If you’re new to exercise, recovering from surgery or an injury, or have any health issues, I strongly recommend seeing a doctor before starting a fitness regime.
Set Small and Realistic Goals Dreaming big and having grand plans is fantastic motivation, but realistically, lifestyle changes can be challenging, especially if you have a lot of goals. Making those changes in small strides can make the journey a little less intimidating. Setting smaller goals can also help you with the planning process so that you can follow through. Instead of saying, “I’m going to work out five times a week and drink more water,” say, “I’m going to go to Zumba Tuesday and Thursday at the fitness center at 5 pm and drink three liters of water a day.” Once you hit your smaller goals, you can slowly start to add other changes to your routine.
Find Your Best Time I’ve attempted to work out at 5 am. I’m not a morning person, have never been a morning person, and have tried to force myself to be a morning person on numerous occasions. If you are someone who wakes up early and has time in the morning, that’s great! However, figure out what time of day when you feel like you’ll actually enjoy working out. Between work, kids, and life, making time for a sweat sesh can be difficult, but there are tons of online resources-with an increase in content during covid times, making it easier to work out at home. Getting in 20-30 minutes a day is better than no workout at all, and consistency can be more important than intensity. Also, making it to an actual gym can be challenging, so having some simple equipment at home can make a huge difference. I recommend a kettlebell, a pair of dumbbells, resistance bands, and/or a yoga mat.
Start with something you enjoy, then add variety. If you dread the thought of any form of fitness, try starting with an activity you like. You can add more challenging workouts once you set a base for your routine. The older I get, the more exercise becomes less about vanity and more about health and improvement. I enjoy doing a variety of activities because of the different benefits. I like lifting because it improves strength, I enjoy kettlebell sport because it increases strength and endurance, and I enjoy yoga for flexibility and mobility benefits. I try to do some sort of physical activity five times a week. Recently, I’ve been making a list of 5-15 different workouts to complete. My list includes kettlebell workouts, yoga sessions, weightlifting sessions, cardio, and long walk, and when the weather gets warmer, I add bike rides, hiking, and swimming.
Find Support From Others and Find a friend to take a class with, take a walk with your family, or get advice from a fit friend. I used to be a solo gym goer until I worked at Seattle Kettlebell Club (Now Pro Kettlebell) for over two years and found the joys of group fitness. There is fun comradery in working out with others. While getting motivation and tips from people is excellent, don’t let comparing yourself to others drag you down. Remember that everyone is in different places on their journey.
Forgive Yourself for Setbacks and Keep Going I recently returned from a week-long road trip, which included long hours of sitting and delicious food. After unpacking and resting, I found myself having a hard time exercising again. I started slowly by taking walks and doing some short yoga videos for the first couple of days before getting back in the swing of things. Instead of dwelling on workouts you missed, ease back into your routine.
Camille Borodey played golf and soccer in high school but didn’t get serious about fitness until her first year of college, where she mainly focused on bodybuilding. After college, she worked at Seattle Kettlebell Club for 2.5 years, and competed five times in kettlebell sport. She is also an ACE Certified Group Fitness Instructor. These days she enjoys kettlebells, weightlifting, and yoga.