Hello friends! I hope you are all having a great week so far.
Scott and I are enjoying our time out on the west coast and are currently soaking in our last day in San Diego. I’ll be sure to share some of the highlights when we get back tomorrow!
Until then, I wanted to publish a post I drafted up a long, long time ago. This one goes out to those who haven’t quite found their groove in the fitness world yet.
Hopefully these tips help you get past insecurities and into the gym to try something new!
I have been living and loving the healthy, fit lifestyle for what seems like a lifetime. I grew up in a home where sugary cereals were saved for celebrations and sports and activities were on the calendar more than sleepovers.
At a young age, my parents instilled the importance of eating right and exercising regularly in me. I consider myself lucky to have been naturally swept into the world of healthy living, but I also realize that this is not always the case.
Some people fall into the habit of working out by accident. They join a friend for a boot camp class or sign up for a fun run, then can’t shake the feeling of accomplishment when it’s over.
In one form or another, working out on my own or through my job as a professional dancer has been something I have enjoyed for the majority of my life. Staying active always felt good, but I didn’t realize how much I love this lifestyle until about ten years ago.
Five years ago, I also had no idea that I would sign up and train for a half marathon. There wasn’t ever a desire for me to entertain the thought until inspiration came through a friend of mine committing to the journey. I wanted to push myself harder than I ever had, and crossing that finish line confirmed that this is something I need and absolutely want in my life.
If lacing up your sneakers and hitting the gym for a group fitness class or workout of your own is not something that feels natural to you, I would bet that you are not alone. There are doubts and fears that come with the idea of working out and keeping fit if doing so is not something that you typically do.
But, what if you know you want to get there? You see yoga mats carried on Saturday mornings or hear friends talk about their CrossFit WODs and want to experience what that is like.
In an attempt to combat those feelings or insecurities, here are five tips and suggestions that will hopefully motivate you to get started!
• Working out is good for both the body and the mind.
It isn’t a challenge for me to list off what I love about working out.
Beyond the health related benefits, getting my sweat on is just as much of a mental release for me as it is a physical exercise. If I am having a stressful day, I will put on a playlist that suits my mood and go out for a scenic run.
Not a runner? Try a group fitness class like kickboxing to release energy or bring calm into your life with an hour of yoga.
These days, there are so many fusions of different types workouts (like PiYo, piloxing and barre), and the right type of workout for you is out there. Once you find something that makes you want to come back and often, you will fall in love, too.
• Group exercise classes, gyms, and studios offer a sense of community.
You don’t have to have a gym or studio membership to take group fitness classes. In most areas, there are plenty of classes (sometimes even offered at a discount to first-timers) and types of workouts to pick from. If you haven’t found the perfect class or rotation of classes that keep you happy and motivated to keep coming back, keep looking!
Once you establish what you like and show up on a regular basis, you will get to know others who do the same. Generally, people who prefer to live a healthy lifestyle also enjoy making connections and encouraging others in the same boat. Your place to work out will become like a second home, and other students or participants will become friends you get excited to see.
Beyond classes, there are tons of events and connections in the community (like walks, fundraisers, and sponsored group workouts) you can make in and outside of your workout room!
• You now have an excuse to buy and wear cute work out gear.
Let’s face it. Yoga pants and neon sneakers have become a fashion trend for more than a hot minute. And why wouldn’t they? Coordinated sports bras, tanks and leggings are equally comfortable as they are cute.
I would be lying if I said that bringing home a new outfit or fitness accessory didn’t motivate me to get out there and test it out.
Even on days where a trip to the gym isn’t planned, I will put on or pack my latest fitness get up with me, just in case. It isn’t out of the ordinary for me to also bring an extra one to put on after, since wearing fitness clothes around town has now become socially acceptable.
• (Speaking of gym clothes) make your workout more likely to happen by laying them out ahead of time.
There was a time where I worked a full-time desk job during the day and danced at night. I still liked going to the gym, but rarely found the motivation to actually get there. Playing the “do I really need to go today?” game happened more than I liked, so I started taking my gym clothes with me and realized that if I had them accessible and ready to go, I was more likely to complete a workout that day.
If my only choice is to work out early in the morning, I always lay my clothes out the night before or even sleep in them. In my experience, getting dressed for the battle is half of it. Don’t think it’s weird to keep an extra set of gym clothes and shoes with you or in your car!
• Set your own fitness goals and don’t worry about what others are doing.
Half of the reason I continue to run races is to push myself with goals of new distance and pace records. I used to base them off of the times and goals of others, but I eventually realized that doing this does nothing but add stress, and ultimately defeats the purpose of setting that goal in the first place.
Whatever the activity, do not let yourself get sucked into the comparison trap. The person hitting all of the head stands in yoga class might not be able to do an overhead weighted squat, and the runner crossing the finish line first might be the most uncoordinated person in Pilates class.
You never really know how the rockstars you idolize for certain things handle other activities, and it is perfectly normal to excel in different activities at different levels. At one point or another, everybody started exactly from where you are right now.
If you find something that interests you, assess how you are doing and growing based on what your body is telling you. Pay no attention t0 what those around you are doing, and continue to be proud of your own progress!
So here’s to you … for taking a leap out of your comfort zone and a step closer to finding happiness in living a healthy, fit lifestyle!
Questions of the Day
• What brought you into the world of fitness?
• Any additional tips or motivators that help you get out there?
Have a great rest of your Tuesday!