A Beginner’s Guide to Fitting in Fitness
This was first posted on May 5, 2016.
We all know the value of fitness. Maybe not all the specifics, but people know exercise is good for them. Knowing that I workout and run and that I blog about it and share it on social media, one of the first things a person says to me is “I really need to start exercising” or “I don’t know how you do it, but I really need to do something.”
Other comments go like this:
“I want to start running, but…”
“I need to start exercising, but…”
“I know I should start lifting some weight, but…”
“I never stretch, but…”
How does one begin an exercise program? How do you add other elements as you advance in your exercise routine? What about all the things I’m told I need to do like cardio, weights, and stretching when my time is limited?
The Mini Marathon is Saturday. Not too many people get off the couch and go downtown Indy and run this 13.1 mile event without having started somewhere. This will be my 19th Indy Mini. Before I ran this event, I was a walker, a race walker in fact. Anybody remember the days of competitive race walking? Judges and all? It’s not quite as popular now as it was then. Anyway, I walked. I ran some on training days. But my running evolved.
Over the years I’ve done step aerobics, cycling (both spin classes and outdoor cycling), pump classes, boot camps, even got into yoga. I’ve tried a little of this and that. I’ve taught exercise classes and spin class.
Running is my favorite (but I imagine you have figured that out by now if you know me at all!). To be quite honest, I don’t remember my first race, but I do remember the first time I met up with the local running club. I was worried that I would be last (and I was!), but someone waited for me. I ran on my own most of the time, but I went back to the group. More than 10 years later, and nearly 60 half marathons with all other distances sprinkled in, I’m still running. Why? I found something I liked to do. I love doing it, even on the slower days!
The number one key to starting a fitness program or fitting in fitness is finding something you like to do. Perhaps you’ve read that running burns most calories. Or that lifting speeds your metabolism. And certainly yoga helps with flexibility.
All of these statements are true, but if you don’t like it, you won’t stick with it and therefore won’t get said benefits from it.
First and foremost, what do you like to do?
Do you like to dance? Try a zumba class or DVD. Or how about turning on some music in your house and dancing for 20 minutes. Really? Could it be that easy?
Do you like to run? Were you once a runner and wish you could get back to it? Lace up your running shoes and go out your back door. First start walking. Then add a short jog, like maybe even 30 seconds. Walk again. Jog again. Eventually you’ll find yourself running more than you’re walking.
Do you have 10 minutes? Maybe 20 minutes? Just because you don’t have an hour doesn’t mean you can’t do something.
Have a lunch hour but not enough time to go to the gym, change, workout, shower, get back to work? Just change your shoes and go for a 10 minute walk. Do squats for one minute. Walk the stairs for 5 minutes.
Get up 10 minutes early and do a combination of squats, jumping jacks, push ups, lunges, and plank.
Take a 10 minute walk around the neighborhood after dinner.
If you need help figuring out how to fit in fitness or where to begin when it comes to exercising, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Let’s talk. We’ll get creative and find the when and the what of exercise for you.
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