The hardest part of the Fitness Journey is usually getting started. There is just so much out there to know and learn about this whole other part of life. Maybe you’ve never really thought about exercise or working out, but you’ve been feeling a little overwhelmed lately, and you read somewhere that exercise helps with stress. But just the thought of The Gym only stresses you out more. How do you know where to begin? How do you know you’re even ready? Should you start with changing other things first, like a diet, and then work your way up to the gym? What do you do?
What’s my Motivation?
First, it’s important to think about your motivation for exercise. Making a change with a solid reason is a surefire recipe for success. You could be in it to get stronger, faster, feel better, lower your risk of health issues, or just to look even better than you already do. Pick one and focus on why you want to do it. Keeping this reason in mind as you’re contemplating working out can really help to harness those feelings into action. When you’re ready, turn this motivation into a solid measurable goal.
While there is no perfect method of action for everyone, the best step is just taking any step. If you feel more comfortable starting with changing your eating habits first, go for it, as long as you can keep that momentum going and balance it off with some physical activity soon. You don’t need to immediately start bench pressing 300 pounds and pounding protein shakes with every meal. Making small tweaks to your meals and going for a 3-minute walk is a great first step to build up from. You can even start with some online coaching to figure out what’s standing in your way, and build up some great healthy habits.
A Man, A Plan
The old adage “Fail to plan, plan to fail” applies to exercise just as much as anything else. Take some time to do a little research, but don’t overwhelm yourself with too much preparation and reading. Find 4 exercises that are best for your goals, and then jump right in. Some great ones to start with are Planks, Push Ups, Squats, Lunges, and good ol’ Walking. Remember, you don’t need to spend three hours at the gym to get a good workout. Plenty of folks are in and out in less than 30 minutes, and feel amazing after. You can even get a fantastic workout throughout the day, without leaving your home. As you progress, you can work to build out a well rounded Fitness Program and move up your goals to the next level.
Conquer the Fear
While the gym can be a scary place, you have very little to be afraid of. Sure, there are people there who look like they’re experts, but even the professionals don’t know everything. If you’re feeling a little self-conscious, it’s okay, most people at the gym do too. That’s right, even the buffest of the buff worry about what others are thinking about them. There are folks at all fitness and experience levels, including people just like you. The great thing is, everyone else is too preoccupied with what they’re doing to even think about judging you.
Remember, everyone has different goals. If you see someone doing something crazy advanced, don’t feel any pressure to match them. Do what’s best for you at the rate you feel comfortable. If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to Staff Members or Fitness Trainers. They’re there to help.
In the Friend Zone
If you’re still feeling intimidated, bring a friend! Or hire a Fitness Trainer. Ask someone who you know spends some time at the fitness center, or maybe a friend with the same experience as you. Having someone to keep you accountable, who can either serve as a resource or is in it with you from the same level, can be a great way to make working out a lasting habit. Finding some great Group Exercise Classes and Small Group Training are other great ways to make achieving fitness fun and social.
So go ahead. Step proudly into that iron jungle, focus on you, and have fun doing the best workout you can. You’ll finish feeling a little tired, but absolutely accomplished and ready for the next session.