So you’re ready and raring to get back into a fitness routine? Good for you! A few simple workout tips will help you keep up your excitement.

If the last time you exercised consistently was when Jon Stewart still hosted The Daily Show, congrats on renewing your commitment. A fresh start can feel great—but beware of pushing too hard too soon. When you’re coming back from a break from regular workouts, it’s common to start strong but burn out before you start seeing the benefits. Follow these workout tips to stay motivated, prevent injury, see results, and most importantly—enjoy yourself!

5Throttle your intensity.

The number-one mistake people make when starting a new exercise plan is going too hard too soon, says women’s strength training expert Holly Perkins, CSCS.

“The fallout is strong carbohydrate cravings, lackluster results (if any results at all), quick burnout, and a drastically increased risk for injury,” she tells SELF.

Instead, keep your effort level at “challenging, but not grueling” for the first month, Perkins says—about a six or seven on a scale from one to 10.

“You’ll actually see bigger, better, faster results if you start more conservatively.”


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