by Abby Ng
Still trying to get rid of some holiday pounds? Struggling to bring yourself to the gym after all the New Year’s celebrations? Incorporating fitness into your daily routine could be daunting for beginners. It’s normal to feel intimidated by regulars when you enter the gym or any workout studio. But the people we see as pros started from where we are now too. Here are some suggested first steps on how to start and enjoy your fitness journey:
- Proper mindset: This is probably one of the most common pieces of advice but it is not one to be overlooked. It might be a struggle to get into the right headspace especially when in a sour mood or when you had a long day at work. But think of exercise as an escape or perhaps a way you can take care for your body rather than another task to check off your to-do list.
- Find what works for you: There are so many workouts to choose from: weightlifting, yoga, boxing, spinning, crossfit, and so much more. As varied as these choices are, there may be workouts that are just a big no-no for you and that’s completely fine. What works for some may not always work for you. So feel free to try different workouts to find what you are most comfortable with and work on it from there. Just make sure you create a workout routine with guidance from a professional to make sure you are not overworking yourself.
- Find a workout partner: Going to the gym alone for the first time can be a nerve-wracking experience. A workout partner can help ease you into something alien to you and make you more comfortable. You can follow partner workouts in the gym to make your sessions more productive and fun. You can also join classes that appeal to you and next thing you know, you’re a regular!
- Slowly but surely: There might be a bit of pressure to dive into more advanced workouts to not feel left behind, but is that what’s best for your body? Lack of sleep and proper nutrition can make you groggy and unprepared for an intense workout. In that case, listen to your body and rest or opt for a light workout instead. This can also prevent injury especially in the gym. Proper form is always better than heavy weights, so make sure you can do a certain weight smoothly before moving on to heavier ones.
- Eat eat eat! : Whether it’s weight loss, muscle gain, or maintenance that you want for your body, eating will always play an important role in achieving your fitness goals. Do not deprive yourself of food just to shed a few pounds because that will only mess up your metabolism. Instead, eat a balanced diet and try to get a good amount of carbs, protein, and fats in every day. Eating will keep you healthy and active.
- Manage expectations: Goal setting is important in your fitness journey, but do not expect results overnight. Working on your body takes plenty of time and effort because it is so much more than just exercise. You should pay attention to your diet, rest periods, and stress levels as well because they affect your body just as much!
It is not always about the ideal weight or the ideal physique, but how you feel about yourself. Our bodies are built differently and have different needs. Experiment not just with workouts but with diets that are healthy and can keep you energized and focused. Set realistic goals and remember that your fitness journey is not a competition. If you gain a few pounds over a stressful week, that’s okay. What’s great about our bodies is how they can change and adapt to what we do. Once you go back to regular programming, you’ll be back in shape in no time!
“Work out because you love your body, not because you hate it.” – Anonymous