A couple of people have asked me how to get started with their fitness, that’s tricky because it is personal.
Find Your Fitness
Make a list of all the things you like or think you might like. For me, I was already doing DVDs and weights, but I wanted to try spinning. I wanted to try yoga in a studio. I belong to a gym and I know how to use the cardio machines, but there are plenty of group fitness classes I wanted to experience. All of this kept me from feeling bad that I wasn’t drinking the c25k kool-aid and not signing up for races (not and never will).
If you’re just starting out and don’t want to leave the house, try Leslie Sansone’s Walk Away the Pounds. Her website offers a one-mile express video so you can keep that site bookmarked if you need a work workout. Biggest Loser offers a variety of DVDs and you know I like Bob Harper and Jillian Michaels for weighted cardio work. If you don’t want to invest in buying DVDs, check out the library they might have Zumba or cardio dance. I did a post on non-gym workouts that is worth checking out because you can use YouTube, Pinterest and magazine websites to create your at-home workout. Or ones to do at a park.
This sequence can be done anywhere:
10 push ups
15 squat jumps
20 jump lunges
25 jumping jacks
30 mountain climbers
It gets the heart going, eh?!
If you live in Cincinnati and want to try some local studios that aren’t big gyms with a contract, you might find the post about inexpensive workouts useful. If you live in another city, search Facebook, Yelp and Foursquare and organize places into lists so you can check them easily for deals and offers. Check Groupon or LivingSocial for offers. If you have a place you want to go, ask for an trial class. I’ve been working through some groupon class passes and it’s been good because I’ve learned that I might like the work, but not the instructor, her music or the style of class but another place doing the same workout can be totally different.
I committed to working out by making it a scheduled priority. I scaled back my evening dates until I was used to my morning workouts. Even now, I know I cannot be out past 9pm or awake past 10pm if I want to get to the gym at 5am (yes, that means I’m awake way before 5am). The start of the week, I fill up my calendar with weights, spinning, yoga, DVDs, classes or going to the park. When I come home, I clean out my lunch bag to pack again and same for my gym/work clothes. At any time my car might have spinning shoes, yoga mat, extra sneakers, towels and spare workout clothes.
What goals do you have? What motivates you? Do you respond to penalties? Grab a journal and dedicate it to yourself and this journey. You’ve decided what workouts you want to do and when you’ll do them, now track them. Take photos and measurements of yourself so when you feel like giving up, you can find motivation in your progress. Your progress does not need to be tied to a number on a scale. Maybe when you start, you’re winded after 5 burpees, but a month later you can do 10 no sweat. If you track your workouts, you know where to push yourself. Maybe there’s something pricey, like a heart rate monitor you want and you’ll pay yourself for each workout you complete. My first reward was socks.
If you have a workout buddy, great! But remember when she falls off the wagon, you have to find the motivation in yourself to keep going. If a friend asks me to join her, I do what I can with my schedule to say yes. I have a long distance workout buddy in FedHillGal. I know she’s getting up and busting tail at early morning bootcamp while I’m lifting and spinning. Amy and I don’t workout often, but she’s a fitblr (a fitness tumblr) and her work inspires me to keep moving.
If you’re not comfortable in baggy clothing that feels 20 pounds heavier when you sweat, you’re not going to be eager to put that outfit on for another workout. You don’t need to blow a ton of cash on workout clothes, I bought mine on clearanced or marked down from Target. I slowly added to my workout clothes basket when I could. I washed as needed. Lack of clothing wasn’t going to be the reason I didn’t workout.
This whole outfit was brought is off the Target clearance rack. If my pants fall down during jumps of any kind, I’m thrown off so if you’re offended by tight pants, don’t look at me when I’m at the gym 🙂
I hope that helps the people who were asking for help getting started with a fitness routine. It is a routine, just like your skin or beauty routines, it isn’t something you do occasionally like vacation.