images via: KarenaKatrina, Sam Ozkural, & Progress Pure
In high school I played sports so practice was mandatory. In college I didn’t do anything because well, fitness wasn’t mandatory. Getting into fitness is HARD when you don’t have to do it. When I graduated from college, I realized how beneficial fitness could be, plus the extra weight gain post grad didn’t help with my confidence. It isn’t an easy road, and I still struggle to get myself to the gym now. But fitness is part of my lifestyle today. Below are a few tips to help you kick start your own journey!
Look to Social Media for Support
YouTube exercise videos, create a fitness account on Instagram (mine is @siobankileyfit), and/or join a program (I recommend Kayla Itsines’ BBG or Tone It Up)! The idea is to surround yourself with like-minded and supportive people. Not many of my friends are into the gym as much as I am, so I look to social media to gather inspiration, support and ideas. A few of my fitness account favorites are: Progress Pure, Whitney Simmons, Sami Bossert, & Sam Ozkural. All four of these women have inspirational, motivational, and educational information to help you succeed in the fitness world!
Try New Things
If you don’t like the cardio machines, DON’T DO THE CARDIO MACHINES. There are so many different ways to workout your body. This is a lifestyle and it’s only going to work long term if you find something that you truly enjoy. There is something out there for everyone so don’t give up until you find it! My four favorite forms of exercise are kickboxing, yoga, weightlifting, and volleyball. Check out your local gym’s classes and see if any get you excited. If an opportunity comes up to try something new, say yes. If you don’t like it then you never have to do it again. If I didn’t say yes to weightlifting, I never would’ve realized how much I truly enjoy it.
Dress for Success
If I’m digging my outfit you bet your ass I’m killing it in the gym. I like to invest some extra time and money into my workout attire and gym appearance because not only will I be more successful in the gym but I will make more of an effort to care for my clothing. My current go-to athletic brand is Fabletics (use this link to get $10 off). With their VIP membership you can purchase cute clothes at an affordable price, and who doesn’t like a new gym outfit? H&M is another great option for fitness gear because it’s high quality but low price.
The Gym is Only Half of it.
Ever heard the phrase “abs are made in the kitchen”? Well, unfortunately for us all it’s very true. I love my Chickfila…and Chipotle….and Cook Out.. but I try to eat mindfully most of the time. Food is just like fitness, you have to find what works for you. Some people count macros, some cook everyday, some meal prep once a week, some eat intuitively. There are SO MANY different ways to eat who knew!? I’ve tried all of these methods, the one that works best for me is meal prepping and eating intuitively. And don’t be afraid of a cheat meal here or there, it’s good for your sanity.
Fight the Gymtimidation
If you’re just starting out and don’t know a lot about fitness, I recommend finding a buddy to go to the gym with or pick some exercises you want to try and go early in the morning. When I first started lifting, I would go to the gym at 5:30am everyday because no one was really there and I could play with machines I wasn’t comfortable with. If you’re more familiar with the machines and can get overwhelmed by the crowds, try wearing a ball cap to block out all the extra activity. Some weeks the gym crowds are way too much for me, so I will stick to group fitness classes or home workouts that week. The most important thing is to not let intimidation be the reason you don’t work out.