Sunday, July 11, 2021

Working Out Post COVID....Now What?

Working out is hard enough. Sticking to a plan is even more difficult. We have all heard it before, "Do something for 21 days and it will become a habit". I am not 100% sure I buy into that theory. But what I do believe is if you can commit to at least starting somewhere, the second step will be easier than the first. Scientifically, studies show that even after just 30 minutes of exercise your body will release endorphins. When your body releases endorphins a.k.a. tiny hope molecules you will experience feelings of happiness. Physically, when you start exercising your body produces antibodies and white blood cells which will boost your immune system. Socially, you will likely connect with other like-minded gym g0-ers that I lovingly refer to as the #fitfam. Sooner rather than later, and after some trial and error, you will find the right exercise that works for you. You'll pinpoint the perfect time during your day to get your workout in. Ultimately, you'll connect with an instructor that just gets you, motivates and inspires you. When all of those dots connect, this task of starting exercise will no longer feel daunting and scary. It will truly become part of your DNA. Exercise will be intertwined into your lifestyle. 

I am a fitness instructor. Popular to contrary belief, exercise is a relatively new chapter in my life. We will call it Part 2. Before I started my own personal journey, I never worked out. (Read that again). I NEVER WORKED OUT. I joined gyms, paid for them and never went. I purchased gym clothes and gym bags that sat piled up and collected dust in my house. I bought VHS tapes, then DVDs and even bought equipment that eventually was left untouched. I felt bad about myself and hated the cyclical pattern of failure. I used to tell myself EVERY EXCUSE under the sun to avoid hitting the gym. When I did hit the gym, I would walk in. Walk around. Get on the bike or treadmill. Lift a few weights. Stare at everyone that looked so fit and then I would leave. I felt unaccomplished, unfulfilled, and felt like I was wasting my time. My intention for telling you the above is because I want you, the amazing person reading this article to know that I understand what you are experiencing. I am not a talking head. I have decades of falling off the wagon under my belt and subsequently, I have a decade of a rewarding, amazing, fulfilling, life-changing journey under my belt that has shaped me into the person I am today. 

Today not a day goes by where I don't do something active. I either teach a class, take a class as a participant or do something as simple as taking a walk or riding a bike. Exercise does not need to be extravagant. It does not need to be flashy. It can be as little or as much as you want it to be. Try reshaping the way you think about exercise. The whole world has changed post COVID and you have a life-changing opportunity to take the first step towards a more healthier you. 

If I can offer some advice to get you started, it would be these key emotional strategies Keep reading...

  • Be patient and forgiving towards yourself. YOU are your worst critic. Treat yourself with respect and sensitivity.
  • Set realistic expectations. I cringe when I hear people say "I wanted to lose 10 pounds in a month". WHY? Set expectations that are manageable and achievable. Set yourself up for success. 
  • Find what works for you. You will NOT love every exercise that you try. Test the waters and see what feels right for you, Allow yourself the opportunity to explore all of your options. I guarantee that when you find what works for you, you will KNOW IT.
Now onto tactical strategies
  • Prepare for Your Workout: Pack your gym back the night before. Have everything you need in one centralized location (preferably by the front door).
  • Share Your News: Find someone you can be accountable for. Announce to your BFF, or on social media that you are starting your workout routine. Whether it is the first time you are starting or the 100th time. Tell someone. Know you are making your self accountable.
  • Sign Up for a Class: Post COVID days have arrived, and a reservation is required at many facilities. This is GREAT news! In many cases you are required to go, or you will be penalized with a cancellation fee.
I will be the first person to tell you that if you truly aren't ready, the aforementioned emotional and tactical strategies just won't work. I encourage you to do the work required to identify your apprehensions, rid yourself of your self imposed boundaries and really figure out why you want to incorporate fitness into your life. Once you can identify your motivating factor, you will have something to lean on, fall back on and work towards. Fitness motivation can mean different things for
different people. Clear your head of the above by simply writing it down on a piece of paper. 

I encourage you to share your motivation with ME. Yes, you read that correctly. 

Reach out to me for support and I will CHEER YOU ON! I am rooting for you. 

You can also find me here: 

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