Getting in shape is without a doubt one of the best things you can do for yourself. There’s a reason people become religious about their workout schedule. Not only are there the physical benefits of fitness (hello abs), but the mental boost is insane (check out our article on the top non-physical benefits of exercise here). BUT, actually getting IN to working out if you’re a newbie can be intimidating, frustrating, and overwhelming. There are countless workout options, millions of locations, and don’t get us started on the gym brats that strut around like they own the place. It’s no wonder that people have a difficult time getting started. So here’s our easy to implement guide on how to start working out.
We’re giving you the how to, the rest it up to YOU!
How to Start Working Out
Find a ‘Why’
We’re pretty much always pressing this on people for any change they make in their life. Choosing a why is what will drive you through the days you’re unmotivated, and keep you chugging along. So decide: are you doing this for yourself? For your kids? Do you want to rock a bathing suit with confidence? Or just feel happier and healthier all around?
Everyone’s why will be different, and chances are it’ll change over time. But if you’re wondering how to start working out, establishing a why is crucial. So choose yours, write it down, post it on your fridge, and use it as a daily motivator.
Choose Something You LOVE
When people ask us how to start working out, we always reply with this: find something you love to do. Find something that makes you forget that you’re working out, or that gets you excited about going. In this day and age, there’s no reason you should be doing something that bores you. There are SO many options. To name a few:
yoga, cycling, running, weight lifting, circuit training, rock climbing, barre class, cross fit, kick boxing, boot camp classes, swimming, dance, pilates, home workouts, climbers etc.
The choices are endless. But don’t let that overwhelm you. This should excite you! Many studios offer free weeks or classes to new members, so cash in on this and explore until you find something that fits.
You can also look around on sites like Living Social or Groupon to find cheap packages that allow you to test out classes.
If you’re looking for low impact, choose something like yoga, barre, swimming, or pilates. If weights make you feel like a boss, then hit up a cross fit class or find a gym that shows you the ropes in the weights area. Do you need constant change to keep you interested? Then circuit training or boot camp might be the perfect fit for you.
Once you find something that speaks to you, you’ll feel less like this is work, and more like it’s a break for YOU.
Create YOUR Schedule
This is crucial to sticking with any workout endeavor and one of the top recommendations we give to people when explaining how to start working out. If you’re a crazy busy single mom who barely has time to shower, let alone spend 2 hours in the gym, then a 30 minute home workout program might be your best bet. If you work night shifts, then make morning/afternoon workouts your priority. Can you only make 3 days a week work? FINE! Rock out those three days and do some stretching the rest of the days.
Consistency is the biggest factor in seeing results, so find something that you can do 4-5 days a week that is sustainable. And always remember: something is better than nothing. A 15 minute workout is better than nothing. 10 minutes of ab work is better than nothing. DO NOT make it an excuse that you can’t workout for 30+ minutes if you’re busy. Small changes add up to big results.
Unfortunately, this is one of the biggest factors that holds people back from working out. As a society, we’ve become so hyper focused on worrying about what other people think about us, that we let it hold us back from bettering ourselves. So we’re here to say it: DO NOT care what ANYONE thinks about you. EVERYONE has started from the beginning at some point. While some people in the gym seem to have forgotten that and are as rude and judgmental as can be, you cannot let that affect you.
This is for YOU. And while we may think everyone in that yoga class is noticing how our stance is more wobbly than a newborn baby giraffe, chances are they’re too focused on themselves to notice anything 2 inches away from their mat. While there are plenty of jerks out there, there are even more people who are willing to help, give advice, and cheer you on. Mention to the instructor that this is a first for you, and ask them to help you adjust your form. Introduce yourself to the people you’re sitting next to.
The less focused you are on being insecure, the more you’ll find you actually enjoy what you’re doing.
It’s tempting to throw 100 lbs on the squat rack and pump like Superman. But DON’T. If you want to know how to start working out, then you need to know that slow and steady = sustainability. Going too far too fast puts you at risk for injury and burn out. Give yourself a LOT of time to adjust, build up strength, and learn the ropes.
The most important aspect of working out is your form. After you’ve mastered that, you can begin to focus on increasing speed and weight. But 5 perfect push ups are a thousand times more effective than 15 sloppy ones.
Yes, we put this in all capitals for a reason. We live in an instant gratification society. We want results, and we want them NOW. Well, you need to get over that. This is a process. It’s slow. Real results take TIME. So don’t quit. Honestly, we can’t stress this enough. Don’t become discouraged if you don’t see what you want in 4 weeks. Or 8 weeks. Or even 12 weeks. Because you need to realize that if there is a process that WILL come through, it’s being consistent with working out and feeding your body. Even if it feels like it’s taking forever, you WILL get to where you want to be.
Stay focused, stay dedicated, and you will achieve your goals.
We hope this shed a little light on how to start working out, but if you EVER have questions about specific workouts or fitness in general, please shoot us a message! We’re happy to answer any questions you may have.
Here’s to fitness and freedom Dreamers!