If you’ve decided to take the initial step in working toward a physical change – congratulations! Taking that first step is often the most challenging. Now it’s time to figure out which type of exercise you’re going to do and which environment suits your needs. But before you do that, let’s establish your goals. Perhaps you want to lose weight, tone up, or train for an upcoming event. All of these goals are fantastic, but they can require slightly different training, time, and energy. Once you have your goal in mind, write it down and let it manifest into success!
Setting goals is a huge part of fitness success. It allows us to stay accountable and requires us to continue to make the right choices and stay committed. You don’t want your new goals to get lost along the way. Setting goals, creating boundaries, and keeping your support system in place will set you up for success no matter how big or small your goals may be. Be realistic and understand that things don’t happen overnight.
Once your goals are in place and you’ve created a plan that works for you, how are you going to stick to that plan and achieve your desired ideal? The next important step is picking a workout routine that isn’t too difficult or unrealistic and both moves you toward your goal and lends itself to a lifestyle change.
Depending on what your long-term goals are, here are a few things to keep in mind:
Everyone is different. Just because your friend is loving Pilates or yoga and seeing results, it doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll be successful at that type of fitness. Do you thrive in a group/class setting? Are you motivated by others? Do you need a coach encouraging you along the way? If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, perhaps a structured/timed cycling or Pilates class would be best for you. Maybe you’re more independent or like trying different things – a full-service gym may suit your needs better.
Local gyms are plentiful and varied. A full-service gym usually offers a wide range of open hours and a variety of equipment. On the other hand, a fitness center may specialize in certain sports or classes that interest you (e.g., a spin class or boxing). Fitness centers offer group or class activities and tend to be very structured. Yoga focuses on strength training which can help lengthen and strengthen your body, mind, and soul. Yoga studios offer a wide range of classes from beginner to advanced. Make sure you take all this into consideration before running out and signing up for a yearly membership as you’ll want to choose a place you’re excited to go to. Whether you decide on a full-service gym, specialized fitness center, or yoga classes, choose something you’ll enjoy that’s right for your body.
Taking time to work on your health is an investment in yourself, and only you can make the change. If you try a couple of classes and don’t feel they’re right for you, move on to something different as there are many options out there. Don’t quit on yourself. Use the change as an opportunity to find out where you belong. Who knows – you may need to buy a set of weights and watch some home videos in order to stay motivated!
Ashly Bloore is a freelance writer