How To Start a Fitness Journey
It’s 2019 and like everyone else on this earth, I want to get in shape this year. I started my fitness journey in July of 2018 and I’m ready to recommit and get even better results in 2018. I am not an athletic person and I don’t enjoy working out but I have seen tremendous benefits in my mental health from working out regularly. My depression and anxiety are both way more manageable when I am working out. Besides that, I feel better and have more energy than I have in years. Regular exercise makes me feel stronger and more myself. It has improved my life in so many ways and I really can’t recommend it enough. Here are some things I learned on my fitness journey so far. I hope it helps you on your own fitness journey this year. If you’re interested in doing at home workouts and joining an online community fill out the form here so I can contact you with more details about the fitness community I am starting in 2019. You can follow my fitness journey in real time over on my Instagram.
This has been HUGE for me and I even made a whole podcast episode about it you can check out here. When I started working out regularly I realized how much energy and time I was wasting negotiating with myself about working out. My brain would start coming up with excuses and reasons for why I don’t need to exercise today and I would spend a ton of energy negotiating with myself about whether or not I was going to work out that day. I actually decided to start working out seven days a week just to get in the habit of exercising with negotiating. Whenever I start to talk myself out of exercising I remind myself that I exercise every single day and I do NOT negotiate. This is really hard to do but it honestly has made the biggest difference with my fitness journey. I think making a schedule and then making a commitment to stick to it no matter WHAT has been the most helpful thing I’ve done in my fitness journey.
Exercising has had a HUGE impact on my mental health. I had not idea how much working out would impact my depression and anxiety. I’ve been on a break for pretty much all of December. After my breakup, I went to my parent’s house for the holidays and pretty much used the holidays and my heartbreak as an excuse to eat all of the things and skip every workout. It’s ok to take breaks and it’s OK if you fall off the fitness wagon sometimes. Honestly, this has happened to me so many times. However, I used to beat myself up and get really upset at myself if I didn’t stick with my plan. Now I forgive myself right away and just make a plan to move forward. The truth is life gets tough sometimes and exercise isn’t always my number one priority. The best thing I’ve found to do is just to make a plan to move forward and not even think about the time lost. This works for me because I tend to be really hard on myself and if I think about the time off too much I get really disappointed and down on myself. I no longer use taking a break as an excuse to give up and quit my fitness journey. If I do start to feel discouraged I remind myself of the bigger picture. I am committing to living a healthier lifestyle to have better health and that is a long-term goal. I still have the whole rest of my life to get where I want to go and there’s no rush.
Make a Plan
Make a plan so you know exactly when you are going to workout and what kind of workout you’re going to do. I am pausing my gym membership as part of my no-buy challenge and using my home exercise program instead. This actually gives me more structure because those workouts are with a trainer that tells me exactly what to do and each day is structured. It’s already planned out for me which day I am doing arms, back, legs etc. All I have to do is push play and make sure I work out every single day. The program I am doing is four days a week so on the off days, I am planning on running or riding my bike. As I mentioned in the video, working out seven days a week is a lot easier for me to maintain than only doing three or four days. That’s because I don’t try to talk myself out of it if I’m committed to working out every single day. You can grab the free fitness planner below to help you make a fitness plan.
I was never able to get motivated to stick to a workout until I got some skin in the game. When I finally broke down and bought an expensive gym membership, my home workout program and a monthly subscription to a superfoods shake I was able to get results. That’s because I set myself up for success by having absolutely no excuses and I had invested a good chunk of money every month. Now that exercise is part of my routine I am choosing to cut the spending back a little bit but once I pay my credit cards off I am planning on starting my gym membership up again. I always want to make sure I am investing in my health and even during my no spend challenge I am continuing my superfoods shake and home exercise program. I have cut virtually all extra spending from my budget but my health is such an important priority that I decided to keep these monthly expenses to make sure I stay on track with my fitness this year. Nothing is worth sacrificing my health for. If you’re struggling to get motivated I suggest you make a significant financial investment to help you get started. Pay for a trainer or signup for some expensive classes. Knowing you already paid for it will help you find the motivation to workout even when you don’t want to or feel like it.
Try Something New
If you hate working out try a new workout. I loved watching this series from someone who had never worked out before that tried Orange Theory for a whole year. There are so many different types of workouts. If you hate going to the gym try a dance class or a rock climbing gym. In order to get the results you want for your mental health you need to find a workout that you will actually stick to long term. There are still going to be times when you don’t want to go to your workout and you have to have the mental discipline to tell yourself that you are going to go work out even when you don’t feel like it. If you’re not excited about starting a fitness journey I challenge you to try a workout that you’ve never tried before. You might get lucky and find a new passion like yoga or dancing that has a ton of health benefits. It can be awkward trying a new gym or going to a new class but it’s worth it in the long run if you can find something you really like. The benefits of regular exercise for your physical and mental health are huge and make the short-term discomfort totally worth it.
Have a Strong Why
I almost never want to do my workout in the moment. Even though I always feel better after and it helps me in so many ways I still don’t ever actually feel like doing it. I have a clear vision of the person I want to become and how I want my life to be that is very motivating to me and drives me forward. You have to get clear on all the reasons why you want to start an exercise routine and be able to call them in the moments when you don’t feel like working out. Think about the kind of Mother you want to be, how you want to feel every day or the business you want to build. Find something that means a lot to you and that you are willing to work for. Exercise gives me the energy I need to achieve the level of success that I want. I know if neglect my exercise routine my depression will surely get worse and all of the areas of my life that are important to me will suffer. Get clear on the reason why exercising is important to you and what will motivate you. To me, my health is the foundation I build everything else on top of. I know if I achieving all my goals and living my dream life won’t really matter if I am in poor health. I try to treat my health as the most important things because I know I only get one body to live in.
Exercising is one of the biggest things I recommend if you’re struggling with your mental health. Regular exercise, therapy and medication have all helped me change my life. I struggled with depression for years but was able to turn my life around by making a huge commitment to myself and sticking to a regular exercise routine. Getting started can be really difficult if you have depression and anxiety but it is totally worth it to get the results. If I can do it anyone can do it. I had to start over many times to finally truly have exercise as part of my regular routine. If you aren’t able to stick to your routine it’s OK, you can always start again. Every workout you do will move you closer to where you ultimately want to be and help you manage your mental health. Some studies have even shown that exercising is just as effective as medication for treating clinical depression (although I still take anti-depressants). I’m just using that as an example to show you how powerful the effects from exercising are on your brain.
I am not a licensed therapist or mental health professional. If you are suffering from a major disorder and need treatment please seek the help of a professional. If you need help finding a mental health care provider call 1-800-662-HELP (4357) or visit BetterHelp to talk to a certified therapist online at an affordable price. This post contains affiliate links, you can read my full disclosure policy here.
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