Starting a New Fitness Journey
Making the decision to start a new fitness journey is one of the most life-changing decisions we can make. We want to be healthier, to look better, to FEEL better--and it all starts with this one critical moment where we choose to make ourselves a priority. With the stakes so high, it's easy to see how one can feel overwhelmed and wonder, where do I even begin?
Start small and build up over time.
Make your 1st goal to get in 3 workouts per week of at least 20-30 minutes. Depending on your health, conditioning, and doctor's recommendations, you may need to start even lower and build up. It's important to go at your own pace and listen to your body. Pick workouts that appeal to your interests and that work with your schedule. Make sure you put them on your calendar and prepare for them like they're your job!
Determine your obstacles.
It's important to look at what could interfere with your workouts and make plans to head them off. You'll want to consider:
Your workout space: Can you move freely and safely? Can you play music and have your volume up without disturbing other members of your household? Is it well ventilated with good lighting? It helps to do a test run of everything before your 1st workout to ensure that you don't experience frustration and stress before you get started.
Your family dynamic: If you have kids, what can you do to occupy them during your workout time? Would they, spouses, or roommates want to workout with you too? Sometimes workout schedules interfere with other schedules--such as when you have dinner, when you can help with homework, etc. It's important to sit down as a family and make a plan that works for everyone, while taking your health into account as an important part of that plan too
The days you don't feel like working out: What things will help you in your accountability to feel motivated to push ahead? It can be small validating thoughts such as, "If I do this workout, I'll sleep so good tonight!" or "I'll reward myself with a nice, hot bubblebath after this workout."
Unexpected situations: Do you have a backup activity planned just in case? Maybe it's taking a walk or a class that you don't usually take, but it's great to have another option in case the unexpected derails your plans.
Often times, when people stray from their initial fitness plans, they find it hard to get back on track because they label it as failure--a definitive failure. The reality is, you can always, always jump right back in. Missing a day (or a week) is NOT the be all, end all failure. If things don't go as planned, revisit your plan and goals and keep tweaking and adjusting. You may have a fitness journey where no 2 weeks look identical and that's completely ok. The goal is to stay active and get healthier. This isn't a quick fix. It's a new lifestyle. Get ready to be in it for the long haul!