Fitness and exercise don’t necessarily always come easy for everyone. Some people always grew up around sports; and being active and outdoorsy. Others not so much. I’m definitely the latter of the two. I didn’t play any extracurricular activities growing up (though I was on the swim team for two seconds in high school!). I wasn’t the kid who would spend hours outdoors in the summer time. This love for sweat and movement really only came to me (in a lasting way) about 3 years ago.
Here’s how I was able to make fitness a part of my routine:
Be clear on your why
I say I started my journey around 3 years ago but it was about 6 years ago when I took my first bootcamp class. I would do cardio 6x a week, strength train 3x a week – while also restricting my calories. I went through a bit of an obsessive time period with exercise. However, after a few months of doing this, I was burnt out and one day I was just “meh” and quit working out completely. My why at the time was needing to reach a certain weight. I didn’t focus on the positive aspects of how I felt after a workout or the mental push that it takes to get through it all. I thought once I achieved a certain number of pounds on the scale, then that’s all that mattered.
This time, my why is clear. My why is because I know after each workout, I’m getting stronger, adding more years to my life, and improving my self-confidence and self esteem. The more clear that you are on your why, the more focused you can be. My why before was a number – something that has an ending; this time it’s a feeling.
Go for a walk
A goal doesn’t have to be running a marathon. Think small. Each extra step you take will bring you closer to a healthier life. If you’re relatively sedentary, try going out for a walk around your neighborhood. Give yourself a goal to walk to a specific store or street. You can do the same on a treadmill – tell yourself you have to walk for 0.5 miles or 1 mile, whatever best fits your overall fitness level. Using a pedometer or fitness tracker of some sort can also help keep you on track.
You’d be surprised at how just a simple walk can really do wonders to your mood and it can also give you a sweat! Once you’ve reached your step or distance goal, always make sure to continually challenge yourself by increasing your speed or going for longer walks.
Phone a friend
Sometimes all it takes is an accountability partner. On days when I have felt unmotivated and felt like I was in a fitness rut, I made it a point to tell my friends. This way, when we got together we could make sure to get a workout in as well. I also made sure that on days when I couldn’t workout with a friend, then I would text them and say I’m going to XYZ class, or going to do this type of workout at the gym at a specific time. That way my friends could check up on me afterward and make sure that I did it!
Finding these friends though can sometimes be a challenge. I used to not have any friends who valued fitness, so it would be harder to reach out to them and say I needed to go to the gym. Their answers would have been “Why?”. So, if you don’t have a built-in community or friends that value a healthy lifestyle, you can join my private Facebook accountability group and share your fitness goals in there! We may not live in the same city but we can still support each other virtually!
Add fitness into your schedule
I’m a schedule-oriented person. Each night before I go to bed, I write down the next day’s “to-do”s with what time I want to accomplish each task. I break my tasks down into personal and professional. Professionally, which blog posts do I need to get up, what content do I need to shoot, etc. Just like how you would never miss a deadline for work, you can’t miss a deadline for your personal life too.
A scheduled workout is a commitment to yourself.
If it’s not in your calendar, I know how easy it can be to punt it off to another time or another day. Try adding in a workout at around the same time each day you plan to workout. It helps get you into a groove and your body will start to crave the movement!
Remember, your workouts don’t have to be every day, especially if you’re just starting out. Be honest with your schedule, if you can commit to 2-3x a week, that’s still better than zero, right?
Invest in comfortable shoes and the right activewear set
If you’re still wearing the same shoes from circa 1998, it might be time to invest in another pair of shoes. Comfortable shoes can make your workout feel amazing and like you’re floating on clouds. Or it can feel like your toes are scrunched up inside causing you pain after a workout. Treat yourself to the right shoes for you and also, with the right supportive sports bra and leggings. With all your cute gear that you’ve purchased, you’ll have to show them off at the gym 🙂
Try an at-home workout
I’ve mentioned the gym and walks but if they are both not really for you, you can try your own at-home high-intensity interval training (HIIT) workouts. I created a series of 5 minute workouts that will make you sweat and all in the comfort of your own home. Sometimes you hear about people spending hours at the gym or logging two workout classes a day. The truth is, you can have the most efficient, sweat-inducing 5 minutes of work, all from the comfort of your own home. Stop when you want to, reset when you want to. You don’t have to worry about judgement from others. Plus, another perk of working out at home is that it’s totally free!
I hope these tips helped you in your fitness journey! Fitness doesn’t have to be scary at all. It just takes a few key steps into getting you started in your journey. You can always reach out to me if you’re feeling unmotivated or need to hear some motivation. 🙂