While summer is right around the corner and you might be getting ready to rock that swimsuit, any day of the year is a good day to make good health and fitness a priority in your life. However, if working out is a new avenue for you or if you are getting back into the swing of things after a long hiatus, starting a fitness regime can feel like a daunting task. Here are four secrets to ensure that your fitness journey ends in success and that you enjoy the ride in the meantime.
1. Pick an appropriate activity
That intense boot camp class or that program at the CrossFit studio will surely get you “ripped” in no time at all, right? They may, perhaps, if you enjoy these types of programs. However, if they feel more like sessions of torture and misery, you are less likely to stick with the regimen or want to incorporate it permanently into your lifestyle. Similarly, if you were new to working out, you might get so sore because your body is not used to such strenuous activity that you have to take more rest time then anticipated. It becomes easy to quit when you start to feel so defeated.
While it’s always good to push yourself, it is also important to choose a program that is not only appropriate for your fitness level but that you actually enjoy. Pilates, dance, aerobics, or even hiking where you can enjoy the scenery as you move, can be great starting activities. You can always work your way up to more challenging workouts.
2. Dress for the occasion
Besides being comfortable with the type of workout that you are doing, you should also be comfortable in what you are wearing to do it. Chafing, especially that which occurs between the thighs, can be a common occurrence if you wear the wrong type of clothing. Chafing can leave you with a very painful rash that makes it too uncomfortable to continue your exercise plan until it heals. Make sure that you don breathable fabric when exercising. All parts of your outfit should provide support. Compression leggings can be especially helpful for those with large or muscular thighs. You can also find shorts in special non-chafing fabrics. A stylish workout outfit can also do wonders for your confidence.
3. Get others in on the action
If you exercise alone and decide to cancel a session, it does not really feel like you are breaking any serious plans. If you work out with a friend, however, when you cancel your workouts you are also canceling your plans with your friend. Besides holding you accountable and making the experience more fun, an exercise buddy will help push you in a positive way, commiserate with you when the going is tough, and share your joy when you begin to feel results.
If you have children, get them involved in your workouts. See if your gym has a child care area or even allows children to come to class with you. Many exercise programs can be done outdoors if weather permits, so children can get active too. If they are old enough, they can even try the workouts with you. By making your family a part of your fitness routine, you do not have to skip sessions because you cannot get childcare and you are helping them to develop healthy habits for life.
4. Make an appointment
Well, it might sound like a good idea to go for that run after work or just stop at the gym on your way home, but sometimes it is hard to muster up the self-discipline to actually do so. Group fitness classes, meetups, or even sessions with a personal trainer, all have a planned time and place and last for a fixed amount of time. As long as you coordinate it with your schedule, you can’t really cheat when it comes to the time and content of the workouts. Many of these group fitness activities are actually really fun and addictive. You will also see many of the same faces each time. This makes it easy to meet that perfect workout buddy even if you begin the program alone.
Finally, one of the most important things to remember is to never give up. Whether you were new to exercising or you were returning to it after taking a long break, the beginning can feel like quite an adjustment. Follow these tips to make your fitness journey enjoyable and rewarding. Just when you think that you will never get used to this fitness lifestyle, you will be wondering how you ever lived without it.