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There are many important healthy habits that we should try to work toward, but I strongly believe that exercise should be top 5.
The benefits of exercise are quite obvious, but I’ll list a few!
-Boosts energy levels
-Reduce risk of disease
-Improve brain function
Exercise is a habit that has a huge ripple effect, because once you make it apart of your every day life you’ll want to continue improving other areas of your life. For example, you’ll start eating better, you’ll sleep better therefore you wake up earlier, leading to you getting more work done, and then you’ll reach more of your goals, and then you’ll be living the life you want to live! All of that is up to you of course, but it’s definitely achievable!
Working out (specifically lifting weights) is my passion. I’ve grown to completely fall in love with the gym and it’s now a place I find comfort in. Results take time to see, but just focus on actually progressing instead and your experience will be so much better!
Hopefully my tips below will help you to start a habit of exercise.
The decision to make exercise a part of your lifestyle is going to come and go rather quickly. Just like any heathy habit, it’s easy to get inspired once and set a ton of fitness goals. Then, the next day comes and you’re tired, unmotivated, in pain, hungry, stressed, or whatever other excuse you can manage to come up with.
Unfortunately, you’ll never be motivated 24/7…no one is. However, you can get excited and inspired on a daily basis.
How do you do that?
First of all, you need to write down your goals. Make your goals as specific as possible and challenging but realistic. Write down how you want to feel, how you want to look, what you want to wear, all the benefits you’ll experience etc. Visualize those things. Find women with similar body types that you ideally want to look like (DO NOT COMPARE YOUR PROGRESS TO THEM THOUGH, don’t compare someone’s chapter 20 to your chapter 1!).
Listen to exercise podcasts or motivational speeches. Watch workout videos or blogs with people who live a healthy lifestyle. Everything you hear and see you can make a reality! Surround yourself with exercise. You’re in control here, you should be so excited that you can literally transform your health and body within a few weeks/months!
Find activewear you feel good in
You won’t want to workout if your clothes are uncomfortable or if they don’t look right on you. For example, you probably won’t ever find me in neon colored workout clothes because I don’t think I look good in that. Whenever I’m wearing a cute outfit that fits me perfectly, I feel way more confidence and therefore have a better workout.
Invest in some good quality activewear, because you also don’t want to worry about anything ripping mid-squat. Purchasing clothes you want to wear will also make you even more excited to put them on and rock them at the gym!
Start at home if you need to
I know so many people are intimidated by the gym (especially women). First of all, the gym may seem like a scary place filled with sweaty, muscular men and women, but literally everyone is focused on themselves and their workout.
If you don’t know how to use equipment, ask a staff member or someone near by. Remember that everyone started somewhere and the person you’re asking didn’t know how to us it at one point either.
Use light weights if that’s all you can do, only do cardio if that’s what you want to do, just focus on yourself and you’ll continue to get better, stronger, and more confident. Hire a trainer even!
However, if you’re absolutely paralyzed by the thought of the gym…start at home!! There’s thousands and thousands of FREE at-home workouts on YouTube. Walking/jogging in your neighborhood is also free! If you want to take things up a notch buy some weights, a resistance band, a exercise ball, a yoga mat, etc. Those things are extremely affordable, but absolutely NOT necessary to exercise at home.
Do keep in mind, weight lifting will give you the best results though.
If you’re new to working out or just getting back into it, I suggest starting gradually. Jumping right into sprinting or lifting really heavy weights can cause unnecessary soreness or injury. An injury will only lead to making exercise a habit even more difficult.
I know a lot of people hate having sore muscles, so when they’re really sore they end up not working out for days and then you have to start all over again. Being sore is normal, especially if you’re a beginner, but being super sore to where it hurts to move anything can be a problem.
Always, always, always properly warm-up, foam roll, and stretch your body before a workout. Those things can be tedious and boring, but trust me you will regret it otherwise. This will also help your muscles to recover quicker!
But also push yourself
Just like life in general, you can’t grow within your comfort zone. If something is too easy, it’s probably not benefitting you very much. Push yourself to do an extra rep or add a little bit more weight. It should be uncomfortable and challenging, and maybe even painful. Of course listen to your body to avoid injury, but for the best results you’ve got to shock your body!
I rarely go a leg day that I’m not shaking, on the verge of tears/vomiting, and/or seriously pushing what I can withstand. It’s something you have to learn to love, but I swear you’ll see results.
Take a lot of pictures of yourself
Pictures can be SO motivating. Progress takes time, which is another reason why a lot of people don’t like to workout. Take pictures before your journey, and take tons of pictures throughout. A few weeks down the road you’re going to look in the mirror and feel so disappointed because you don’t see any improvement. Then you’ll look at the pictures you took a few weeks ago and be amazed how far you’ve come!
When you look at yourself in the mirror everyday, it’s difficult to notice the changes that your body is going through. Which is why pictures are so important.
Find a workout partner
If you’re struggling to 1) find confidence to go to the gym or 2) stay consistent, you may want to find a workout/accountability partner! Going to the gym with a friend will remove the embarrassment of trying to figure out gym equipment, or if they’re more experienced they’ll tell you how to use it!
Also, if your friend says to meet at the gym at 5 pm, you definitely are more likely to go because you don’t want to be that person! Be sure whoever you find is supportive, motivating, and determined to reach their goals like you are!
Start/join a challenge
If you’re struggling to find someone to join you, join a challenge! There’s tons all over the internet and I’m sure you could even find local Facebook groups who go for jogs every Tuesday and Thursday or something similar.
I’ve been fairly active for awhile now, but I never took exercise/lifting that serious until I started the Katy Hearn Challenge. I worked out in college but sometimes I would go a month or two without working out at all! The Katy Hearn Challenge was $200 but it was one of my favorite investments! She taught me a ton of new exercises, introduced me to macro counting, and helped me actually see changes in my body!
While I didn’t make huge progress over the 2-month period, I fell in love with lifting and I haven’t stopped since! I’ve now made huge changes in my body and lifted weights I never thought I could! Do your research and find something that works for you.
Fall in love with it
You’re not going to feel like working out every day of your life, but I guarantee you that once you make a habit out if it you’ll question how you ever went without it. It’s good for you in all aspects of your life and makes you feel amazing! It’ll turn into therapy and you’ll crave a good sweat session.
If you notice yourself starting to dread it all the time, try changing your routine up! Try out a fitness class, go hiking, do an outdoor workout using a bench, practice yoga, etc. Think about why you started in the first place and keep going!
So…what are you waiting for?!? Get going and don’t stop.