Start slowly and set yourself up for success.
The biggest mistake I made was exercising full tilt right from the outset. I ended up so sore it’s no surprise I quickly quit. If I could give one piece of advice to every new exerciser it would be do less than you think your body is capable of for the first week or two. Yes, it seems counterintuitive. You’ll find, however, by leaving your body wanting more you will quickly create an exercise habit you look forward to and enjoy. In addition, nothing feels better than setting goals and achieving them. Save the lofty, crazy stuff for after exercise is an ingrained habit.
Try new things!
Beginning an exercise program is not the time to cling to old notions about yourself. Seize this opportunity to soften your attachment to your self-definition. Ignore the voice in your head which says things like “Hip-hop cardio class is not for me.” or “I’m just not a woman who lifts weights.” This is your opportunity to create a new you both inside and out. A great (and inexpensive) way to try new workouts is by renting exercise dvds, searching for free online videos, or recording free on-demand workout shows on television.
Add in movement everywhere.
View your entire day through the lens of how can I fit in some extra exercise? Park far away from the store entrance and walk. You can even count lugging packages back to the car as resistance training. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Pace around the house as you return that long list of phone calls. Skip the coffee-break in favor of a fitness-break and do some office lunges! This tip isn’t a new one yet, when I was completely honest with myself, I never employed it. Ever. All this extra activity is called non-exercise activity thermogenesis and it definitely adds up to calories burned.
Realize that you are human and do have limitations.
Listen to experts, gurus and well meaning friends, but remember you are the expert of your own body. Does an activity which is supposed to be ‘your level’ feel too difficult? Is the walk you did yesterday with ease feeling too challenging today? Don’t hesitate to take a day of rest or adjust a workout routine accordingly. Fitness, like most things, is not one size fits all. We may all have the same end goal of living a healthier life, but we don’t all need to take the same path there.
Take time to recognize your successes.
Initially I spent far too much time focusing on the scale and not nearly enough celebrating my non-numeric victories. The weight loss community has created a separate classification I adore called non-scale victories (NSVs). Can you finally plop comfortably in a movie theater seat? Celebrate that victory with a night out with friends. Are you far less winded after a 1 mile walk than you were a few weeks ago? New socks or shoes might be in order. Celebrate all your successes and don’t waste precious time worrying about others or only focusing on pounds shed.
All the yammers from my video & the five tips I wish I’d had when I STARTed on my path to healthy living.
Rhonda saysDecember 12, 2011 at 4:34 am
Nettie saysDecember 12, 2011 at 4:43 am
I’ve printed this out for my fridge.
Runner Girl saysDecember 12, 2011 at 4:54 am
I liked the video better 🙂 it motivated me LOL
Helen saysDecember 12, 2011 at 5:07 am
I like the idea of softening out attachment to our self-definition!
MrsFatass saysDecember 12, 2011 at 5:12 am
Such good advice! I have given blogs and websites to members at the gym plenty of times. I think I should print this up and use it too!
cassie saysDecember 12, 2011 at 5:18 am
thanks, this is awesome… i especially love “add in movement everywhere”… i truly believe that throughout the day there are so many moments where we can add in some exercise..
Helen saysDecember 12, 2011 at 5:33 am
(rewatched the video. maybe post both next time?)
Nan saysDecember 12, 2011 at 5:34 am
Fitness, like most things, is not one size fits all. We may all have the same end goal of living a healthier life, but we don’t all need to take the same path there.
Thank you Miz.
Liz@LastChanceTraining saysDecember 12, 2011 at 5:43 am
This is awesome. Sage, well written and true.
Mind if I share this post with my readers?
Miz saysDecember 12, 2011 at 5:48 am
i’d be honored!
Izzy saysDecember 12, 2011 at 5:47 am
Love this Miz to go with the vlog!
Lorie saysDecember 12, 2011 at 6:44 am
Thanks so very much Carla!
Jody - Fit at 54 saysDecember 12, 2011 at 7:06 am
Yes to the Dress! Oh, no, that is a different show! 😉 YES TO MIZFIT. So true Carla. Those of us that have been at this for many years, me over 30++, have learned so much along the way. Me, still learning & I like that!
Julie saysDecember 12, 2011 at 7:12 am
Healthy Mama saysDecember 12, 2011 at 7:16 am
Printing this and sharing with some non-techy friends. Is that ok?
addy saysDecember 12, 2011 at 7:33 am
Thank-you Miz. Will Print out for future reference and for reminders! Much appreciated.
Olive saysDecember 12, 2011 at 7:50 am
I shouldn’t need this now, but I do.
I’m trying to start befre 2012!
Wish me luck LOL
Miz saysDecember 12, 2011 at 8:08 am
Kerry saysDecember 12, 2011 at 7:54 am
I have been feeling so badly about falling off the exercise wagon, but the first tip here (Start Slowly) is what I need to get back into it without feeling overwhelmed. Thanks!
Crabby McSlacker saysDecember 12, 2011 at 9:28 am
This has to be the best compilation of “getting started” advice I’ve ever read!
And come January 1, I suspect a LOT of folks will be needing it. Wouldn’t it be weird if everyone followed these tips and the gym was just as crowded in November as in January? The enormous dropout rate is pretty good evidence that most people don’t know this stuff.
lindsay saysDecember 12, 2011 at 10:18 am
yea! now all we need is a print button to stick this on our fridge..
Helen DoingA180 saysDecember 12, 2011 at 11:04 am
Trying new things and listening to my body have been the keys to my success over the last six weeks of the Zero Excuses Challenge. In fact, being willing to try a different approach to exercise has given me the willingness to continue on with a bit of strength training — something this cardio queen thought would never happen!
messymimi saysDecember 12, 2011 at 11:55 am
The first is so important. If i had known that when i was young, i’d be in better shape today.
Ryan @NoMoreBacon saysDecember 12, 2011 at 12:41 pm
I see what you’re doing here with all these posts on exercise.
They’re notes to me aren’t they?
I see right through it!
And I’m still taking notes and making changes.
Cammy@TippyToeDiet saysDecember 12, 2011 at 12:41 pm
I love *(and embrace) every single point!
Tiff @ Love Sweat and Beers saysDecember 12, 2011 at 12:54 pm
So simple ~ So true
Nancy saysDecember 12, 2011 at 12:57 pm
Karen@WaistingTime saysDecember 12, 2011 at 1:00 pm
Love these! Where were you when I started?! Oh, wait – no internet then:)
Katelyn @ Chef Katelyn saysDecember 12, 2011 at 4:06 pm
Great tips! I’ve never thought of adding a transcripts to my vlogs.
Roz@weightingfor50 saysDecember 12, 2011 at 5:13 pm
Thanks so much Carla!!!
Lori saysDecember 12, 2011 at 8:02 pm
It took me so long to realize that it wasn’t all or nothing and not 0 to 60! After that realization came real change.
charlotte saysDecember 12, 2011 at 10:09 pm
Loved the vid and adore the transcript. And this is unrelated but I found Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders and holy crap woman, what have you gotten me addicted to?! Cannot stop watching.
Eleni @ torontohcg saysDecember 13, 2011 at 2:14 am
R is def my weakpoint! You are a rockstar sister:)
Mary saysDecember 14, 2011 at 3:17 pm
Working out always makes me feel better. Great tips, Miz.