It's ok to be a beginner!
“Everyone starts somewhere!” You’ve heard that saying, right? It’s true and basically means that it’s totally cool to be a beginner. Sometimes it doesn’t feel like it, though. Being a beginner at something, especially fitness, can be intimidating and cause feelings of insecurity and even fear, which can prevent you from ever starting at all. The good news is you’re not a beginner for long! So, the faster you get started, the faster you’ll be past that newbie phase and get your confidence back! Yay!
These 5 tips will help you get past the insecurity and fear and just get started!
Start Small: Kick off your new fitness journey with an appropriate level workout you can complete and feel good about. Jumping into a half marathon or long intense workout when you haven’t exercised in months or even years can not only leave you feeling discouraged but also lead to injury. Instead, choose something like a short distance run or a 10-30 min low intensity workout. Choose workouts with instructors that give modifications for exercise to increase or decrease the difficulty levels so you can listen to your body as you go and adjust your level as needed.
Find Something You Enjoy: Try different fitness styles to find what you love! OK, you may not “enjoy” exercise but it’s important to find styles you don’t hate if you want to stick with it. If you hate cardio, don’t choose a Cardio Burst class. If you get bored easy, try a dance fitness class. If you like lifting weights, choose a strength building class. If you don’t know what you like, try a variety!
Get Support: It’s crucial to have a support system when just getting started. Be sure to include your family on your new journey. They don’t have to be doing it with you but it’ll feel great when they cheer you on as you reach your goals. Another great option is finding a partner to workout with you. This can be a fun way to increase accountability and motivation, especially if they’re in a similar place in their own journey. Lastly, be sure to choose a fitness organization with instructors who really care about you and your success.
Set Realistic, Short-Term Goals: Be careful about your goals! They can be great motivators or big sources of discouragement. A motivating goal should be specific, realistic, and reachable in a short amount of time so you can celebrate it. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have any long-term goals, but we highly recommend setting a 1 week goal, a 3 week goal, and a 6 week goal before any long-term ones. Also, focus more on the process of regular exercise, healthy eating, and strength building vs things like weight and clothes sizes. With a solid process in place, the results will come! A great example of a goal would be “Exercise 30 min, three times in week 1” or “Build Up to 8 lb Dumbbells by Week 6.” Of course, your goals should take into account your current fitness level and body type.
Get Excited: Find ways to GET EXCITED about your new journey! Plan how you’re going to celebrate each goal you achieve, get a couple new workout outfits, or get a cute new water bottle. Take a moment to connect with how AMAZING it will feel to achieve the goals you’ve set. You may not be there yet but it’s exciting to know you are now on your way!
It’s time to START! Choose the day of your first workout, choose the time and the workout you want to do, and write it on your planner or set an alarm in your phone. Treat it like an interview appointment for your dream job. You do NOT want to miss it! Then, when it’s done, revel in that pride you so rightly deserve because you have officially begun and soon, you won’t be a beginner anymore!
You got this!