It has to Start Somewhere!
By: Danielle Keperling, BS Kinesiology, ACSM Certified Personal Trainer
I felt this title was particularly perfect for my very first blog about where to start or continue your fitness journey. I bet a lot of you can probably say that you have started your fitness journey over and over again a dozen or more times.
There is a difference between completely starting and stopping to work on your fitness and changing or redirecting your fitness goals, which may feel like you’re starting over. When you are not intentional with your health and fitness–in other words, you don’t care about exercising, getting movement into your day, carving out enough rest, or paying attention to the food your fueling your body with–then yes, I would say you’ve stopped working on your fitness. Or, maybe, you keep good intentions about maintaining your fitness by exercising throughout the week, caring about how much restful sleep you need on most nights, and you provide your body with a variety of healthy foods most of the time. In this scenario, you are working on your health and fitness, even if you don’t have a clear goal, and kudos to you!
I started putting an effort, a true effort, in my fitness when I was a sophomore in college, while attending Penn State. It was going on two years since I stopped playing sports and I was feeling it! So, in my competitive nature, I joined a weight loss challenge, hit the gym, started following a healthy eating plan, and never looked back. Fast forward 15 years and here I am…still working on my fitness!
With fitness there’s no ultimate end goal. I guess it could feel like a hamster wheel, but I hope not! That would mean there’s zero change. I probably make several goals a year for me to achieve, whether it’s something new to train for, reaching a PR, improve body composition, rehabilitate or increase muscle strength, or whatever else that would make me happy, healthy, and feel alive! Just because you have a new goal for yourself does not mean you have failed. It does not mean that you’ve “stopped” your fitness. Our bodies adapt, and sometimes our regular workout routine becomes stagnant, or suddenly weight starts creeping on even if you didn’t change your eating and exercising habits. It means you got comfortable, and when you’re comfortable, that’s when you could feel like you’re on that hamster wheel–not growing emotionally because you are not being challenged, not growing physically because now you’re gaining weight, and there could be other areas in your life that you’re just cruising on by–possibly missing some really important things. It’s really important to tune in to your body, give it what it needs, and don’t just go through the motions. But, that’s another conversation for another day!
Whether you’re new to adopting a regular fitness plan in your life, or you feel like you’re hitting the reset button once again, it’s okay to start or restart. If you have no idea where to begin, start holding yourself accountable to dedicated days when you’re going to exercise (walk, take a class, workout with a buddy, do squats, sit-ups & push-ups), I don’t care, but do something. Do something you enjoy to keep in your life, so you never have to stop working on your fitness ever again, you just may need to create new goals. Restart by signing up for a challenge (create your own challenge or find something at your local gym or online). The best way to adhere to any new goal is to hold yourself accountable. Write it down, tell co-workers, friends or family. Get excited about this new goal and embrace this change because whatever it is, it’s giving you that spark, that fire. It’s going to change you for the better.
Declare It. Start It. Because It Has To Start Somewhere.