**Author Note: These are all my OWN personal opinions, and are based on my experiences. This does not mean what I’m writing will work for everyone or that everyone should do what I say. I make generalizations. I am by no means a fitness expert. The sole purpose of my post is to help others like myself who has HATED exercise their whole life, but have reached a point where they are ready to get moving but don’t know how to start**
“I want to get active, but how do I get there? How do I enjoy it?”
Ahhhh….the age old question and struggle SO many of us face. We REALLY want to get healthy and get fit, but lets face it, the idea of working out, grunting, sweating, moaning and groaning does NOT sound appealing. Not only do we work our asses off all day (either at work, or being a full time parent), but finding time to fit in exercise feels like the LAST priority on the never ending list of To-Dos.
However, we also don’t WANT to exercise. We’re afraid of it (I know I’m being very general here, obviously some people LOVE working out and all the power to them!) It takes time, energy, effort, patience and stamina to stick to something. Plus, when it comes to working out, whether you’re doing it to loose weight or to tone, it takes TIME to see the changes, which can be discouraging.
Also, all over the internet are pictures like these, which to the average person, does not make fitness look appealing:
|Click HERE for a very interesting commentary on images like these|
Crawling while crying and puking in a puddle of your own sweat…no thanks. I would NEVER enjoy that no matter WHAT the gains are.
So where do you start?
Below are 5 things that REALLY helped me get my lazy butt off the couch and got me moving. Now, I can honestly say, I enjoy being active and working out. Not all the time, but more than I ever have in my life!
5 Tips on How to Start Getting Active and Enjoy It
(1) Most importantly, find something that you like. This initial activity will act as a “gateway drug” into the whole “getting active” process. For me, my gateway drug was Zumba. I love to dance, I love to be rediculous and Zumba was a perfect match for that. Once I started, I didn’t want to stop. I gained confidence in my body and what it could do, and started to see positive changes.
For you, it may be walking, or cycle class or pilates. Whatever it is, I guarantee there is something out there that you will enjoy. It doesn’t have to be a hardcore, puke inducing, muscle fest. Just something that gets your heart rate up.
(2) Once you find something you enjoy, figure out a way to fit it into your busy schedule. On Saturday/Sunday, I’ll look at my upcoming week and see what I have going on. Then, I’ll find where and when I can fit my workouts in. When starting out from scratch, aim to be active at least 2-3 times a week.
Sometimes, you MAY have workout in the morning (yech). You can totally do it though, it’s hard and it sucks sometimes, but you feel like a warrior when you’re workout is done before you’ve even started the day.
In any case, set yourself a schedule and stick to it. I find it helps to have incentives as well. If you stick to your routine for the week, get yourself a little something (non-food related) as a reward and a reminder that you can do it!
Also, As much as I want you to stick to your routine, sometimes, sh*t happens. Kids get sick, work runs late, whatever. Instead of throwing up your hands and saying “Well this week is ruined” pick a different day and try again. Life isn’t perfect, and neither will your active routine.
(3) As you get comfortable with getting more active, encourage yourself to try something new! Go try out that “Ebb and Flow Spirit Dance” class you’re curious and intrigued by, but totally terrified of. Allow yourself to try it out 100% no hold barred. Sure, you may look like a newbie, but everyone in that class was a newbie at one point and probably looked just like you!
It’s also okay if you don’t like everything that you try. I’m not a boot camp girl, I don’t like be yelled at. However, some people SWEAR by it. It’s all about what works for you and your body.
(4) Be patient and kind with yourself. Some days, you will slip up. You’ll miss a workout and binge on a bag of chips. OR you may feel like you’re working so hard and not seeing any changes. Be patient, you will see them if you keep it up. Just keep saying “I can do this, I can do this”
(5) Be Fearless – this is a really cool tip I picked up from Gillian Michaels when she presented at CanFitPro this year. She didn’t mean fearless in the “YOLO, Imma rob a bank” kind of way, she means don’t be afraid of your workout. I truly believe that the majority of people don’t want to work out and get active because they’re afraid of it. Afraid of failing, afraid of the pain, afraid of looking stupid.
If you’re doing your best, and putting the effort in, no matter WHAT you do, at least you’re doing it! So what if you can only run for 20 seconds before you run out of breath? So what if you go to Zumba and muck up all the steps? So what if you try a cycle class and have to stop halfway through? The point is, you did it. When you go back next time, you’ll achieve a little bit more. We all started there. Anyone who is active today, was at on point in their life NOT active and had to start from scratch, just like you.
Let go of your fear and just give it a shot. What’s the worst that could happen?
What are YOUR tips for getting active? What has worked for you?