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Going From A Couch Potato To Fitness Fanatic: Where To Begin

If you’d rather sit on the couch and watch Netflix than hit the gym, you’re not alone. Unfortunately, late night Netflix binges don’t lower your cholesterol levels, boost your cardiovascular health, or flatten your abs. Here are some easy ways for longtime couch potatoes to become exercise experts. 

Start Small 

When people decide to overhaul their fitness regimens, they often do too much too soon. If you haven’t been to the gym since 10th grade, it’s okay to ease back into athletics. Instead of taking a grueling HIIT class designed for fitness fanatics, try to complete a 10-minute YouTube video. Instead of tying yourself into a pretzel in an advanced Yoga class, go to the library and check out a book on the basic Yoga positions. If you go too hard too soon, your body won’t be happy. If you suffer through a week of pain because of a high intensity interval training class, it might be enough to put you off exercise for good. If you want to create a sustainable exercise regimen, take baby steps. 

Stop Contemplating, Start Preparing 

Every January, people around the world make New Year’s resolution lists. Those lists are usually trashed by February. When you’re trying to establish new habits, one of the biggest hurdles is making the transition from thought to action. Instead of just thinking about exercising, start preparing. Do you have a busy schedule? Scour your Google Calendar in search of some downtime. Don’t own any workout gear? Buy an inexpensive pair of tennis shoes and a sports bra. Don’t let simple logistics slow you down. 

Ditch the Self-Consciousness at the Gym Door 

Many gym newbies feel embarrassed when they start working out in a group setting. Do you feel like everyone is staring at you during your Pilates class? Don’t worry about it. Think about how often you’re staring at the other students in your class. You’re too busy concentrating on your downward dog to pay attention to anyone else—and so are they. Don’t get worked up about gym class onlookers. Instead, save your sweat for your workout! 

Choose an App 

Exercise apps are a great way to hold yourself accountable. If you want to become a better runner, use apps like Runkeeper, which keep track of your runtimes, your distances, your calories burned, and more. If you want to watch your nutritional intake as well as your exercise progress, use a calorie counter like MyFitnessPal, where you can store your daily food intake and exercise regimen. If you prefer to track your progress by hand, try bullet journaling. This customizable journaling system is a great way for couch potatoes to track their fitness progress, celebrate their milestones, and stay motivated. 

Eat Right 

If you want to optimize your health, you can’t leave it all to exercise. You also need to change the way you eat. Try to stop snacking, as most popular snack foods are wasted calories. If you get hungry throughout the day, swap your potato chips for a bag of baby carrots. If your busy schedule makes it hard to eat clean, try using a meal delivery service. There are many options available, from low carb meal delivery services to vegetarian meal delivery services. 

Start With Cardio 

You may be intrigued by your gym’s selection of complicated weight machines. Before you graduate to the bench press, however, try to get your cardiovascular health on track. Cardio exercises are great for every area of the body; they help to reduce fat, build lean muscle, and improve your endurance. When you’re just getting started with your fitness regimen, try different cardio exercises until you find one that you enjoy. You might discover that running really gets your blood pumping, or that kickboxing is a great way to work off your nervous energy. You might enjoy swimming and want a custom pools Montgomery in your background to workout but also relax. If you find an exercise option that you truly enjoy, you’re much more likely to keep going back for more.