Friday, October 26, 2012

Just Start It

Just do it...Nike

If you have told me two years ago that I would be working out 5-6 days a week on a consistent basis I would have thought you were off your rocker. This is is something that I always wanted to do, but I never thought I would have the discipline to keep it up. "Working out" or "exercising" was always at the top of my New Year's Resolution List. Well, the only way I started to make this a habit was to actually toss that list. I am not saying there is a perfect time to start something new, but when I did start there were some key things that I did and most of it was just to get me to the gym. I have absolutely nothing against working out at home, but for some reason the gym atmosphere allows me to focus. If I tried to start a routine at home, I would often get distracted by checking my email or having a snack and then wow, I was suddenly tired and maybe it was better to just put it all off until tomorrow.

The hardest thing about starting to work out is not even the work out itself but the habit. For me, I figured out what I needed to do to increase my compliance. You can't start out doing hard core workouts 5 or 6 days a week in the beginning. It's a gradual process to build up the routine. There are definitely still days when I feel tired or not in the mood to go. However, I find I am fine once I get there. So how did I start? I joined a gym that was very close to my work and bought a new gym bag so I could pack my clothes the night before. I signed up with a personal trainer for a package of 5 sessions, and I was certainly going to use them after spending the money! Plus, it made going to the gym an appointment of sorts since someone was expecting me. You could most likely do the same thing with a co-worker or friend, but I did have anyone around who fit that bill. I joined a gym very close to my work, and picked up a new gym bag so I would have my clothes with me. No excuses that I needed to stop at home first. My plan in the  beginning was very simple. I worked out with the trainer for a half hour and would get to the gym a little early and do about a half hour worth of cardio machines to warm up. Now that I know more, I'm aware that I would have been better off doing the weights and such with the trainer and then a round or two on the elliptical, or done them separately. But I had no clue! I am still in the learning process and continue to research more all the time. For the next six months, I worked out three times a week and that was honestly the most I felt that I could do. The point is that there is no better time to start than right now. Why wait until the holidays are over or summer has started? Identify what can help you comply to your new habit and help yourself out by doing what you can to make things a little easier on yourself. When people ask about the best thing to do to start working out, it's honestly just building the habit and getting started. Rule of thumb is that it takes 21 days to build a habit so if you just start now it's less than a month away.

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