Monday, July 1, 2013

How to Start Working Out

Out of shape? Overweight? Obese? Injury setback?

You KNOW you need to do something to lose weight, get your heart healthy, get off of  blood pressure and cholesterol medicine, etc. There are many reasons to start working out. More than just to have a rocking body... because that just isn't realistic for everyone. But living longer is realistic. Exercise is the best thing you can do to extend your life, see your grandchildren grow up and live a fuller, happier life. Exercise will also boost your confidence, change your body composition and make daily activities more comfortable. 

Alright. Let's get a plan together. My number one recommendation is to do a little research. The best use of your time AND money is to find a workout class close to you. Paying in advance for a class at a specific time guarantees that you will get a good workout. All you have to do is show up, you don't have to make a workout plan, hire an expensive personal trainer... just show up. The class environment will be inspiring, the instructor knows what they are talking about and you will leave feeling TOTALLY spent. Exhausted. Miserable. But you will live through it. Your body will take about a week to get adjusted to this new thing called exercise. 

I really don't recommend joining a gym... you will walk on the treadmill for 30 minutes and I would be surprised if you lifted any weights (if you even know how to lift the right amount of weights the right way). You will go for two weeks and then quit because you are BORED with the treadmill. 

Tips for starting a group exercise class:

1. Greet and introduce yourself to the instructor. The group atmosphere is fun, but with so many people you will just blend into the crowd if you don't make a point to meet her. By connecting with her, you are also sending the message that you are open to encouragement AND feedback. Also let her know at this time if you have any problems that you will need modification for (like bad knees: lunges hurt, but squats done properly put zero strain on the knees).

2. Make sure the class incorporates strength training. The benefits of strength training are extensive for everyone, but especially important for the beginner. Breaking down the muscles (yes, this requires a little pain endurance during the exercise, so don't complain that your legs hurt while doing squats) will help to correct postural issues that may arise from carrying extra weight. Building muscle is the only way to increase your metabolism after 30... so start strength training!

3. Show up to EVERY class. A one hour workout is 4% of your day. Surely you can spare 4% of your day to extend you life. Right?!

4. Change your eating habits. The way your body looks is 70% what you eat, 20% how you work out and 10% genetics. Let me go into the workout portion of that statement: "how" you workout. Walking will do nothing unless you are 9 months pregnant or 80 years old... in that case you are trying to get your joints moving, no weight loss will occur. So you need to cardio AND strength training, which brings me back to joining some sort of class that incorporates both.

Let me now talk about the genetics portion. The way your body looks refers to the SHAPE of your body. I will ALWAYS have an hourglass figure. I will ALWAYS hold fat in my hips. Thanks Mom and Dad. So when people say "I am fat because my parents are fat. It's genetic." If they ask my opinion I would say: No, you are fat because you eat too much of the wrong stuff. Your parents are fed you this type of food and raised you to think it is okay. It is not okay. We don't know what your body would look until you lose a lot of weight. Then we can say, genetics gave me an apple shape or a pear shape... or the best body in the world, but I never knew it because my parents fed me McDonald's everyday. 

Alright, I went wayyyy off topic there. Basically I want you to not have ANY excuses. Find a class that you can do: look for words like beginners, low impact, joint friendly, etc. Then call the trainer and ask questions, tell your story if needed and make the decision from there. 

5. Stick with it. Give yourself 90 days. That is THREE months of consistent exercise and eating right. You will start to see your clothes getting looser in 30 days, your spouse will notice after 60 days and others will notice a big difference after 90 days. Do not short change yourself. Stay strong mentally. Tell yourself that you can do it. Read motivating stories like theseTHESE. Put a picture of yourself (that you like) on your bathroom mirror. Whatever it takes, stay consistent. 

If you live in Saline County or central Arkansas, we have a new month of classes starting next week. Registration opens today. There are two beginner bootcamp class time options, two fitness bootcamp options and two power yoga options. All classes are $35 per month.

You can view the schedule, locations and how to register at this link:


If you fall into this category of starting a workout program I hope I have given you something to think about and how to act upon it. Application is everything. Thanks for stopping by! -Marietta



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