Between working hard at your job, taking care of your family (and yourself) and just being a functioning adult, sticking to a consistent exercise regimen can be a challenge—and the challenge only grows if you’re just starting out. Jumping into fitness can be scary and uncertain: You don’t know if you’re going to enjoy it, you don’t know how it’s going to make your body feel and you don’t know how quickly you are going to see results. All of these unknowns make it difficult to stay committed, especially when you’re being forced to choose exercise over other things you need to do. However, there are steps you can take that will help you work through these unknowns and stay motivated and excited about working out.
First, spend a couple weeks experimenting with different exercise formats. Group fitness classes (like those offered via livestream by Power For Life Fitness) are a great place to start, as they can give you a taste of a variety of formats while ensuring you’re trying each safely. See how your mind and body feel after a yoga flow or get your heart rate up in a Zumba or bootcamp class. If you start your fitness journey by choosing one single format, only to discover a week or two in that you don’t actually enjoy it, you can quickly become discouraged and unmotivated. But if you take the time at first to see what makes you happy, which may be a mix of different workouts, you can develop a regimen around that choice that you will be much more likely to stick to.
Expect to Feel It
If your body is not used to exercising and you dive right into working out three or four times a week you’re going to feel the effects. But most of the time, muscle soreness is not a bad thing—in fact, it’s a signal that you’re building muscle. Fortunately, it’s pretty easy to distinguish between the “good sore” that comes from a challenging and effective workout and the pain that signals an injury. You’re likely to experience the former as a beginner, but it’s important to stay the course. Listen to your body and work on rest days as needed, but then make sure to get your sweat on if you wake up feeling strong and energized.
Every single person is different in terms of how their bodies respond to exercise. Some people can develop arm definition after two weeks of daily push-ups, while others may never achieve an ultra-toned look. If you’ve never consistently exercised, it’s important to be patient and see how quickly (or slowly) your body responds. You may start to feel some effects, like better sleep or more energy, faster than you see physical changes, or you may notice increased definition before the constant muscle soreness even wears off. In any case, your body won’t transform in a day—and if you keep that in mind it will be much easier to stay the course.
How are you staying motivated to stick to your exercise regimen? Tell us on Instagram or Facebook @powerforlifefitness.