5 Ways to Get Back on Track at the Gym

Dana Meltzer Zepeda, SELF magazine

It's happened to the best of us. We spend months establishing a regular gym routine, choosing salad over fries and taking the stairs instead of the elevator. Then, suddenly, all of our hard work goes up in flames thanks to a bout with the flu, a hectic work schedule or plain, old-fashioned laziness.

Related: Lose 2 Pounds a Week

Whatever the reason, it's never too late to get back in shape. I recently chatted with The American Council on Exercise (ACE) fitness expert, firefighter and weekend warrior Ryan Sutter about his top five tips to get back on the fitness bandwagon. Yes, the same Ryan Sutter who won The Bachelorette in 2003!

1. Set a Goal: This is something short-term that will get you working out. For me, this means scheduling a race I have to be ready for. My wife [Trista, the first Bachelorette], on the other hand, is better motivated by a vacation to the beach. Do whatever works for you but it has to have a defined timeline.

Related: Yoga Moves for Flat Abs

2. Commit:
We are all busy so if you don't commit to your workouts you will find plenty of reason to skip them. If you can't make them a priority on your own, join a group with similar goals or hire a personal trainer. If someone is depending on you, you will most likely show up.

Bonus: Check out SELF's Drop 10 Together Facebook app - grab your friends and support, motivate and encourage each other towards your goals!

3. Switch It Up:
Your body adapts to repetition so shock your system by creating a workout program that includes different disciplines and focus on being an athlete rather than a specialist.

Bonus: SELF's Drop 10 Diet is packed with mix-it-up workouts and cardio routines so you don't get bored!

Related: 20 Superfoods for Weight Loss

4. Reward Yourself:
By rewarding yourself for your hard work, you create a relationship that relates working hard to positive outcomes. For example, pick a day of the week that you go get an ice cream or a big breakfast. Soon, you will find that you have turned your workouts into a habit that no longer needs an outside reward. The satisfaction from the work will be reward enough!

5. Have Fun:
Don't forget to have fun! Otherwise, what's the point?

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