If you’re reading this, you’re probably wondering about starting to work out. No matter what reasons you have, congratulations! As the saying goes, when there is a will, there is a way. I am going to share some of my personal stories so you believe that change is possible if you want to.
Several years ago I never worked out consistently. Of course, I knew it’s good for me but I just never realized that it should be an essential part of my life. One reason is that I got sick very often when I was young, I never developed any interest in any sport as I had too many hospital visits. Another reason is that I was (fortunately!) never overweight, so I didn’t put workout as a priority. As I have been eating healthily, so I think it would be good enough. However, as I got older gradually, I realized that good diet alone was no longer enough. Even I was still lean generally, I started to store fat around my belly. Perhaps the vanity started to kick in me, I began to feel embarrassed and worried about that.
The turning point was when I was involved in a 12 week fitness challenge. I naïvely thought that since I ate healthily, I would quickly get the result I wanted. I was wrong. After three months of trying various programs from yoga to capoeira to Zumba, feeling constantly sore from practice, I surprisingly maintained my weight and body fat index just the same. For a while, I was frustrated, but that led me to search for the reasons and opened a door for me to get to know better about training. After more than one year of trials and errors, I finally started to see some result: I saw my abs for the first time. I never even thought I had that. But I do now. I feel that I can finally share something valid, as I have been there and done that. So here is a little guide for the absolute beginner.
1. Start small
You don’t need to plan big. If you never worked out, it’s likely that you can’t keep up to your plan. Then it’s easy for you get frustrated and just quit. Start small from lighter intensity and less frequency, as you go on, you will gain more confidence, then you can increase the intensity and frequency.
2. Know what suits your personality
I don’t know about you… you might be shy, or outgoing, you might like hanging out with a group of people, or you might prefer to read a book alone. Workouts include many forms that might make you comfortable or uncomfortable. If you don’t like social activities, you probably feel energy-draining in a group class (especially if you also have limb coordination problem, heehee, I've been there 😉 ), and if you like group activities you might find running alone is too lonely for you.
3. Try different things to find what keeps you going
Many of my girlfriends swear that yoga is the best sport for girls in the world, so I have tried. I tried many times, for some reason it just never grow on me. I know it has a lot of benefits, but I just can’t keep to it. But there are tons of other activities you can do, so don’t stop there, try something else. Work out a list of activities that makes you comfortable, then try them out and rate them. You don’t need to have a great passion for it, as long as you can see yourself doing it again, keep it checked.
4. Once you figure out what to do, have some commitment
Maybe it’s unrealistic to set a goal as “I will lose 10 kg after 1 month”, or “I will see my abs after 6 weeks”. How about we simply say, let’s keep doing this activity, 3 times a week, and let’s see what happens after 4 weeks? I believe result is always the best motivator, so make sure that you see some of that even it’s small. After all, it’s still better than making yourself frustrated when you don’t meet your big goal.
Those are some basics to help you start. If you have any suggestion or questions, please feel free to share!