Starting to work out is never an easy goal to take on. It takes time, commitment and motivation to get up off the couch and go to the gym (or pull out your mat and do it at home.)
Right now my life is a little chaotic and I don’t have set daily routine, which I think is the case for most of us out there! This post is for those of you who struggle to start a routine, and has a few points that I feel are crucial in the first steps towards a fitter you.
Step one: know WHY you’re doing this and set your GOALS
Do you want to lose weight, strengthen and tone or train for a 5Km run. Some of you might just be looking for the overall benefits of getting healthier, like increased energy and a boost in your mood! Whatever your goals are you will better be able to reach them if you narrow them down.
Now write it down. Be Specific, make it Measurable, Make it Attainable, Make it Realistic, and set a specific Time
Step two: Where are you working out?
Going to the gym
If you’re planning to go to the gym, do some research and decide which gym is right for you. A lot of places will offer free trial periods, sometimes including orientation and training. This is AWESOME! No commitment before you buy and a chance to feel the place out. My personal go-to when living in town is our local YMCA. They foster a friendly and supportive atmosphere with very helpful staff that are always ready to give you some tips. They also offer a variety of classes you can try to prevent boredom and as an added bonus, a pool and a hot tub to soak those tired muscles after.
Other gyms definitely have their perks too! There are gyms just for woman, some designed as a half hour circuits or gyms with a focus like cross fit, or kick boxing. Either way when you look around to find what fits, talk to the staff and current members, ask about their hours, locations and the services they have to offer.
Most importantly: If you’re new to the gym, ask if they do an orientation session. The machines can definitely be intimidating (not to mention a little unsafe) if you don’t know what your doing.
Working out at home?
This is a great option if getting to the gym is not easy for you. Perks being you get the space to yourself, its quiet and no travel or gym fees.
However there are a couple important barriers that can be broken down if you’re aware of them.
Distractions: The house is full of them! The ideal way to start your at home work out routine is be able to clear a space of clutter and debris. Find somewhere that you can’t see the dirty dishes. It doesn’t always work out that way so my advice is know what will distract you the most, and take time to clear it away before you start.
Your not always alone: Your room mate, spouse or kids might be around a lot, and unless you have them 100% agree to leave you alone during your “gym time”, you need to find away to be alone. Best way to do this is become a morning person. Set your alarm for an hour before everyone else wakes up, and get that work out in.
Space: I know this one all too well. I’ve either lived in small basement suites or apartment buildings with people below me. This is only a barrier if you let it be! A little creativity and some research on Pinterest can show you ways to take advantage of your environment. Use that set of stairs and look for workouts that you only need the length and width of your mat to engage in. You can also find ways to use the furniture you have as work out equipment.
Lack of motivation: Our days are long and hard and we are usually all tapped out of energy before the day is even over. Check out 10 Ways to Have More Energy and find that extra boost that you need
Step three: Look good!
It is proven that when we look good we feel good! And when you have the right gear, your body is able to do without hinderance. Now I’m not suggesting you go down to Lululemon and deck yourself out in all new outfits (but doesn’t that sound fun). Just find something that makes you smile. There are a lot of stores now that are carrying more affordable work out gear. (Stay tuned; I see a dedicated post on that one in the near future!)
The one item that I strongly feel you should splurge a little on is shoes! Your feet are so important and they must be cradled in the right shoe for you and your activity! Go down to your local sports store, maybe one of the fancy running places (you never have to buy right away) ask for a lesson on the fit of a shoe and some advice on what’s going to be good for you. Once you feel fully educated, by all means shop around!
After shoes there are a few other key items I feel you should invest in.
- A good water bottle– something light and easy to drink from. Skip the glass or heavy metal (you don’t need it to stay cold that long) and avoid straws.
- Music– most people enjoy being able to drown out the din of the gym with their tunes. A good pair of ear buds that will stay in place as you move, your phone/iPod, and an arm strap are incredibly useful.
- Step counter– whatever the brand (mine is a Garmin) they are pretty motivating. Its fun to try and reach a step goal. This is by no means necessary though.
Step Four: Set yourself up with a realistic mindset.
This isn’t mentioned often enough…so I’m going to lay some truths on you.
If it were easy…everyone would be doing it. You will feel sore, but you should not be in pain!
Stay positive and stay motivated! It’s ok to not go every day, 4 times a week is super impressive! 3 times a week is recommended for better health, 2 times is a great start!
We are all different and all of our bodies are going to adapt differently. If you and your friend start working out together you might lose weight and feel energized at different rates. You might gain strength differently and you might have a very different tolerance to the level of energy you put in. Listen to your body. Know when you can push it and when to slow down.
Step five: Follow through!
You’ve picked your venue, you have the goals, the gear and the mindset you need. Now comes the follow through. Work it into your schedule and start right away. Don’t put it off till the first of the month or next Monday. Do it now!
I love using my Bullet Journal to plan out all the aspects of my life! It’s a fun and creative way to stay motivated and organized. That being said it’s time consuming. SIGN UP below and you will get access to my full library to Printable Layouts. New pages added all the time!