Hey everyone! We’ve all had those moments in which we get extremely motivated to go to the gym (maybe it’s from a trip to the Doctor’s office or maybe just a Nike commercial), but we decide that it’s finally time to get in shape. However, after that initial kick, most people lose the motivation and determination to keep exercising, and they quickly fall off track. This post will provide 3 tips for beginners to make exercise seem a little less daunting until it quickly becomes a habit you can’t seem to shake.
Start with 2 days of exercise per week and work your way up from there. One of the biggest excuses people provide for skipping workouts is not having time. While this could arguably be a lack of proper prioritizing, there are plenty of days when fitting in a workout really does seem impossible. So, start with two days a week that you think you’ll be able to fit it in. Commit to those days.
If you’re only working out two days a week, focus on total body circuits that burn more calories (if weight loss/functional fitness is your goal). If you’re trying to work on strength, you may need to work out more than that. But in the beginning, get your body accustomed to working hard and sweating. Get comfortable with being uncomfortable.
Modify your exercises and don’t set yourself up for failure. If you start your first day trying to run miles, complete a ton of burpees, and finish extremely high intensity circuits, you’re going to be frustrated by how immensely challenging it seems. It will seem too hard and virtually impossible to ever finish. And you’ll probably quit. Now this doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t be pushing yourself, but it does mean that you need to set yourself up for success. Success will encourage you and motivate you to keep going.
For example, while watching a Bootcamp today, the clients were performing elevated push-ups against a barbell for one minute instead of traditional push-ups on the ground. The trainer explained that push-ups are typically a really challenging exercise for most people, and elevated push-ups are easier for people to do. If he had told them to do a minute of regular push-ups, they would’ve spent half the time laying on the floor trying to gather the strength for the next exercise. Providing that modification kept them moving for a full minute in the circuit.
Fun fact: If you’re struggling with push-ups, try elevated push ups as a modification instead of placing your knees on the ground. The elevated push-up allows you to keep your back straight and engage your core.
Remember that you won’t see results immediately. We’re all guilty of checking out our abs after a workout, hoping to see incredible definition that wasn’t there an hour before. But we KNOW that change doesn’t happen immediately. It ultimately comes from consistent dedication, hard work, and sacrifice. If it was easy, everybody would do it. In the same way we spend time cultivating relationships, studying for a test, or finishing a project at work, exercise requires the same focus and willpower. Whenever I’m struggling with motivation or I’m discouraged at my seeming lack of progress, I remind myself of the quote:
“Never give up on a dream just because of the time it will take to accomplish it. The time will pass anyway.”
You can take your health into your own hands and decide if the next two weeks, two months, or even two years will pass with half-hearted dedication and little change OR pass with motivation and determination that influences the rest of your life.