Starting to work out is an absolutely dreadful concept. It seems like a massive change, an incredible commitment and, overall, an exhausting endeavour. As soon as people think about it, they start coming up with excuses; “I don’t have the money for a gym membership,” “I don’t have the time because of studies/work,” “I’m pretty weak so starting out now will be too big of a challenge” being the most popular ones amongst many others. So how do you overcome this? As someone who did just that, I’m here to help you out – and you can finally start working out with a smile on your face.
It doesn’t have to be at a gym.
While some people do need the space, for others it can be quite a dull experience. A lot of gyms offer free (or extremely inexpensive) one-day trials; try one before you truly start working out there, and see if you get bored – so that you don’t regret it later.
If you do, any work out outside (like running), or even inside your own flat (if you invest in a jump rope and a couple of cheap dumbbells, that you can order online for under $10) are also valid options.
If anything, if you start working out with the jump rope, it will do you more good and will help you improve your stamina better than any cardio machine.
It doesn’t have to be an expensive gym.
If you do opt for a gym – don’t immediately look for luxury.
Sure, if you pick out a gym with a spa, a swimming pool, and other creative facilities and/or free classes it may cost you more than you’d want to pay. However, when you’re just trying to start out and get into the habit of doing things, all you need, really, is the area to do so.
The minimum is a very low bar.
Seriously. The minimum is simply just to start working out – it’s going for an extra walk instead of taking the usual bus to uni, it’s coming to the gym just to swing some 2kg dumbbells around, it’s anything that is an extra effort.
You don’t have to immediately start out with an elaborate difficult routine that leaves you unable to move. It’s a process, one that takes time, let yourself grow into it, and don’t force the impossible.
Remember to track your progress.
Seriously. Whether your goal is losing weight, getting muscles or improving your health and stamina, don’t neglect taking note of it.
It’s extremely motivating to look back and see the difference and how far you’ve come; when you start working out, it’s also extremely motivating to simply just await seeing those results.
Take progress pictures. Write down how much you’re able to do without getting out of breath. Track the time it takes you to go up the stairs. All these little details will help out immensely in moments of struggle.
Find a strong motivator.
If you’re one of those people who can’t stay motivated just for themselves (like me), then involve others, it really helps to start working out.
Drag a friend to the gym with you. Tell a friend of your progress repeatedly. Ask someone to check up on you. Make public progress tracking blog that would want to make you impress your readership. Post achievement progress on your Instagram story.
Promise some decadent treat to yourself for a week of proper workouts. Get a personal trainer or a dietician. Do it to spite your parents. Be creative!
Process the reason why you want this.
Is it for health? Is it because you don’t move enough? Is it peer pressure because everyone else has toned butts? (Hopefully not the latter.)
It is important to build out a framework in your head that would help you start working out, and then constantly remind yourself why you did that in the first place. It may sound ridiculous, but it’s true – think about the reasons, and imagine the satisfaction when you achieve it.
All in all, most importantly, don’t give up. Messing up once does not cancel out the progress. Skipping the gym because you’re tired won’t make the next sessions ineffective.
Be kind to yourself.