How To: Start Getting Fit

I spent the first 22 years of my life thinking I hated exercise. I played sports when I was younger, but for the entirety of my teens and a good few years afterwards I genuinely thought that I was hardwired to detest any kind of physical activity. I can not STAND running and competitive sports aren't my cup of anything, so I think I kind of leant on that as an excuse and always thought of working out as something I'd put off until I got older and my metabolism slowed down. And then one night I went to the gym. And then I went again. And I didn't hate it. And I kept going back. Now it's been over three months and exercising has become such a natural part of my life that I feel weird not doing it, and it's improved my general quality of life in so many ways beyond just physical changes. Which are also great. I almost have a butt now. For me, the hardest part of exercising was literally just making the decision to start, but there are a few other tips I feel like I can share that would help if you're someone like me who wants to get fitter but is put off by feeling a bit out of their depth.

Obviously, as is clear to literally anyone who has ever met me in my entire life, I am not a personal trainer or even vaguely involved in the professional side of this malarky. I am just a very sedentary individual who has managed to get her ass into gear without even crying once.
Please don't sue me.


Make The Conscious Decision To Start
For me it was an instantaneous switch in my mind and I went from being like "yeah I'll start working out as a part of my MILF plan when I'm 26" to just putting on my previously untouched runners and going down to the gym. You have to actually want to do it, and that's something only you have control over.

Clarify Your Reasons
Everyone has a reason for wanting to get fitter. Mine include but are not limited to...
Wanting to:
Feel like a well-rounded, capable, functional adult
Not die of cardiovascular disease
Have a routine where I go to pilates with friends before a juice date or brunch
Do that upside down yoga with the sacks
Feel healthier internally
Generally get ridiculously hot and take over the world
Once you know your reasons it's easier to keep them in mind and use them to maintain perspective and motivation.
It's also useful to identify any deeper underlying issues that might be preventing you from having a happy, healthy lifestyle.

Be In The Right Mood
This is one of my tips for pretty much anything because, as I'm sure I've said countless times before, if I don't want to do something there is not a force on this earth that can make me. So be aware of your moods, and when you find yourself feeling like this might be the time then GO.

Set Your Own Pace
The first few times I went to the gym were with my flatmate who is very, very fit, and if I had tried to match her pace I would have given up right away. Like in the rest of life, if you compare yourself to other people that's a very fast track to becoming discouraged, so set your own pace, do what you're comfortable with and make your own standards. The key is to condition yourself to see exercising as a positive experience, and that's not going to happen if you're pushing yourself too hard too soon. Remember that any exercise you do is better than none at all.


Find Your Comfort Zone
I can't run. Like I physically can't because I have messed up joints, but also I just don't enjoy it, so if I were to get on a treadmill I would want to stop pretty much immediately. However, I've found I quite enjoy things like spin bikes and rowing machines, so those are what I gravitate towards in the gym. I also know that I find slow, repetitive exercises taxing because I don't feel like they're working. I'm mentally much more compatible with something like boxing where I can 100% immediately feel that what I'm doing is having an effect. Everyone is different, so listen to your body and your brain and figure out what works for you.
Don't be put off by your flatmate doing 86 crunches on a god damn exercise ball.
Just stay on your bike and listen to Little Mix.

Don't Force Yourself
My main piece of advice is to keep working out as a positive thing, and that means that if you REALLY don't feel like doing it, don't. 
It's something you choose to do because you want to, not a draining obligation.

Just GO
Vaguely contradictory to what I have literally just said, but you'll know the difference in your heart. There are going to be days when you know you do want to go to the gym but you start thinking about how it would be so easy just to stay at home instead, and you need an extra push to get going. My advice in this situation is to essentially turn your brain off and put yourself on autopilot. Don't even think about it, just get dressed, put your shoes on and go. If you still really don't feel like it once you're there you can always leave, but I find a lot of the time just getting there is the hardest part.

Don't Compare Yourself To Anyone Else
I've already touched on this but I think it's really important. I'm not as fit or strong as half the people I see at the gym but guess what? That just means I have to do less to get the same results so sucked in, random body builders, my body's so god damn shocked I'm actually moving that it's dropping kilos left right and centre like it's week one of the Biggest Loser. I don't know if scientifically that's accurate but anecdotally it certainly is. Seriously though, everyone's body is different and if you're comparing your abilities to someone who's been working out regularly for years you're just going to get discouraged. Instead compare yourself to how you were when you started and think positively about the progress you're making on your own.

Keep Yourself Entertained
Figure out what works for you and change it according to your mood. My top 3 ways to stay entertained at the gym are listening to music, watching movies on my phone and making Fiona come and talk to me. Honestly I find human interaction makes it go faster because nothing makes time fly like a good ol' bitching sesh, but my preference changes day to day. Like pretty much everything else I've said, you just need to adapt based on your personal preferences.

Me the first time I ever went to the gym being more keen than anyone in the entire world
I'm still basically at the start of my #inspirationalfitnessjourney but honestly it's already made such a difference. I have so much more energy, physically everything is a million times easier and I just feel a lot better about myself. I feel like the importance of being active is one of those really basic things that everyone knows but I needed to figure out for myself, like the fact that singing scales makes your voice better, or how Scotland isn't an island. I'm sure you'll be hearing a lot more about my active adventures in the future, but for now this is what I've got. Let me know if you have any tips on actually enjoying exercise, or if you've tried the upside down sack yoga because I am so keen on that it is insane.
Many blessinz.
x0

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