I get asked a lot about how you get started with exercising on a regular basis and how you stay motivated. It has not been an easy journey for me and I’ve definitely struggled at times to maintain my motivation to workout before it became part of my routine. I went from being incredibly lazy and hating any form of movement really (I took the bus everywhere to avoid having to walk, so yes it was pretty bad) to where I am today. It took a lot of time and patience but today working out is something I consider a must and working within health and fitness is something I want to dedicate my life to. I think it’s a vital part for anyone’s well-being no matter who they are.
From my own experience I put together this list to help you making exercising a part of your everyday life. Getting started is definitely the toughest but hopefully these tips will make it easier and before you know it you will hopefully love it too. I am no way an expert on this subject but just would love to help anyone who is struggling to get going.
1. Go with someone who knows what they’re doing
I had tried going to the gym several times before I started liking it. In the beginning I struggled to understand how the machines worked, how long I should be doing certain exercises for, how many reps I should be doing and felt very misplaced.
A great thing to do is to go with a friend, family member or anyone else who already goes to the gym or the workout form you want to start doing. Let them share how they do things. They may not be an expert but at least you are under someone’s wing. It helps a lot, trust me! Eventually you will find your way of doing things and you can slowly but surely start doing your own thing.
Another thing you could do is get a walk-though of the gym with an instructor, this is usually free and they will tell how to best use all the equipment at the gym. If you would like to really invest in your exercise regime, a session with a personal trainer is a great option too. Either of these options will help prevent injuries from carrying out exercises the wrong way. You could also go to classes where you can ask instructors for help.
No matter who you choose to go with or who you turn to for help, it will really help you take your first steps!
2. Get inspired online
We live in world full of online resources where you can find inspiration. One thing that truly helped me in the beginning was reading workout blogs. Ida Warg, an amazing blogger and fellow Swede, posts really helpful videos online of some of her workout routines and they taught me new exercises so I could change up my workout routines. Unfortunately most of her videos are in Swedish but you could definitely watch still follow her movements. I later on found other incredible bloggers to help inspire me which you can read about in this post.
Instagram is also an great platform where you can find incredible people to help you keep your motivation up. I also love Pinterest, there you can find lots of cool workouts, which you can pin to your own board dedicated to workouts and health! I also love these pages to get healthy food inspiration. I must admit I don’t use Pinterest as much anymore but it definitely helped me in the beginning.
3. Find something you love (or don’t hate doing)
Another thing I’ve learnt along the way is to only do workouts you love (or don’t hate). One of the reasons why I failed to keep my motivation up at the beginning of my journey was that I ran on a tread mill for ages and ages, partially because I had no idea what else to do at the gym and strength training intimidated me. I absolutely hated it and therefore I hated working out because it was what I associated it with.
I’ve discovered with time that I love weights and strength training mixed up with yoga once or twice a week and some spinning once in a while but that doesn’t mean you have to. Everyone is different. My sister Ellie loves running and she does it pretty much everyday. Whilst I really don’t enjoy it, I can do it and I feel great afterwards for doing it but I don’t enjoy it. Plus who wants to do something they don’t like to do? No one! Make it easy for yourself and focus on what you like. There are so many cool ways to workout such as spinning, running, dance, yoga, pilates, the list goes on and on! I’m sure if you keep on searching you will find your workout calling. Going to different classes also helps you mix up your workout regime and keep it interesting.
4. Schedule your workouts in at the beginning of the week
To never miss out on your workout sessions during the week it really helps if you sit down at the beginning of the week and decide what days you are going to your classes or gym sessions. If you have it in your calendar on your phone or in your planner you will feel more determined to go. This also will help you make sure you plan your time to ensure you make it to your workout sessions. It’s not a mind blowing tip but planning really does help!
5. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself
Being kind to yourself and knowing what is reasonable is really important when you are starting off. Going from not working out at all to scheduling in five workouts a week may work for the first couple of weeks but you will quickly get tired of it and loose your motivation.
When I first started out my New Years resolution was to workout more than I had done before in my life. This was quite easy to fulfil! I thought, if I managed to go to a couple of workouts throughout the year I would’ve fulfilled my resolution. The feeling of success helps a lot. I’m not saying this is exactly the way to go but setting yourself a kind and realistic goal in the beginning to go once or twice a week is a lot more feasible and something you could achieve. Once this is starting to feel like a routine you can maybe add an extra workout day and continue adding until you’ve found an amount that suits you.
Most importantly, don’t be so hard on yourself. If you miss a workout it’s not the end of the world. Keeping a healthy and positive mindset is so important. As long as you get back on track, it’s no problem whatsoever if you miss a workout ❤