I'm sure that there are many of you that vowed to get in shape this year, or lose x amount of weight by summer. Here it is, the first week of February and I'd bet that a good amount of people who had a fitness related new year's resolution have given up, or at least felt seriously discouraged. I come across a lot of people that genuinely want to exercise more, and want to lose weight, but somehow they always end up feeling defeated at some point during their journey. A feeling of failure and shame always seems to follow. They can't figure out what they're doing wrong, or how come they can't seem to get it together like everyone else. They secretly feel ashamed for what they perceive as a personal shortcoming to stay motivated. They wonder if they really are just lazy.
With the vast majority of people I feel that none of those apply. If you've tried and failed to stick to a new fitness plan don't beat yourself up. There's so much misinformation out there. Fitness is really trendy right now. It seems really difficult to find a down to earth approach that meets the needs of the everyday person who isn't looking to be a fitness model, but just improve health. We're bombarded with a new, exciting diet, and fitness plan that promises extraordinary results at least every 6 months. The thing is, if they all worked there wouldn't need to be more. Yet, there is, because there's always a market for it.
Truth is, there is no one diet plan, one fitness routine that is going to work universally for everyone. We all are starting out at different place, with different bodies, and have different goals. On top of that, there isn't any shortcuts to success when it comes to health. There are, I suppose, but they aren't long term. There are way, way too many people out there talking about fitness, trying to sell you on their method that are not healthy. Skinny, muscular and built does not necessarily mean that a person is healthy.
So, how does one establish a new fitness routine that fits their needs, and that they can stick with?
*Find your optimal environment- Not everyone likes going to a gym to workout. I don't for a variety of reasons. I am an introverted person. I like to do things on my own, and at my leisure. If I made myself leave the house to exercise it would likely not happen very often. I'm also a very busy caregiver of a disabled child. I need to be able to get in my workouts as I can.
If gyms are your thing, or you're not sure if they are yet try some out. There are several that allow you to try them out before buying a membership. Many also allow current members bring a friend. If you have friends who go to the gym see if you can tag along to try it out.
*Find your preferences- There are tons of different ways to workout. Most people mistakenly believe that high impact cardio is mostly what they need to do to see results, and that's not necessarily true. Truth be told, I hate running. I tried it for a couple weeks, but I quickly deduced that it's not my thing. I also have developed a lot of joint pain in the last couple of years that makes high impact cardio painful to do, but I have developed a well rounded routine without it. The point is, don't do a routine that you dislike. Keep trying different types of physical exercises until you find one that isn't so bad, or that you even like! Once you start seeing results from the new moves you'll be even more motivated to keep it up.
*Know where to begin- Know where your level of fitness is now, and work with it, not against it. Be kind to your body. Exercise should not feel like a punishment. If you're new to exercise, very overweight, or have movement issues then you might feel like most programs just aren't tailored to your needs, and I'd agree with you. However, there is a plethora of videos all over YouTube that are catered to specific needs. I have made several playlists for different types of physical needs I will be sharing at the end of this post. I will be adding to them as I find new ones. Feel free to browse the channels of the videos I share and make your own tailored to what you specifically need.
*Work with what you have-As I mentioned earlier in this post, I have a very limited amount of extra time to leave the house alone. It's almost impossible for me to achieve, so I find activities to do at home. I also don't have a lot of money. I can't afford a gym membership, but I find ways around all of that. You don't have to have a gym membership, or a bunch of fancy equipment to get started. Find some online videos that you can work with, or purchase some. Get weights, resistance bands, whatever you would like to use as you can.
Work with your personality-Most people equate working out with getting up early. It's one way to get your workout in, but if you're not a morning person this is gonna get old quick. I'm all about fitness, but there is zero chance I am waking up early to exercise. I don't even like moving more than a few steps for the first hour I am awake. Exercising at that time would be akin to torture, I am a night person. I have tried to fix this, but to no avail. It's how my brain works. Know when your energy is highest. That is when you'll be able to feel the most motivated to stick to your routine. I exercise in the late afternoon, or at night after dinner.It's when I can fit it in, and when I feel my best. Find yours and work with it.
Playlists for different exercising needs:
Exercises for those with limited mobility, or obese
Gentle exercises for recovery or under the weather days
Low Impact Cardio
Total Body Workout