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If you’re looking to get into better shape but you haven’t been physically active in a while, you should approach this lifestyle change with a plan. Suddenly forcing your body into intense exercise can result in injuries since you aren’t used to it. Mentally, you might not be able to sustain highly demanding workouts in the long run when you have no prior experience with them. Make improvements that will last by using these three ways to ease into a fitness routine.

Start Out Small

In the beginning, allow yourself the leeway to start out small so that you can slowly build up muscular strength, cardiovascular endurance, and flexibility. For example, you can commit to walking or cycling for 10 minutes every other day and slowly increase the time and speed at which you move. There are even electric bicycles that can give you motor assistance at the outset until you can comfortably pedal over lengthy distances or up hills on your own power. If your goal is to fortify your muscles, you could start by doing easier variations of push-ups where your knees touch the ground and then switch to traditional push-ups as you progress. This will allow you to get stronger more reliably than if you tried to do sets of regular push-ups without being able to perform one completely.

Focus on Your Form

Since you’re acclimating yourself to new movements, your exercises may feel a bit awkward at first. The important thing is to get the correct form down so that you don’t end up facing serious injuries that prevent you from exercising at all. Take running as an illustration. If you run with a slouched posture, you could develop pain in your lower back, shoulders, and neck. You should aim to maintain your torso and head in a straight position to avoid this. For lifting weights, you need to know the correct motions to use so that you don’t strain your joints or hurt a tendon. Once you’re certain of your form, you can then proceed to add on more weight and make the exercise harder.

Track Your Progress

A crucial component of easing into a fitness routine is your development, so you should also track your progress with your workouts. Keeping a record of your time and distance as well as the volume and weight you can lift will help you continue reaching for greater heights. Consistency can only take you so far if you don’t also gradually push yourself to grow beyond your initial state. Having the ability to see where you were in the past and comparing that to where you are now will motivate you to continue onward since you can clearly quantify your efforts. You can use apps that help you take note of your workout or simply write down what you accomplish in a notebook.

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