This is it! You’re going for it! Whatever “it” is…
Whether you’re looking to lose fat, gain muscle, get toned, improve your cardiovascular system, prevent or treat diabetes, reduce your risk of many of our #1 killers out there, control your mood swings, feel sexier, be that cute person’s gym buddy, be that cute person! Whatever it is, you’ve decided you want to start working out. That’s great! Let’s make sure you keep it up!
First things first, if you aren’t already active, especially if you have health issues, get your doctor’s ok and suggestions on what will be healthy for you to do. As much as I love me some Shaun T and Focus T25, if you have health issues that might not be where you want to start. Plus, exercise can become too taxing on a body that’s already dealing with disease or breakdown. The exercise spectrum is vast, I’m sure there’s something you will be able to do that you enjoy doing without causing issues for your body.
Second: Determine your purpose for working out. I mean, duh, you want to be healthier, but what does that mean to you? Most people don’t like cardio but it’s one of the best things to improve your health. Gaining muscle will help you burn more fat quicker and for longer periods of time. Strength training will not only make you physically stronger it will also make your bones denser helping to stave off osteoporosis. Prediabetic? Concerns about heart disease? Need to be stronger to support your joints better to get you out of pain? What’s your reasoning?
Third: Talk with a professional fitness trainer. (I’m not one yet but by the end of 2017 I will be!) Often times you can have a free meeting with one at your gym but if you don’t belong to a gym or your gym doesn’t have one seek one out. You know those reasons you listed from above about why you want to workout? You need a professional’s help in determining your best course of action. They’ll help you make modifications for any restrictions you may have, give you lists of the perfect exercises for your body type and goals, and help make sure you’re doing the exercises correctly so you don’t get injured. Trust me, getting hurt because you thought you were doing what was best for you but you were wrong will cost you money, time off work, time not being able to exercise, and a lot more. This investment is well worth it if you’re serious about your fitness goals.
Fourth: Get geared up! No you don’t have to spend hundreds of dollars on special shoes, clothes, and supplements; but you do need to have a few things on hand. You do need shoes you can workout in. Your feet need support. Buy the best you can afford and save for better ones if finances are an issue. Comfortable natural fiber clothes are another must. Seriously, I get mine at Goodwill during 50% Saturdays. I’m a big girl and my pants always wear down quickly (hello chub rub!) so I won’t spend more than $12 on a pair of pants. Ladies, if your “ladies” are big opt for at least one high quality sports bra. Your chest and back will thank you by not causing you intense pain! Get a water bottle. No really, you should have one anyway. Take it with you everywhere. Most of us don’t drink enough water. Work up to a gallon of water a day then talk with your doctor or personal trainer on what they recommend past that.
Fifth: Find a program you LOVE! The above mentioned Focus T25 is amazing to get results but I seriously have to talk myself into doing it every day because I hate it. Love it for the results, hate it for the gauntlet it puts me through! I love hula hooping, belly dancing, striptease dancing, yoga, and jogging. Those are my go-to’s. It’s rare that I don’t look forward to doing at least one of those. I’d say swimming too but I really just like floating in the water and that doesn’t burn many calories so I’ve stopped lying to myself about that one. Pool time = relaxing time for me. Well, as relaxed as I can get while watching my five kids monkey around in water.
Sixth: Make time for your program! If you think you’re going to “find” time to workout, odds are you’ll be disappointed. Make the time. Spend 30 minutes of your lunch break at work, wake up an hour earlier, stay up an hour later, delete the games off your phone, whatever you need to do to set aside the time, do it. This isn’t about will power. Schedule this time in during your day like a meeting at work. You don’t want to go too the meeting at work but you have to, same thing with working out. Well, hopefully you’ll want to workout after finding a program that you LOVE!
Seventh: Get support! A workout buddy, accountability buddy, or join a support group. I have a Facebook Group exactly for this! If you have to be accountable to someone you’re more likely to follow through. If you have other people around you who have similar goals and they are making strides to get to those goals, you’re more likely to follow through.
I bet you’re saying to yourself, “Duh, I know all of this”… I know you do. Sometimes we need to hear it again (and again) for it to actually impact how we do things. Make sure you’re actually following through with all of this, it doesn’t take long but can make your workout experience so much more successful and less painful!
Comment with what you’re doing to workout and what your goals are! I love hearing from you!