It’s true. The image above comes from my trip to NYC when I got to see Bethesda Fountain during our morning spent on bikes riding through Central Park; I thought that it was the perfect representation of today’s topic: fitness.
Disclaimer: I’ve never been a gym rat, never will be.
A month or so ago I completed the Bikini or Bust 2018 Challenge at Zen Studio. Upon completion, I remembered how great it felt to accomplish something and reach the goals I’d made in the beginning. Ended up loving the studio and instructors so much that I made all the intentions to make Zen part of my weekly wellness routine, and thus became the inspiration for this post. That’s exactly what I did, folks! In last week’s WWU, I mentioned that I’m back at the studio for a second one of their challenges: Summer Sweat Bingo!
With as much excitement and determination to crush this second challenge, I thought I’d offer up a few of the steps I’ve taken towards living a healthier and more active lifestyle. I guess this post could alternatively be named How I’m Starting My Fitness Journey & How You Can Too.
1. Tell yourself you can, and you will.
Write down your fitness goals, go to your local GNC, share with them your goals, and they will set you up with a full body assessment. If you’re in the Central Arkansas area, I went to 5-Star Nutrition in West Little Rock and it was EYE OPENING! They explain it all to you and even offer products that will help you achieve your goals.
2. Research your city’s studios and look at their rates.
Do they have specials for new clients? Do they offer a variety of classes? Do their promotions interest you? These were the kinds of things I considered when I was at this step. I used Facebook Events and Google. I found Zen Studio because they were advertising free classes all over Facebook. It just so happened they were hosting the B or B challenge a week later. Do your math. I found monthly rates for all kinds of studios but they didn’t fit my budget for what I was trying to invest in. Try one and stick with it, or make your own fitness studio crawl.
3. Invest in an Apple Watch or other activity tracker such as Fitbit.
I chose the Apple Watch because I already owned an iPhone and I thought the pairing feature was quick and easy. I have loved it ever since. This step also requires some research so you have to know your wants and your needs. Ever since I got mine, I’ve been more aware of my day-to-day activity. Everyday is a challenge to close my rings, but if you’re serious enough it’s becomes a challenge you want to complete.
4. Update your diet.
Notice how I didn’t say ‘change?’ Look for ways you can opt for healthier choices, but don’t restrict yourself too hard or you’ll burn out real quick! Research, research, research! I didn’t understand the basics of a proper nutrition. I started reading up on vegetarianism and veganism to learn about a whole-food diet away from meats and dairy. But because I’m strict or fad dieter, my diet has been almost the same. I cut out soda completely and tossed in a couple salads, smoothies, and veggie burgers about 2-3 times a week. Just be cautious about what you consume. A greasy cheeseburger and fries will not fuel a workout comfortably. My boyfriend says that MyFitnessPal helped him a lot!
5. Continue to encourage yourself.
Don’t let a bad day knock you down. Nobody ever regrets a workout. Whatever you need to tell yourself to get out the door, do it. I still struggle with this even though I talk all the time about how much I’m loving this new fitness era of mine. For those off-days, I give myself a little pep talk in the car on the way to the studio. After the workout, I consciously recognize that I was able to finish and I feel much happier about my day. It will feel good, I promise!
6. (Opt. but really helpful) Find your accountability partner.
For the past couple of months my friend Haley and I have been texting each other every single day about our workouts. We even swap schedules and sign up for classes together so that we can catch up. This is the type of accountability that works for me. It may work for you too. Through the challenge, I learned that I don’t need the physicality of an accountability partner, but it’s motivating and way more fun to share the experiences with somebody else who has the same goals. There were plenty of times we would text each other and complain right before a class, but on the other hand we would also gush about how freaking badass one of the instructors is or how we killed a workout. Find somebody who wants to accomplish what you want to accomplish.