With gyms closed on-and-off for the past year and a half, you may have found yourself falling out of love with health and fitness and ultimately putting your physical (and maybe mental) health on the back burner.  

With gyms opening up again, it's a perfect opportunity to get back to fitness and even try some new workout options. Follow these tips to start exercising again safely and reignite your love of health and fitness.

1. Start slowly  

Getting back to the gym can be a struggle both physically and mentally. Starting gradually can help you build momentum and work at a pace that is sustainable. Don’t worry if you aren’t lifting as heavy or running as long as you once did. You'll get back there in no time.  

If you used to exercise 4-5 days a week, you might need to scale that back to skip a few sessions until your body feels ready. If you want to stay active daily, then reduce the intensity and duration of your workouts. This will decrease the risk of exercise burnout and help you achieve lasting results.

2. Set goals

Set realistic goals before you start. If you want to stay in a routine and commit to exercising regularly, try going to the gym 3 days a week until it becomes a habit. You can increase  that when you feel ready.

Setting goals is a great way to keep you motivated and to hold yourself accountable. Don’t forget to reward yourself when you achieve them.

3. Create a playlist

What better way to get in the mood to workout than a new bangin' playlist? Download your favourite music or create a Spotify playlist that will boost your energy, mood and help you crush your workout.

4. New workout gear

Look good, feel good. This works for all aspects of your life. Treating yourself to some new gear can instantly put you in a better mood for your workout. Not to mention, you need to justify the purchase. That might encourage you to hit the gym more often! 

Click here to read more about the best things to wear to the gym.

5. Do the things you love the most

Sometimes it's tough to find your motivation. When you can get yourself to the gym, try to make it as enjoyable as possible. Do the exercises or Group Fitness classes you love most. That way, you know what to expect and you can be sure you'll enjoy it.

Start with your favourite exercises first. Don’t worry too much about whether you should start with cardio or if some exercises need to be done in a certain order. It's more important that you are actually there. Before you know it, those endorphins will be flowing and you might feel like doing those Bulgarian squats you were avoiding.

6. Get friends involved

Exercising with a friend or loved one can make exercise more rewarding and fun. If you thrive off the energy of others or if you struggle to stay motivated on your own, connecting with others could make a difference.

And remember, you can't beat group fitness classes for social connection and a welcoming and competitive atmosphere to re-ignite your fire.