Building a workout routine is something everyone should do no matter her age.  Sometimes, we struggle with it more than we'd like to admit.

Building a workout routine is something everyone should do no matter her age. Disclaimer: I’m finding that building such a thing for myself to be very hard and some days nearly impossible. Just this week I told myself I’d go to the gym after work and lugged my gym bag with me on three separate occasions.  You might not be surprised to learn that I did not in fact go to the gym. At the end of each work day I found myself sluggish, hungry and too crabby to go anywhere but home.

I did tell myself that I’d feel better once I worked out and I still couldn’t make myself go. Then I thought to myself, “What’s the problem here?”  I’m doing everything “they” tell you to do to work fitness into your routine: I plan ahead to carve out the time in my schedule, I pack my workout gear the night before, I think about working out all day and tell myself “you get to go work out” instead of “you have to go work out,” but still no success.

I started thinking about what was keeping me from doing what I planned and tried to identify the “blockers.” I realized most days I’m exhausted and so hungry by the end of the day and all I want to do is go home make something quick for dinner and lay in my bed and watch Netflix. This made me realize that I needed to build a better foundation for myself to set my workout routine in place. Meaning, in order to have energy to even make it to the gym, I need to get enough sleep. I also need to fuel myself properly. Late-in-the-day animal crackers or bagels for lunch really won’t help me get anywhere except to the couch.

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With this realization, I’ve determined that I need to build a fitness routine in phases. Everyone knows by now you can’t just go for a run once and be ready for a marathon, and the hardest part is starting. While my fitness routine is nowhere near where I want it to be, I’ve been practicing and trying different ways to get myself motivated and moving. I also remind myself that what works for me may not work for others and vice versa. It’s all about building a routine that works for you.

One of the most important things to keep in mind while working on a routine that will stick is your mind. It’s very easy to put yourself down for not running the last mile or skipping a workout. First and foremost, you are your own workout partner and you can either be a friend to yourself or you can be an enemy. Trust me, it’s much more fun to be a friend.

So, if  you’re trying to get yourself into a fitness routine but still falling short, try figuring out what motivates you and what makes you feel best. I learned I’m someone who needs a solid 9 hours to feel really good, and now I try to get ready for bed an hour before I normally would so I can unwind and fall asleep more easily.

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I’ve also started counting how many glasses of water I drink  a day to help myself stay hydrated, and I try to eat fruits and veggies for snacks instead of reaching for pretzels, chips, and animal crackers (easier said than done!).

Finally, I found myself an “accountability buddy.” A friend of mine is trying to work on her fitness too and we tell each other in the mornings that we’re going to head to the gym after work. Then, in the evening, we’ll casually check in to see how it (and if we) went. I’m not perfect, and neither is my workout routine. But I’m working towards it, and practicing it, and doing my best. And don’t forget to dress in style–working out is always more fun when you have colorful and fun workout gear!