Looking through fitness magazines, or checking out health-centric websites, you are bound to come across pictures of people at the top of their game. Runners crossing finish lines, yogis holding challenging poses, or basketball players seeming to leap over their opponents. These fitness photos can spark two feelings: the thought that this type of exercise might be easy, and the determination to try it out yourself.
These are good feelings to have, but many people who are just starting out with a new fitness routine are in danger of becoming discouraged easily. The purpose of this blog is to keep those initial feelings of motivation alive. Here are four simple things to remember as you progress through your own fitness journey.
The Fact That You’ve Started is Wonderful!
If your prior fitness routine could be described as “couch surfing,” and you have now decided to challenge yourself with something new, you are to be congratulated for this huge positive change in your life.
Yes, you’re probably quite a ways off from those pictures that first inspired you, but here is your new mantra: “Just because I can’t do it today doesn’t mean I won’t be able to do it someday.”
Beginning something new takes a lot of courage. It requires a willingness to learn, to mess up, and to stick with a program long-term. By committing yourself to a new fitness routine, you have agreed to take on all of those challenges. If you are committed and brave enough to get started in the first place, then you certainly have what it takes to see this through.
You Will See Changes and Gains Quickly
Here’s one of the best things about starting out on a new fitness routine: you will see changes faster, and more consistently than the people who have been doing it for years. Of course, veterans of your chosen sport will also see improvements, but they won’t happen as quickly as they do in the beginning.
As your body adapts to this new conditioning routine, you will be really surprised by what you can achieve in such a short amount of time. A weight that you couldn’t lift, a distance that you couldn’t cover, or a pose that you couldn’t hold two weeks ago will suddenly become attainable thanks to your practice. The feeling associated with consistently setting and meeting new goals is addictive, and if you can stick with your exercise routine long enough, you’ll get that feeling again and again.
You Get to Decide Which Exercises You like
The fitness world is subject to fads in the same way that fashion or even dieting is. Indeed, many people hop onto the exercise bandwagon after they hear about a certain fitness craze on the news, or through friends. For a while, high-tech spinning classes with dance club atmospheres became all the rage, and shortly after that, every other person you passed in the grocery store was wearing a CrossFit T-shirt.
It’s totally understandable that your curiosity might be piqued, but remember that the exercise routine that works for one person might not work for you.
This is where a lot of newcomers trip up. You decided to give it your all, you signed up for class, you bought the equipment, you changed your schedule… and then you hated it. Too many people believe this is a sign that they never should have tried in the first place. Wrong!
If you don’t like one type of exercise, don’t do it. Exercise is for you, and nobody else. If it’s not fun, if it’s too expensive, or if you keep getting injured, these are all signs that you may be pursuing the wrong avenue. It’s okay to drop exercise routines and pick up new ones. Find the one you like, and stick with that.
Exercise Communities Are Welcoming to Newcomers
One of the barriers faced by many people beginning a new fitness routine is not necessarily physical, but social. You might feel concerned that the cliques are already formed, that class instructors will not be tolerant of beginners, or that the people in the gym are territorial.
While we can’t guarantee that every single person you run into will be a darling, the vast majority of workout communities are not only accepting of new members, but are actively seeking them out. Remember that your participation is part of what keeps the community going. A new face does not mean the end of something; it’s rather a sign of continued success.
You’ve probably heard the term “Don’t let good be the enemy of perfect.” No, you won’t run a 5K the first time you lace up your sneakers, nor will you deadlift your bodyweight the first time you walk into the gym. However, the important thing to remember is that you have set out on a path where you will be able to achieve these goals, and more. Congratulations again on this positive change in your life, and we wish you continued health and success.