- . Invest in a good pair of training shoes, a supportive sports bra, and a workout outfit you love.
The best way to find the right pair is to try on a few in an athletic shoe or sports store and ask an associate for guidance—they’ll be able to make sure you have the right fit and point you in the direction of versatile shoes that are great for a variety of workouts (rather than just running or just CrossFit).
You’ll also want to find a snug, supportive sports bra and a couple of sweat-wicking tops and pants or shorts. A few cute workout outfits that you feel comfortable in are a great investment because there is nothing like ‘feeling the part’ to get you motivated to get moving.
- Start by scheduling just two workouts a week at convenient times.
As you get started working out, think about long-term consistency. A great question to ask yourself is, ‘How many days a week can you realistically fit into your life?
Begin by scheduling just two workouts a week. These can be as short as a 30-minute resistance training workout. Setting a realistic goal is key to sticking with it, and since you’ll probably be sore after your first handful of workouts, this means you’ll have a few days to recover in-between workouts. On your off days, simply get moving, which can be as straightforward as taking a walk. As you build up your stamina and conditioning, increase the frequency and length of your workouts—try to add in a third day of working out around week four of your new routine.
It’s also important to plan your workouts at the most convenient times possible—for example, if you know you’re always exhausted at the end of a workday, it’s probably not ideal to plan a 6 P.M. workout. You’ll be more likely to end up skipping it. Conversely, if you’re just so not a morning person, don’t try to force yourself to make it to a 7 A.M. class. Set yourself up for success by picking days and times you can really commit to.
- Buy some basic equipment to try at-home workouts.
If you’re not quite ready to jump into a gym setting yet, consider getting started with some at-home workouts.
While plenty of at-home workouts require nothing more than your bodyweight to complete them, you can also keep some simple equipment at home to work with, which gives you more options. I recommend getting two pairs of dumbbells—one lighter set and one heavier set, mat and a couple of looped resistance bands—and a jump rope if your back and knees are up to it.
- Consider booking a session with a trainer that offers a complimentary session.
Even if it isn’t free, you may want to consider booking one or two sessions with a trainer anyway to show you some exercises to get started with. They’ll be able to teach you ones that are right for your current skills and abilities, make sure your form is correct, and provide you with an exercise program or two.
If you’re not joining a gym, consider working with an online personal trainer. It’s often less expensive, and usually easier to fit into your schedule if yours is already packed. But if you really feel like you need some hands-on instruction and form corrections, it may not be the best fit for you.
- “Date” different types of workouts until you find the ones you truly like.
There really are endless types of workouts out there, and the truth is that the best workout for you is the one you’ll actually do. The number one way to find the best fit for you is through trial and error, even though it may feel daunting at first. Start with one you’re initially drawn to, whether it’s barre, boxing, Pilates, dance cardio, yoga, a strength class, you name it, and keep trying new ones from there until you find what you enjoy.
at the convenience of at-home workouts are better for you, or that doing your own thing in a gym setting is most motivating. Morning workouts might be easiest to stick to, or maybe evening workouts are your thing.
- Have a game plan for when you’re not feeling motivated, like an accountability partner and a pre-packed gym bag.
Even if you’re super dedicated to your new fitness goals, some days, motivation alone just doesn’t cut it (and that’s totally OK). That’s where an “insurance policy” comes in. If you need a little help staying on track asking a friend or trainer who also works out to be your accountability partner. You can fill them in on your workout plans and let them know when you follow through, and when you need an extra nudge, they can be a great source of encouragement. Of course, you can provide all of that for them, too.
Another strategy is to keep your gym bag packed and ready to go, and your next workout outfit set aside. If you’re groaning at your 6 A.M. alarm before a morning workout, it’s much easier to give in when you know you already have your things put together, so all you have to do is slip into your clothes and walk out the door.
- Most importantly, identify your “why” and focus on your own journey—not someone else’s.
This is a huge part of staying motivated, consistent, and positive when you’re first starting to work out. Identify why you’re ready to incorporate a regular workout program into your life and reach your goals. This might take some digging, and it has to mean enough to you to fall back on when you feel like quitting. Maybe it’s being able to keep up with your kids, feeling strong in your own body, or just setting aside time to focus on your own well-being.
Ultimately, fitness should be about your own goals and what feels right for you. When you’re embarking on your fitness journey, it can be easy to get caught up in what everyone else is doing. Remember that we all move at our own pace, and to focus on what is best and most enjoyable for you and your unique body.