After a few months of physio and recovering from knee surgery, it's time to hit the gym.  I tore my meniscus in January, had a meniscectomy in May, used crutches and a leg brace until mid-June and only started feeling comfortable walking properly in July.  I won't be able to run for a while or be back out on my bike over the coming months either, but I'm trying not to focus on 2016 being a bit of a washout and instead work on strengthening exercises so I should be fighting fit by the end of the year for a busy 2017.  I hope to go skiing in January, walk the three peaks in summer and take part in RideLondon again in August so there's plenty to work towards.  Here are my top five tips for getting back into the swing of things again...

1. Update your workout wardrobe
With the sports luxe trend and athleisure everywhere over the past few years, sportswear has never looked better.  Treat yourself to the most stylish activewear you actually want to put on - check out the vibrant new collection from Superdry Sport, including this cobalt blue sports bra I'm currently loving.  The new collection uses breathable, stretchy performance fabrics in bold colours, black and grey marl with urban styling and fluo touches for men and women.

2. Book sessions into your calendar
I find it easier to stick to a training schedule if I treat it like a fixed appointment: not slotting exercise in around social commitments "when I can", but rather the other way around.  It's a simple one, but scheduling my training in advance made a big difference for me.

3. Switch up your playlists
Listening to motivating music makes such a difference in energy levels - if I don't have an upbeat playlist lined up to get the adrenaline pumping, I end up wasting time fiddling with my iPod which slows me down.  I try and mix things up every couple of months so I don't get bored.

4. Book classes online
I've never missed a class if it's booked and pre-paid, whereas if I tentatively plan on going to one something always seems to get in the way, I have to work late or I make an excuse.  I love the spin classes at Psycle - like most studios, you can buy credits in bulk which brings down the cost.  Buy credits, fire up your calendar and plan ahead for the next few weeks.  Done.

5. Write a plan
Create a routine, prepare your workouts and make progress notes when you increase distances, number of sets and weights or when you start shaving seconds off your PBs (I miss that surge of satisfaction!)  Having everything planned out makes your workout time so much more efficient and keeps you on track.

Do you have any advice about maintaining an active lifestyle? Wish me luck!

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