. It means that nothing suffers – I can still socialise in the evenings knowing my workout is already done. It’s a hard routine to start but once you’re in it, it feels great!x

  • http://www.brookemeaganjones.com/ Brooke Jones

    Great tips! I’ve definitely started taking my health more seriously in the last year. I think it’s the late twenties thing and me realizing I have to make a little more effort than I used to. It really does feel so good to take care of yourself and sort of take control of your life I suppose. I’m actually making up my new routine today. I do lots of walking because I have to walk my dog twice a day no matter what, but with school getting busy again, my yoga practice has been sliding. I’ve gotten into a bit of a habit of staying up late studying, blogging, catching up on Netflix etc., so I’m not getting the early start that I need. So the schedule is getting a reboot today!

    • http://www.wineandolives.co.uk/ Chiara Pannozzo

      Good luck with the schedule reboot Brooke! It’s so easy for other things to get in the way – I’ve been there. Like you say it does give you a nice feeling when you get back on track :-)

  • http://www.clevergirlreviews.com/ Clever Girl Reviews

    Great tips for a beginner. Walking is probably the best thing you can do on a budget when you are just starting out!

    • http://www.wineandolives.co.uk/ Chiara Pannozzo

      I completely agree! Even a little bit more walking everyday can add up to a huge difference :-)

  • http://meandmr.com melaniekay

    I love these work clothes! Great tips! I really need to get back into shape!
    Melanie @ meandmr.com

    • http://www.wineandolives.co.uk/ Chiara Pannozzo

      Thanks Melanie! It’s nice that there is nice fitness clothing out there that doesn’t cost the earth x

  • http://fromthedeskofj.com/ Jenny @ fromthedeskofj

    Awesome tips, Chiara! I was drafting a post just like this- and you pretty much said everything I was going to ;) I also enjoy getting my workout in in the morning. I wake up an hour early too, and get my cardio in. I feel so much more energized for the day, and then after I get some food and nutrients in me, I’ll do weight training in the evening or middle of the day. Another tip I have would be to take group fitness classes, if you can. My school’s gym has free group fitness classes (already paid for in my tuition) and they’re really fun! Also, all the “cliche” statements are definitely true! I feel so much better when I’m exercising regularly, and find I don’t need my cups of coffee to get through the week :)

    From the Desk of J

    • http://www.wineandolives.co.uk/ Chiara Pannozzo

      Same here Jenny, doing it in the morning really does set me up for the day. I’ve only just started weight training and I’m really enjoying it so far. I look forward to reading your post :-)

  • http://www.throughthethicket.ca/ Kathryn

    This is really helpful, Chiara! I definitely go through phases where I am more active and much less active. I know it’s not really an excuse at all, but the winters are so brutal here that it’s hard to go outside. That being said, I know I need to get my butt in gear and find some sort of a routine I can stick with. It’s all a process but I appreciate these tips! I also like the idea of having a buddy to do things with.

    xx Kathryn

    • http://www.wineandolives.co.uk/ Chiara Pannozzo

      I know exactly what you mean Kathryn! I find it especially hard to keep focused over Christmas time or when I’m on holiday and the cold makes it that much more difficult to do anything. Good luck getting your routine in place and I look forward to hearing all about it :-)

  • http://www.mirandasnotebook.com Miranda | Miranda’s Notebook

    This is a great list of tips! I so agree it’s important to find a kind of exercise that you enjoy doing and to schedule it in. I’ll have to check out TK Maxx for workout gear! xxx

    • http://www.wineandolives.co.uk/ Chiara Pannozzo

      Thanks so much Miranda! If I didn’t schedule it in, I’m pretty sure it would fall by the wayside pretty quickly for me x

  • http://ancaslifestyle.co.uk/ Anca

    I do weight training, it motivates me more than any other type of exercise.
    This year I plan to run in a 10k race, hoping that signing up will motivate me to start running. Maybe it sounds strange, but I want to push myself and running is something that I don’t enjoy, but I feel I should do it anyway.

    • http://www.wineandolives.co.uk/ Chiara Pannozzo

      I’ve only just started with weight training Anca, but so far I’m really enjoying it. Good luck with the 10k!x

  • http://www.rhymeandribbons.com/ Amanda @ Rhyme & Ribbons

    So many people I know are runners but I just have yet to find my any enjoyment in running. I keep trying and failing. I used to dance a lot so that was my primary form of exercise, and I’m constantly keeping my eyes peeled for discounted dance classes! x

    • http://www.wineandolives.co.uk/ Chiara Pannozzo

      A lot of my friends have no interest in running but a lot of them do like dancing too. I tried zumba once and loved it – it was great fun :-)

  • http://www.cityloveee.blogspot.com Christina Richards

    A great playlist is always so motivating! Loved this post.


  • Siobhan

    I love this. Planning helps me to avoid finding myself on the sofa with a pizza I picked up at the last minute but I would still say making this reflex is the plan for the year to fix myself into a rhythm this year.