Working out more often and other fitness-related goals are the most common New Year’s resolution, but it can be difficult to make time and find motivation for exercise during the winter. If you didn’t gain the momentum you wanted over the winter, that doesn’t mean it’s too late to get started now.

While many people experience de-bloating almost immediately after they start working out, you can expect significant weight loss within about eight weeks. There’s no better time than now to get started, and these tips will help you maintain your motivation and drive through the summer and beyond.

Expect Gradual Results

We’d all like to be able to achieve our ideal bodies in a single day of working out, but the reality is that real change doesn’t happen overnight. In fact, pushing your body too hard too quickly raises your risk of injury and increases the chances that you’ll burn out.

Instead, start with a workout designed for beginners, or build an exercise plan with a qualified personal trainer who understands your condition and health goals. It’s better to give your body more time than it needs than it is to end up hurt, overly fatigued, or feeling like exercise is a chore.

If you don’t ease into exercise, you risk injuring yourself and missing the opportunity to reach your goals. Should you overexert yourself, it’s a good idea to get direct access to physical therapy in New York, Chicago, or wherever you may be located. An expert can help you fully recover much more safely and quickly than you likely could on your own.

Set Measurable Goals

Realistic, measurable goals are an important component of success in almost anything, and exercise is no exception. This makes it easy to keep track of your progress and have an incentive to work for each time you go to the gym.

While there’s nothing wrong with working out to lose weight, you may want to consider working toward other goals as well. People who exercise to reach a target weight are more likely to feel satisfied once they hit that goal, and therefore less likely to continue making progress.

Find What Works for You

Everyone swears by their own workout routine, but the truth is that there’s no perfect exercise for everyone. Each individual has something different that works best for them depending on their physical condition and personal preferences.

Try out a few different types of exercises before committing to one, and don’t be afraid to branch out when you have the opportunity. You’re more likely to stick with your workout routine if it’s something you’re truly interested in and not simply a means to an end result. Alternating between multiple kinds of exercise—like cardio and strength, for example—can also help you improve your physical health in new ways.

Maintaining an exercise routine over the long term is a difficult challenge, especially when you’re starting to work out for the first time or coming back to it from a long break. These tips will help you develop a workout plan that fits your needs and helps you stay motivated into the summer and beyond.