We’ve all been there. You walk into the gym and see the “bros” with their protein in one corner and the trendy moms with their matching outfits in the other. You then spot a mishmash of machines for every muscle group (some you didn’t even know you had)! It’s enough to make you sweat before you even start working out! Fortunately, you don’t have to be scared anymore. I’ve put together all the advice I’ve given my clients over the years and created six steps to help you start exercising. You’ll be able to walk into a gym, your living room, or anywhere you workout with confidence, knowing how to start (and continue) an effective workout program.
Step #1: Decide Why You’re Working Out
It’s important to decide why you’re working out. Maybe you’ve decided to get in shape for a wedding, high school reunion, or athletic event. Maybe you just want to improve your health, feel less stressed, or be a more energetic parent. Whatever the reason, exercise should be for you. It’s important that your “why” motivates you on a deep, internal level. Exercising isn’t just to a way to show-off on Instagram or look great on the beach. Exercise is a way of life that will make you healthier, happier, and better able to cope with stress! Find your “why”. It will get you off the couch and carry you through the most challenging workouts.
Step #2: Decide on a Location
Decide where you feel comfortable exercising. Some of us feel less distracted and more motivated in a gym-setting, while others prefer the convenience and privacy of working out at home. Whichever you prefer, your chosen location should allow you to concentrate on your workout. If you’re at home, make sure your space is clean, distraction-free, and equipped with everything you need. If working out at the gym is your thing, make sure the facility is equipped with the space and equipment you need to complete your program.
Step #3: Find a Program
On that note, it’s incredibly helpful to find a program. A workout program will save you time by laying out an effective plan, removing any guesswork from your workouts. To find a program, you can visit a personal trainer or choose from the abundance of free workout programs available online. Make sure you choose a program that is credible (shows “before” and “after” photos) and fits into your lifestyle. For example, if you’re super-busy, a program comprised of 90-minute workouts would not fit into your daily routine. Lastly, find a program that you don’t mind doing every day. Trust me, it will make exercise much more enjoyable! Stay tuned for my New 15 Day Challenge coming out soon, this would be perfect for you!
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Step #4: Schedule Your Workout
One of my dearest friends gave me this powerful statement: “You always have time for what you make time for.” When something is in your schedule, you make it happen! If you have a location where you lay out your schedule, such as an app or family calendar, write down the time of your workout and stick to it. Having a visual reminder not only prompts you to exercise, but reminds your family of your workout time.
Scheduling workouts is especially important if you’re doing an at-home program. Make sure everyone knows that your exercise time is not optional, even if it’s in the living room. If you prefer gym workouts, schedule a time to drive to the gym and stick to it, even if you only sit in the parking lot for 15 minutes. This time is yours and you deserve it!
Step #5: Be Consistent
Consistency is key. Don’t think that working out twice a week for two weeks will deliver massive results. You should schedule at least 3-5 workouts per week, whether it’s a resistance training program or a quick cardio workout, and stick to it. If you’re able to do more, that’s great, but find a program that fits your lifestyle and be consistent. (Remember, if you’re not consistent, your results won’t be consistent!)
Step #6: Be Persistent and Be Patient
It’s so hard when you start a program and don’t see results. Our culture is all about seeing instant results or “it’s not worth it”. This is just not true! If you want lasting results, you have to put in the work and be patient. Results will always come, it’s just a matter of being persistent and consistent.
So, be patient, be persistent, and most of all, be kind to yourself. Every time you have a negative thought about yourself, name two of your positive qualities out loud. In those moments when you don’t see instant results, think of your “why” and let it motivate you.
You Can Do It!
Find a program, schedule and prepare for your workouts, and go for it! Don’t be scared. You CAN do this! With a great workout program, persistence, and patience, you will achieve your goals. I guarantee it!
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