A guide to fitness for the totally unmotivated

·Contributor
Women and men on running machines
[Photo: Getty]

You’ve finally decided that once the new year begins, you’re going to join the lycra-clad women and men trying to do the same thing as you: get fit.

And no one would ever try to argue that it’s easy. When you’re an exercise rookie or have had a workout-free spell, the thought of getting your gym kit on gives you that familiar sinking feeling.

As a result many of us put all of our energy into procrastinating instead and spend another year sat on our bums.

Yoga outside
[Photo: Pexels]

But not this year – if you’re determined to start exercising but have zero motivation, here are a few things to consider.

  1. Take it slow

Once you’ve finally decided to take the leap it’s easy to get impatient and feel disappointed if you can’t run five kilometres on your first try.

Instead you have to start with absolute baby steps, or you’ll burn out quickly and be put off trying again.

Woman running on phone
[Photo: Pexels]

Start with the smallest 10 minute sessions – this could even be going for a brisk walk – to build up your strength.

2. Invest in workout gear you’ll actually wear

Incredibly pricey sportswear isn’t necessary in order to exercise, but buying well-fitting and efficient sportswear is.

For the big boobed, a good sports bra is absolutely essential, and clothing you feel you can sweat in (but that also keeps you warm) is a must.

Couple running
[Photo: Getty]

Wear stuff you genuinely like too. Especially if you’re feeling apprehensive about joining a gym or exercising in public, the last thing you want is to feel like you’re running around in bulky pyjamas.

3. Try group classes

It’s much harder to sack it all off and buy a coffee instead when you’re surrounded by others.

Group activities like yoga and circuits are great for motivation, and you don’t always have to commit to joining a gym to try them out – find one that you can pay a one-off fee to try just once and shop around to find out what you like.

Group yoga
[Photo: Getty]

4. Download a podcast

The second-best thing to a personal trainer is what’s sitting in your pocket.

For those of us that aren’t totally sure what we’re doing, podcasts are a great way of giving you a sense of direction and feeling supported along the way.

The NHS Choices’ Couch to 5k, for example, talks you through every step towards one achievable goal – while Half Size Me is hosted by an everyday mum providing support and busting weight loss myths.

Headphones woman
[Photo: Getty]

And since podcasts are usually free, there really is nothing to lose (besides weight).

5. Get a routine going

Even if you do find yourself exercising a few times a week, it’s incredibly easy to slip out of this habit if it’s not part of your schedule.

Plan when you’ll exercise, where and for how long. So if Tuesday evening becomes pilates time, it’ll soon become second nature and minimal mental effort to remember to go.

Stretching women
[Photo: Getty]

6. Remember: No one cares

A nerve-wracking thing about joining a gym or working out in public spaces is the thought: what’s everyone thinking about me?

The answer is that they’re not. Everyone’s too focused on their own muscle burn to look at what you’re doing, even if it doesn’t feel that way.

Woman's legs
[Photo: Pexels]

Remember – everyone’s had to start somewhere, and they too will have gone through the just-starting-out struggle.

So arm yourself with a podcast, some decent running shoes and some patience, and you’ll soon be able to make exercise an important part of your routine.

You can do it.

How do you motivate yourself to exercise? Tweet us at @YahooStyleUK.

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