Getting Started on Your Fitness Journey: Tips for Newbies and Returners
March 4, 2024

Are you feeling a bit overwhelmed about starting a new fitness routine or getting back into it after some time off? It's totally normal to have a flood of questions swirling in your head: Where do I start? Am I doing it right? Well, first off, let me congratulate you on taking that first step! Deciding to prioritize your health and wellness is a huge achievement in itself.

Now, let's tackle the initial hurdles together. Maybe you're worried about the cost of gym memberships or boutique studios. But fear not! There are plenty of ways to get moving without breaking the bank. You can go for a walk outside, Pinterest ideas for body weight exercises at home or check out the free videos on youtube! 

Let's start with the basics: writing down your goals. Get those aspirations out of your head and onto paper. This simple act makes them feel more tangible and real. Next, let's make sure those goals are S.M.A.R.T. - specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound. It's tempting to aim for drastic transformations in a short time, but let's be realistic. Losing 50 pounds in three months might not be feasible or healthy. Instead, let's aim for sustainable progress like 1-2 pounds per week. Don’t forget to take pictures of yourself at the beginning of your journey so that you can see the transformation down the road! Trust me, do it! 

Breaking those long-term goals into smaller, achievable milestones ensures you have victories to celebrate along the way. Now, onto the fun part - how to reach those goals! Start by committing to 30 minutes of movement three days a week. As you build endurance, you can gradually increase to five days a week.  If that seems like too much, start with 15 minutes a day. Work your way up to 30 minutes before adding on another day. And remember, rest days are just as crucial as workout days. Your muscles need time to recover and grow stronger.

Find activities you genuinely enjoy, whether it's walking, swimming, hiking, pickleball, golf, tennis, running, cycling or joining a group fitness class. Variety keeps things exciting and prevents burnout. Don't forget about strength training! It's essential for maintaining bone health and muscle mass, especially as we age. Start with two days a week, 30 minutes each session. Start with light weights and focus on proper form to prevent injury. Some helpful tips include: keep your core engaged, breathe with the movement, stagger your stance so you don’t lean back or lock your knees and control your movements. 

Progressive overload is key to continued growth. Challenge yourself by increasing weight or reps as your strength improves. Once you have good form, pick up heavier weights. When those weights feel easy, pick up heavier weights again. You can also keep the lighter weights and increase your rep count. (Ex. 5lb weights 12-15 reps, 8lb weights 8-10 reps then eventually the 8lbs would be 12-15 reps and 12lb weights 8-10 reps). 

I also really like using my Apple Watch to monitor my heart rate, to see what zone I am working in, and to keep track of my progress. I know there are articles out there about smart watches not being super reliable, and maybe the calorie count isn’t spot on. However, I do believe my heart rate is very close and that pushes me to work a little harder or know when to rest. 

And always listen to your body. If something doesn't feel right, don't push through the pain. We want to lean into the uncomfortable but never into pain. Working out is meant to challenge you, get your heart rate up and make you do hard things, go in with that mindset. I can, I will, I’m strong!  Lastly, don't be afraid to ask for help or guidance along the way. I know there are unkind people in the world, my hope for you is that you find an accountability partner to be there with you, cheering each other on towards our goals.

Phew, that was a lot to cover! I have so much more to say, if you have any questions or need further assistance, don't hesitate to reach out. I'm here to support you on your journey to a healthier, happier you!

Yes You Can,