Okay, so first thing’s first – I am no where near close to a fitness expert. I know a little bit about muscle formation and how diet impacts your workout, blah blah blah, that kind of stuff, but I’m no pro. However, I have gone through my fair share of “I need to stop being lazy and actually workout NOW” moments, short spurts of healthy practices only to stop weeks later, and dietary failures to know at the very least some things that don’t work.
But what does work, then? Well, unfortunately there’s never going to be a universal health plan. But there are some habits that you can adapt that will help you to find what works best for you. So let’s talk about those.
Think about your fitness goals.
Why do you want to get fit? What does fitness mean to you, anyway? For some, it’s about gaining muscle and being able to lift a certain amount of weight. For others, it might be about easing joint pain. Whatever the case may be, think about your goal and adapt your plan to accomplish it.
Do something that keeps you motivated.
It sounds obvious, but a lot of people don’t prioritize this when starting their fitness journey. For me, lifting weights has definitely been the best fitness plan that I’ve found because I can actually stick to it. Cardio is too boring for me, and with lifting weights I can see a change week by week. Maybe not in the way that my body looks, but in the way that my muscles feel and by how much I’m able to lift at each workout. Seeing results is important for me to stay motivated.
For others, running a certain distance at a certain pace might be the goal keeping them motivated. Some people might want to be able to touch their toes straight-legged. Whatever it is, keep it in mind and work towards it.
Plan your meals and cook your food.
I never thought I could cook until I actually tried. And I always thought that grocery shopping for myself was a waste because I ended up throwing out a lot of food that I would buy. But actually, planning my meals allowed me to only buy exactly what I needed for recipes for the week – so doing so saved me money. Plus, it’s nice to be away from the food at TDR – which, let’s face it, isn’t the best.
In addition, cooking for yourself allows you to cater your meal to your needs. If you’re carbo-loading, you can add lots of carbs. If you’re building muscle, you can add the protein you need. You get the point.
Create an inspiration board.
If you surround yourself with things that remind you of your goals, you’ll be more likely to work to fulfill them because you’re constantly reminded of them. For me, Pinterest has been one of the best things keeping me motivated during my fitness journey.
I’ll pin workouts that I want to do, high-protein meals I want to make, and people that inspire me. Even if I never return to a specific pin, at the very least it serves as a reminder of my goals while I’m doing it, and in that way it makes a big difference.
Take advantage of the gym on campus.
GUYS. You’re paying for it anyway. Sure, I’ll say the gym isn’t always the greatest thing in the world because it can get crowded easily, but it’s good for what it is. And most of the time, if there’s a machine you can’t find, there’s a free weight alternative.
And if you’re into classes, a class pass is only $75 for the entire semester. That means unlimited spin, yoga, and zumba, and way more til May.