How to start working out when…
…you’ve never worked out before
…you just got back from a vacay where you didn’t work out and now you need some motivation
…you’re coming back from an injury
…you want to go harder/more intense
…you used to work out and then got too busy and now you want to start again
There are so many reasons why you might need to start up again. Whatever your situation, I’ve got you covered babe.
Take BEFORE shots
Whether you’re about to start your first workout or your 500th, if you’re planning on shaking up your normal routine, I suggest taking a ‘before’ shot for tracking progress and making goals.
So throw on that bathing suit or sports bra and pair of shorts, and snap away!
Aim for natural lighting, straight on shots, and don’t forget to smile 😉
Ease into it
There’s no one-size-fits-all when it learning how to start working out. That’s why there are so many options available, but I totally get that sometimes it seems SO overwhelming.
Between gyms, studios, apps, boutique classes, and trainers’ programs, it’s hard to know what will WORK FOR YOU.
If you’re new to working out or haven’t in a while, EASE INTO IT and KEEP IT SIMPLE.
There’s nothing worse than taking on too much, too fast. I don’t expect you to go from sitting on the couch tonight to running a 5K tomorrow—so don’t expect that from yourself either. That’s just asking for an injury!
If you’re goal is to start pushing yourself a little bit harder, the same rules apply. Up the weights on movements you’re already comfortable with. Breathe. Focus on form.
Choose activities you enjoy, but still include these two things:
When you learn how to start working out, a balanced workout program includes strength training and cardio.
Whether you’re a cardio bunny or a gym rat (who doesn’t love to compare themselves to rodents?) —you need to learn to love them both.
Let’s start with cardio. There are literally endless options:
- Show off your dance moves in a Zumba class
- Pull out that old jump rope you used as a kid
- A fast-paced walk/bike ride around the city counts!
Now, let’s talk weights. Start with simple exercises that use bodyweight, dumbbells, and resistance bands.
It’s all about balance—if you’re running 2 days a week, make sure you’re lifting at least 2 days.
Respect your body and its abilities, as well as its limitations.
If working out is new to you, you’re going to have to get used to the fact that you won’t be able to do everything all the way, right away.
There’s a fine line between pushing yourself and hurting yourself. As soon as you start to feel a slip in form or experience any sharp pains – modify.
Only you know your body and what it can and can’t do. Not to mention, modifying a movement because you’re not strong enough RIGHT NOW just gives you a goal to work towards.
There are a ton of ways to progress and build up to an exercise, including the always-killer tricep push up.
Warm Up/Cool Down/Stretch/Rest
Sometimes we can get so pumped for a workout that we jump in straight away—but that isn’t going to work for you long term.
Need inspiration? Try this easy 5-minute equipment-free routine that will leave your limbs loose and ready to GO.
But don’t forget about the cool down – it’s JUST AS IMPORTANT.
The goal of a cool down is to bring your heart rate down, cool your body temperature, and to relax your muscles.
One no-fail way to do this? Stretch!
I know everyone has time for this 6-minute cool down—you can even do it in front of your TV tonight.
Alright, so you warmed up, worked out, and cooled down, but still woke up the next day sore AF? It may be time to take a rest day.
Listen to your body. And whatever you do, don’t listen to anyone who says rest days aren’t necessary! If you’re new to working out or lifting heavier than ever before, you’re pushing your body in ways it isn’t used to—of course it needs time to recoop.
On days I’m really tight, I’ll just go for a long walk. Notice I didn’t say jog or run. I’m resting!
I hate to say it, but it’s so true. If you don’t fuel your body with nutrient-dense, whole foods, your workout journey is going to be a lot harder than someone who does.
But, I promise, it doesn’t have to be complicated.
You DO NOT have to count calories or macros, be paleo or keto, or fast for days at a time. Just make conscious choices when it comes to food.
To get you going, here are 5 easy diet tweaks you can start making today.
- Baked over fried
- Not snacking after dinner
- Read nutrition labels
- Minimize foods high in sugar
- Include a protein, fat, and carb at every meal
- Proper portion sizes
- Drink lots of water
Get a support system
Whether it’s a co-worker, your mom, or your BFF, tell someone your new workout plan. Or, even better, get them to join you!
The more support you have, the more likely you’ll be to stick with your program. You can help each other on days when motivation is lacking, and cheer each other on when you up a weight.
Every single one of you are part of my support system—you’re the reason I wake up, work out, and create new programs. You push me to keep moving, going, and growing.