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5 tips for starting a workout routine

By Sabah Karimi

If you're determined to get into bikini-ready shape this season, now would be a great time to change up your workout routine. Doing the exact same workouts you were doing over the winter months probably won't get you the results you want. This approach could also lead to burnout and a severe lack of motivation. Since the weather's warming up, remember you can also take some of your workouts outdoors.

Here are five tips for starting - and sticking with - a spring workout routine:

#1: Find your true motivation. Why do you want to get in shape this season? To look great in a bathing suit? Turn heads during that spring break trip? Or just to lose some extra weight and get healthy? Tune in to what your real motivation is and have strong feelings about what you expect to accomplish. Be as specific as possible so you can get really fired up about getting in shape this spring.

#2: Try one new workout routine this week. One of the best ways to stay motivated and kick off a spring workout program is to add an entirely new routine to the mix. Whether it's a Zumba class, pole dancing lessons, or a spinning class, commit to just one new workout routine each week and you'll find it much easier to start a whole new regimen for the season.

#3: Find a friend to join you. Working out with a friend can make the transition to a new workout that much easier. It can also be a fun way to reconnect and spend some quality time together. Convince a friend to join you on a spring shape up program so you can keep tabs on each other and encourage each other when motivation levels start to drop.

#4: Don't use the scale as a gauge for success. As tempting as it may be to monitor your weight when you're committed to getting in shape, shift your focus to working out, staying strong, and eating right instead. If you gained a few pounds over winter, don't fret about it all season long. Shift your focus to the positive changes you're making in your life, how great you're feeling, and how much energy you have. Ignore the numbers on the scale so you don't obsess about a few pounds and are more focused on goals that actually matter.

#5: Take it outside. When the forecast calls for clear skies and sunny days, head outside so you can get some fresh air and break away from the usual gym routine or at-home workout DVDs. Simple exercises like walking or biking can be a great cardio workout and provide a much-needed change of scenery.