Becoming Fit and Strong

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Becoming Fit and Strong

strong teen girl - Girl Zone

By Lauren Delaney

As I drove up to the gym this morning, I could not help but notice that there have been more and more people in attendance. There are less and less cardio equipment options and the classes are jam packed. Of course, it occurred to me that the weather is getting warmer and with the summer around the corner the fear of sleeveless tops and swimsuit attire can motivate everyone a little bit. However, I believe that if you want to be fit and strong it is a year round pursuit. Often times, people jump in with vim and vigor only to have it dissipate come the first Memorial Day BBQ. After all they have put in their time exercising and it becomes less of a priority as work gets busy or social obligations increase.

Looking well cannot be the only motivator that you count on. What motivates me is to be strong and feel good. I want to be up for trying a new activity like Stand Up Paddle Boarding and not worry if I will be capable. I want to try ice skating again next winter and not worry I will get too tired or not be able to balance myself. Here are a few tips that I recommend if you are looking to start a fitness routine. It’s good to start small and build up gradually. Trying to do too much at once will result in burnout. Getting fit is a marathon not a sprint! It is not overnight, but if you make the commitment to yourself you will reap the rewards.

Below are my top ten tips to get started with a routine:

  1. Make the commitment to yourself. I believe that women often feel guilty with taking the time they need for themselves. However, it’s crucial we take care of ourselves for our health and mental well-being.
  2. Join a gym. It is possible to workout at home; however, if you can afford the cost a gym is very helpful. It puts up in an environment of other like-minded people and gets us away from the distractions at home.
  3. Seek out a trainer. Most gyms provide at least one free session as part of an initial membership. Take advantage of this option so you can at least get comfortable and learn how to use the various machines. A trainer is great if you can afford it and want a little more guidance as you are starting out.
  4. Set up a schedule and stick to it. What works best for you? Some people love to work out in the morning and others prefer an after work or evening routine. Can you work out on the weekends or are you often traveling or busy with family. Find at least three days that work best for you. You can add more as you get more accustomed to it.
  5. Be flexible. You will get sick or have late nights at work that derail your workouts. Don’t fret. Simply shrug it out and adjust accordingly.
  6. Buy some cute clothes. It may sound silly, but we are more likely to want to work out if we have a cute outfit to do it in…it just helps.
  7. Enlist a friend. A workout buddy holds us accountable and makes the time exercising go by quickly.
  8. Don’t get discouraged. Give yourself credit for reaching small goals. If you continue to plug away you will get where you want to be.