So you have made the decision to start exercising (or maybe you haven’t but this post may just motivate you). Now where to begin?
I recommend starting slow. You don’t want to hurt yourself or do something unpleasant that makes you never want to exercise ever again.
When I started exercising seriously (believe me I joined gyms in the past and half-assed the workouts in the past) about 5 1/2 years ago I walked at least three times a week. Going from absolutely nothing to walking around 30 minutes three times a week was a big deal. I did this for about a month.
The next month I started the run/walk practice. Just a few days into the addition of running I hurt my knee. I was able to rehab myself. After that I reevaluated my exercise program.
Running is easy cardio and can be done anywhere–the only equipment needed are running shoes and your legs.
But I hate running. And I hurt myself doing it. So I quit the running and started exercising on the elliptical.
A couple of months after that I joined a gym. Previously I had been exercising at the little gym in my work building.
I did some stuff on my own and joined a few classes. At this point I really started to get into yoga. And more than five years later I am still practicing.
I have to say for me I do much better in classes. I work harder, won’t quit as easily, don’t get bored, get a different and varied workout each time and I learn new things.
The most important thing is to do something you like and will stick with.
Try different classes and different machines at the gym.
My exercise schedule looks something like this:
- Monday: cardio/weights/abs class
- Tuesday: Hatha yoga class
- Wednesday: Hatha yoga class
- Thursday: body conditioning class (cardio and weights)
- Friday: body conditioning class (cardio and weights)
- Saturday: spin class and abs class
- Sunday: Vinyasa yoga class
And occasionally I will take a break–usually on Thursdays. Or I also mix it up. Some Thursdays I work out with friends Jenn and Monica and we basically do body conditioning.
The variety keeps me motivated and coming back … even when I am tired after a long day at work or when all I want to do is sleep in.
Do something you like–if you are outdoorsy (outdoorsy to me means sitting on a warm sandy beach with an adult beverage sporting an umbrella in my hand) go for a walk outside, a hike, bike through your favorite park. Find an exercise buddy: Get your friend, partner, sibling, etc. to join you.
The main thing you want to remember is give yourself time. Miracles aren’t going to happen and results won’t be immediate. Try different things. You may surprise yourself.
Believe me, I’m never saying to myself: YEA! I get to go to the gym! Woopie!
Afterward I am always glad I went. And exercise is a great cure for a crappy day. So is a beer or two or three. But there is no guilt associated with exercising (unless, of course, you are slacking off).
Exercise, in whatever form, is good for you and necessary for a healthy lifestyle.
The gym or yoga studio isn’t for everyone. So find what is right for you.