Like rest, fitness requires planning. You don’t need to go from minimal exercise to running a marathon but you do need to start. I began with yoga, then added a walk. From there I took on small hikes. To help build muscle and make me stronger to support myself in my exercise I took on some weight training in the form of bootcamps. Finally I added a run schedule that started very simply with a walk/run routine (where I was walking more than running) until I reached the point where I could do a full 5km! Then I added to my training for 10km! Now I run 1/2 marathons and I feel good doing them. There are plenty of online run schedules if you are interested but the key point to this is that the entire process was a 6 year journey. It took that long to physically, emotionally, and mentally build myself up. It took that long to be comfortable making exercise a part of my routine and my day-to-day life.
When you consider these changes plus nutritional changes, the planning and the organization, you realize it is a complete overhaul of your lifestyle. Many people feel discouraged when they don’t see results quickly. Others are ecstatic when they lose 1 lb. I don’t feel that either are very healthy views. Life fluctuates and your fitness base needs to be strong enough to survive that.
I can use the analogy of a tree that starts off young and vulnerable. It isn’t until it grows strong with water, nutrients, and sunlight that it can begin to really develop. It can withstand strong winds but it needs time and certain elements to do that just like someone who wants to become fit.
So where does one start then? You have to just do it. Try things. Some things you may not enjoy. Question why yu may not enjoy it. Is it because it doesn’t interest you? Find something that does. Is it because it is too challenging? Consider after a few times it will get easier AND it might help develop areas of weakness.
Find the time. Time can’t be an excuse because you need to get out there. There is no other way. This will look very different for everybody but remember to start slow. A simple walk is great exercise. A hatha yoga class to help you relax at the end of a stressful week. Once you have found something for you, see if you can do it a few times a week.
Eventually, you may discover a whole world of fitness that interests you.
What about motivation? If your health is not motivation enough, here are some things that might help all the different personalities out there.
(1) If you are like me you may need a schedule and visuals. I use this form from ilovetorun.org each month to help plan ILTR_Monthly_Log and it doesn’t only have to include running. I include running, weight training and I even schedule rest days as they are very important to help you recover and ultimately make you stronger.
(2) Find a friend who will join you and support you while reaping benefits on their own as well.
(3) I run races because I like medals. The medals motivate me.
(4) Create a checklist or goal and then plan a reward for yourself when you accomplish it.
(5) Have a money charge that you put money into each time you exercise and safe up for something you enjoy.
(6) Pinterest is a great place for ideas.
(7) Check out the drop-in classes at your local rec centre.
(8) Join a run group or do a clinic.
If you are bored easily, simply search workouts online and you will get countless ideas like this one!
At the end of the day, being active is a good thing and that will look different for everyone. That will also change with time but baby steps are important. This is my favourite quote that gets me out the door on days I would rather be in bed:
I really regret that workout.