Do you want to add exercise into your life? This desire is not uncommon, and the benefits of exercise are so numerous that it is easy to convince just about anyone that they should exercise. Are you wondering how to get started? Don’t worry, we are here to help. We’ve compiled some of our favorite tips for adding a workout routine into your daily routine!
Tip 1 - Start Small
The NUMBER ONE THING we want to avoid is burnout, or attempting to do routines and diets that are not sustainable long-term. Full stop! Not only does this not serve anybody, but it can cause people to digress into poor habits, and can be just downright discouraging. When adding exercise into your life, START SMALL. Begin with a 30 minute walk every other day. Or try to run one mile each day. Try lifting weights just on Saturdays. Or maybe begin with some simple Pilates and yoga in your living room. Any of these simple changes are steps in the right direction, and it provides a foundation which you can build upon later. Add in small changes that you know you will enjoy and be able to stick with, rather than choosing something that starts out intense, but that causes you to get overwhelmed and quit two weeks in.
Tip 2 - Don't Do Exercises That You Hate
Do you hate running? Perfect! Then don’t run. Running is not the only way to exercise, and is not required for good fitness and health. If you love lifting weights but hate Zumba classes, focus your attention on lifting weights for your exercise. Do you prefer to be in a gym, outside, or workout at home? Do you need a lot of variety and change with your routines? Or do you tend to find what you like and stick with it long-term? These are things that will come up during your health journey, and you will be able to discover your preferences with your workouts. Doing workouts that you enjoy will help you feel good and help you look forward to your next one. Sloshing through workouts may be noble, but if it is going to cause burnout, then you will want to shift some things around in your repertoire.
Tip 3 - Take Breaks When Needed
Sometimes our society glorifies extremes but when it comes to long-term exercise, slow and steady wins the race! If you are 3 or 4 weeks into your routine and you’re dreading your next workout, or feeling like you just need a break, it is perfectly OK to take one! Just ask your favorite fitness models or influencers. Most of them take regular breaks from their routines as well. You may not need as long of a break as it feels, and taking a break gives you the opportunity to re-evaluate your routine, and it even gives you the opportunity to miss it.
Tip 4 - Be Consistent
Ok, so we know this seems a lot like the opposite of taking breaks when needed, but we’re not talking about being consistent over days. We’re talking about months and years! Gaining weight and sabotaging health does not happen overnight, just like one cookie doesn’t make a person overweight. It’s the two or three cookies every day for months that will cause weight gain and it takes years for many of the negative effects of excess weight to manifest. The same thing goes for diet and exercise. Depending on how much weight a person is looking to lose, it can take a long time. It is ideal to set yourself up with something that you can stick with and avoid burnout, so you can settle in for the long haul if necessary. You really will not regret it!
Tip 5 - Eat the Right Foods
Food is our fuel, not our enemy. You will need wholesome, healthy and nutritious foods to fuel your body for health and fitness. Try to eat about a pound of protein for each pound of your ideal body weight. If I am a 5 ft 5 in female, my ideal body weight is about 120-130 pounds. So I will try and eat about 100-130 grams of protein per day. This may sound crazy, but going back to our first tip, start small! A diet high in protein will keep you full, it will help you build more muscle, and that will help speed up your metabolism, all while reducing cravings. Protein can do all that? Yes!
Tip 6 - Get Good Shoes
This is the fun part – shopping! Make sure you are wearing proper and quality footwear for exercise. There are so many kinds to choose from, and good footwear can help reduce the risk of injuries, and foot and leg problems down the road. Some of our favorite brands are Asics, Nike, Brooks, Reebok or Adidas. Find the right footwear for you and don’t put guilt upon yourself if you buy shoes that don’t end up working out for you. We’ve all been there!
Tip 7 - Be Patient. Change Does Not Happen Overnight
Ask any fitness guru around, it didn’t happen overnight. Not even close! A life filled with fitness and health was mindfully constructed that way, one piece at a time. Imagine you are building a tower – you don’t start out at the top, you start at the bottom. Get a good foundation and then add to it as you go along. You are the architect, engineer and constructor of your health and wellness tower.
It may be tempting to look at those people with firm, healthy bodies as “lucky”. We might assume they were born with it, or that they have a faster metabolism or more energy than the rest of us. For most of them, they have had to work for it. They learned to overcome themselves and become the masters of their domain. It is a gradual process and it requires mindfulness and dedication, but it something that anyone can also have. We all have only 24 hours in our day. If other people can do it, YOU CAN, TOO!