Working out doesn’t seem like it’s something of importance when you first start changing your life in a healthier direction. However, studies show that there are multiple reasons to begin an active and fit lifestyle. We will discuss the pro’s of starting a workout routine, discovering what level of fitness you’ll be starting at, how to maintain a new routine and how to adapt to exercises that you may not be able to complete at this stage in your journey. Everyone starts somewhere, but we must start in order to achieve our ultimate lifelong goal of health. It is a “one-step at time” sort of thing that shame isn’t allowed to be apart of.
Half of the battle of overcoming the fear of a more fit and active lifestyle, is indeed, the fear of judgement from those around us. Typically, that is what stops us from going to public workout areas, like gyms. We should stop and think about the fact that the very people we fear being judged by, are not only focused on their task at hand, but they are also working on themselves They understand what it is like to start from scratch. We shouldn’t allow our own insecurities to hinder our progress. You will never accomplish your goals if you aren’t willing to be uncomfortable.
So why should you start working out? The health benefits are practically endless. Simple benefits include things like weight loss, and yes, I say that is a simple benefit because that is just one of the things that can happen for overweight beginners. It’s better than just losing weight, although that is a huge plus! You’ll lose pounds and inches. Inches are things that you typically do not notice too often. Most of the time we focus on the number that displays on the scale, but trust me that the inches we lose, ARE HUGELY IMPORTANT. You’ll notice the inches that have came off after you go to wear a pair of jeans, or your favorite shirt, and boom its just big on you now. Inches take a little longer to notice because it takes a collective period to really show.
So how do you find out what fitness level you’re at? Well, its kind of hard to give you a clear response, as this takes a little bit of personal calculation and whole lot of personal honesty. Figuring out what you’re comfortable with at first is a very hard thing. You need to know what your body is already capable and comfortable with. How high can you get your leg? How long can you jog? Can you move in consistent motion for 3-5 minute periods? These are a few things you want to know. What’s the best way to know these things? Try them. Start out with giving yourself a physical assessment. Try this assessment by starting out simple. Only push yourself if you feel that you will not cause harm to yourself. This is about getting to know your BEGINNER Physical Capabilities.
Jog in place. Nothing too fast, just to see what level of speed and consistency your body can handle for a beginner. Make sure that you time yourself to see how long you can jog (not run) in place without stopping, as soon as you stop jogging, stop the timer. Some of us can jog for 15 seconds bursts, and that’s okay, it is a starting point.
High Knees. You aren’t trying to hurt yourself, so please don’t try to throw a head-kick. This simple exercise helps you figure our how high you can lift your leg. You will simply stand in one place and raise your leg with a bent knee, bring it up as high towards your chest as you can while keeping a straight back and shoulders squared and high. Do each leg 15 times, see if you don’t get a little higher by the time you are finished with number 15 than when you started at number 1.
Idle. Idling is a form of consistent movement used by martial arts practitioners. It is the practice of consistent movement, staying ready and alert. It is lower-impact which is great for plus-size beginners, easier on your joints and muscles and it allows for you to understand what your endurance looks like. Idling is the practice of switching from one foot to the other with a hop in the step, going forward and backward while keeping your arms alert like you’re jogging. Try this slowly for approximately 2 minutes, if you’re not able to do 2 minutes consecutively, that is okay, just try to keep going until your timer buzzes.
Try reassessing yourself every 2 weeks to see if these times and heights progress as you progress. This is just a simple way for you to understand what things your body is capable of, this isn’t a scientific method or a quick fix. These are things you need to understand about your body before going off and possibly injuring yourself.
With growth, comes maintenance, how do you maintain your new routine? One of the best things about coming into your wings when it comes to physical activity, is being able to watch it grow. It literally becomes fun, a game, a competition if you will. You start to think about where you started at, then you think about where you want to be, then you think about what you can do now! It is a beautiful process that needs to be seriously maintained.
Track your progress. There are many ways you can do this now days. There are many tracker apps that not only track your diet but exercises as well. Some of these applications will even tell you when you have achieved new times and scored new records. You can also track your progress with a good old pen and paper.
Keep a Journal. This practice allows you to keep track of how you feel, as well as what you have accomplished for the day. Most of the time, maintaining something comes from the emotional aspect of it. If you’re constantly beating yourself up over yesterday, then that makes today even harder. Once we write these feelings down, they have a way of escaping us, you tend to feel better. Sometimes you need to write down that you just had a bad day, and that is okay!
Review your progress. Take the time out occasionally, to review where you started and how far you’ve come. Sometimes we all need a good reminder on the difference between yesterday and today. This will help not only motivate you to continue progressing into your journey, but also drive you to new goals and success.
Take Measurements. This doesn’t seem like much, but trust me, you’ll want to be able to visually see the differences on paper. Your measurements are important, and they will change the more you continue to progress.
So, what if I can’t do something? So, what! If you can’t do something, that isn’t a big deal, it’s no reason to give up, it’s no reason to cry. It is however a reason to adapt. Adaption is a big part of starting a routine. There are things that some of us just cannot do, plain and simple, but there is always a rendition that we can do. A modified version of what we are attempting to do, will not only soon allow us to complete the original task, but it will allow us to continue moving. It will allow us our body the time needed to make its necessary changes in order to achieve that task. The important thing is to keep going, to keep trying, not to give up. Modify the movement to a movement that you can achieve, and just progress forward from there.
This is just a helping hand to get you moving, and to help you figure out how and where to start your journey. We all need to have a clear understanding of what our bodies are capable of in our current state, that way we know how to progress further and really get the maximum benefits of working out. This list is just a how-to guide to help you. If you have comments, questions or concerns, I would love to hear from you!