Friday, August 31, 2012

Fitness Fridays: Fresh New Start

As you probably already guessed, today marks the first day of a new weekly, 3-month installment on this blog: I officially welcome you to Fitness Fridays.  Today for Fitness Fridays, I came up with a few basic notes based on my outlook on what it means to be in shape and helpful guidelines for anyone beginning a fitness journey of their own.  It's not implying that I am a know-all expert, but most of what's offered is from participation in and coaching sports, as well as knowing what works for me when I'm on my own...
{Source: Women's Health Magazine}

  1. Define what fitness means and why it is important (to you).  In America alone, there are so many different sources of information floating around molding the general public's ideas of being in shape.  Most of these sources have valid studies and contributing research to prove a particular stand point, but a lot of it, especially in media, is the reason so many people walk around with low self esteem and a poor self image.  It's as if beauty has been painted a certain way and if an individual is deviates from that portrait, it's ugly, or not good enough to be called beautiful.  Whether is to release a certain amount of weight or reach your highest performance level in a particular sport, the key is to understand that being in shape has more to do with long term health and ability.  Even though physical fitness is popular, it has to be more than an effort to impress people or follow a trend.  Find out what it means for you personally and let that be your sole motivation; not what you see on the cover of a magazine.
  2. Create and constantly affirm a champion mindset.  Believe that you have what it takes to successfully achieve your fitness goals, but also develop a habit of looking in the mirror and being proud of yourself every single day of this journey.  It's no need to compare yourself to someone more athletic, skinnier, more muscular, etc. Understand that everyone starts somewhere and even the pros have failed at some point. See where you want to be in your mind, stay focused, and keep going!   
  3. Start slow.  If you are not accustomed to heavy workouts or it's been a while since you've done any sort of physical activity, it's not necessary to kill yourself in the gym for 5 hours the first day. I always notice how people, especially on Twitter, love to boast about how many miles they've run or how much time they've spent in the gym.  Realize that technique, which improves over time, is more important than over working your body the wrong way.   It is okay to start off with just a 30 minute work out and slowly progress to a 2 hour work out.  Treat your body kindly.
  4. Drink plenty of water and don't see food as the enemy.  We all know water is essential to everyday life.  The law we've known forever is to stay hydrated.  However, the one thing we can't seem to acknowledge is that food is not the enemy.  Although I'm still learning healthier alternatives to satisfy my sweet tooth, I don't deprive myself of foods I love and I don't diet.  If I indulge in a slice of cake, I'm not going to feel guilty and go extra hard on my work out routine for the next day.  When you let go of the guilt, watch how much more naturally healthy decisions are made!
  5. Last but not least, have fun!  If you are not being satisfied when you exercise, try something new.  Sign up for a dance class. Find a fitness partner. Change up the playlist.  Go for a hike or bike ride.   There are millions of ways to stay active; you are not subjected to running and weight lifting.  Whatever it takes to keep fitness fun, so that you actually enjoy taking care of yourself, do it.

1 comment

  1. Great tips!!!
    I think the problem for most when it comes to fitness is they get extremely motivated in the beginning, work out non-stop, change eating habits, download fitness apps, etc. Then a few weeks pass by and they're back to their bad habits.

    Whatever was your motivation to begin with, should always be your 'reminder' throughout your journey. If that no longer suits you, like you said, find ways to make it fun. Example; instead of dragging myself to the gym, I work out in the comfort of my home. Me and my boyfriend walk to the grocery store once or twice a week or walk a trail (I have a lot by my house) AND I love Zumba. Dancing is a fun way to workout. Not only are you exercising all of your muscles, you learn new routines and you aren't the only one looking crazy doing so. LOL


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