Finally a post about working out! I love working out and all things fitness and could really talk about it all day. Training is where I get my energy, it’s how I relieve stress, and it’s what makes me feel good. I love showing people how fun (and rewarding) it can be to build exercise and training into their life. Today, I am going to focus on my recommendations for how to get started with a fitness routine because getting started in the right way is what will set you up for success in those first few months.
Here are my recommendations to set a good foundation:
1.) It’s all about your attitude: Most of what makes exercising a challenge is your mindset. You have to want to do it. If you can’t get past the mental aspect of it and if you have to fight yourself to show up each day, it’s going to be difficult. It wont be impossible, but it will be difficult and that energy would be better spent on your workout than fighting yourself to show-up. To overcome this, try reframing the conversation with yourself to focus on the benefits and the long-term view. Your perspective makes all the difference which brings me to my next recommendation…
2.) Once you have decided that you are ready to begin, it’s important to establish expectations with yourself. Why have you decided to start doing this? What do you hope to accomplish? How often and when can you build this into your week? Understanding your own individual “why” will help you to hold yourself accountable when you just feel like quitting.
3.) Start thinking about your goals. These goals don’t have to be anything too big right now. I actually recommend setting a few small short-term goals to start off. Make sure you write down these goals and keep track of your progress every week. An example goal: log 30 active minutes at least five days per week in the month of March.
4.) Now that your goals are set, (and this next one may feel uncomfortable), take a “before” picture of yourself and jot down your starting stats including weight, BMI and body fat percentage (if you have access to these measuring tools). You will kick yourself later if you don’t. It’s fun to track progress and see how far you’ve come. I don’t have any useful before pictures of myself and this is one of my biggest regrets of my journey for improved health. Dont be like me, suck up your pride and take that “before” picture.
5.) Create a basic plan for yourself. There are a lot of different options here to get yourself started and most depend on how comfortable you are in a gym setting as well as what your goals include. Here are a few ways that I recommend getting started. You can pick one or mix and match, or do none…these are just a few options.
- At home workouts that you can find on Pinterest, YouTube, or workout videos/DVDs that you can purchase.
- Go outside and walk/run. These are both such simple, easy and effective ways to start building in exercise. It’s also great therapy and nearly completely free aside from the clothes and shoes.
- Hire a trainer. I always recommend working with a trainer if you are new to strength training (and I do recommend building in strength training). A good trainer will show you proper form and use for equipment and other tools at the gym.
- Take a class. The great thing about a class is that you just follow along. No real thinking or planning involved other than showing up. The energy in the room from the participants just make for a fun experience. My personal recommendations are Zumba or a cardio kickboxing class. (Stay tuned for a later blog post on boxing.)
- Find a workout buddy to partner up, and to help keep you accountable.
6.) The final step is just to get started. There is no better day than today. There is nothing magical about a Monday or the beginning of a month. Today is a great day to get started, and tomorrow you will thank yourself.