5 Things I Have Learned on My Path to Fitness

So I have worked out for years and have often taken two steps forward and 3 steps back! I have learned there are things that work and things that well… you should avoid as much as possible!

Since teaching tons of fitness classes these past 17+ years, I have learned some things that can make starting out much easier! Much of this is from personal experience and from working with many in classes!

5 things to consider when starting your fitness journey!

Number 1-Don’t Do Too Much at the Beginning:

When you start an exercise program don’t workout like you’ve been doing it for years and are advanced. This only results in injuries and soreness that can be discouraging and delay you even more. As an instructor I often see class participants get injuries in their feet and knees when they jump in and do too much at first!
To avoid this, try these things:
Let the instructor know you are just starting out and need some beginner options. If you are working out on your own, start by walking and light weights. Try lower impact options in classes or videos. Wear good shoes and comfortable workout clothes! Don’t eat right before exercising! If you’ve exercised in the past and have been off for a while-don’t jump right back in where you were, ease into it! Maybe buy a few sessions with a trainer!

Number 2-Choose the Right Workout:

Decide what your goals are first!

If you want to be more flexible then you might want to choose yoga or a stretching class and not a Crossfit workout! If you want to get stronger I wouldn’t choose a step aerobic class!

Think what your goals are and work towards that! If you have a physical limitation take that into consideration as well. If you have rheumatoid arthritis starting a high impact fitness program might not be a good choice, but a low impact class may be.

And ALWAYS talk to your doctor and make sure you know if you have some limitations!

Number 3-Don’t Workout Injured-Maybe:

So this is a “maybe” because there are times when your doctor will say you can workout but per their limits!

Recently I sprained some tendons in my foot. I put off going to the doctor and made myself, “get by”. Then it became chronic and was considered tendonitis. I finally went to the doctor, had a cortisone shot and was put in a boot for a week. I was also told to limit my “impact” for 6 weeks-so I was allowed to do cardio on a bike or swim-just no running. Guess what I did it! I listened. I was completely healed when I went back at 6 weeks!

So, there are times when you can continue to workout but may have to modify it!

If your doctor tells you to lay off exercise, then listen! Let your body heal!

Number 4-Watch the Weather:

Are you sensitive to heat or cold?

Do you have a health condition that makes heat or cold a health threat? There are specific conditions that can be impacted by the temperature! Asthma, sjogrens, some skin conditions as well as blood pressure can be problematic in different temperature situations!

Always check with your doctor!

Number 5-Listen to Your Body:

If you’re tired or sick- rest!

If you’re sore, take a break. Take necessary steps to recover possibly by taking a epsom salt bath or by getting a massage.

Sleep is the number one recovery tool you can do! When you sleep your body repairs and heals itself! Try for 7-8 hours a night if you can!

Your body often needs two to three days off from exercise to recover each week. Whether its mixed in between workout days or consecutive days. You need to let your body rest and recover!

I think this is the biggest lesson I have had to learn! I have suffered many overuse injuries due to not resting!

So What about You?

If you are considering starting a workout routine or have been off for a while, please take some of these things into consideration!

If you are thinking about starting to workout- What type of exercise are you interested in? What are some of your goals?

If you’ve exercised in the past but had to take some time off due to sickness or injury- When do you plan to start working out again?

Just remember fitness is a journey NOT a destination!

Its taking small steps that add up to health!