Just Get Moving
While it may seem like a no-brainer, this is the first step to getting fit and healthy. If you haven’t worked out in a while, start with a brisk walk every morning or evening. Do this consistently until you build up enough stamina to jog or run. The more you move, the fitter you will become which will motive you to do more. Small changes lead to big results!
Develop A Well Rounded Routine
For the best results, mix up cardio and strength training. You can do both in the same day (ex: 20 minutes of cardio and 40 minutes of strength training) or alternate daily doing a day of cardio and a day of strength training.
Consistency Is The Key
The best way to get into shape, and stay in shape, is to be consistent with your fitness routine. Whatever exercise program you choose, ensure success by committing to it! That might mean every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday or every morning before work. Choose a schedule that makes sense for you and stick with it.
Track Your Progress
Measuring yourself and taking progress pictures is a great way to keep track of your fitness progress. Since muscle weights more than fat, the scale is not always the most accurate form of tracking. Take your measurements and pictures before you start your fitness program and remember to track weekly or monthly. Log your measurements and pictures so you can look back and see just how far you’ve come!
Lifting weights will not, I repeat WILL NOT, make you bulky or manly. Weights will help you slim down, tone up, lower your body fat, and sculpt lean muscle. It is important for women to incorporate strength training into their weekly routines. Research has shown that weight training helps strengthen bones, which works to reduce or prevent osteoporosis. Building lean muscle also increases metabolism, which means your body burns more calories at rest resulting in lower overall body fat.
Strengthen Your Core
The midsection is a major problem area for a lot of women. While you cannot spot reduce (aka: The 1,000 crunches to lose “stomach fat” — myth) you can take steps to strengthen your core! A well toned core means abs will appear when body fat is lowered. Strengthening your core helps with balance, coordination, and stability – it also helps make other physical activities easier. A weak core results in a higher risk of muscle injuries and back pain.
Recruit A Workout Buddy
Finding a friend or family member who is dedicated to getting fit and healthy will make your journey that much more fun. You can encourage each other along the way and motivate each other on days when you just aren’t feeling a workout. Remember: Sometimes it’s hard to convince a friend or family member to join you. That should never deter you from your goal. The gym is a great place to meet like-minded women!
Practicing yoga is a wonderful way to strengthen your muscles, increase flexibility, and lose weight. Yoga can also benefit your mind. Women tend to be overly stressed and busy and practicing yoga is a fantastic way to relax, de-stress, and center yourself.
Don’t Compare Yourself To Others
Everyone is at a different stage in their fitness journey and everyone begins somewhere. We all have different body types, shapes, and sizes and nobody is going to lose weight or gain muscle the same way. Some women are naturally thin and struggle to put on lean muscle while other women constantly struggle to keep excess body fat off. Don’t demotivate yourself by comparing yourself to anyone else. Instead, focus on you and the progress you are making.
Patience is much easier said than done but you can’t expect results after just one or two weeks. As a general rule, it takes 4 weeks for you to notice your body is changing, 8 weeks for your friends to notice, and 12 weeks for the rest of the world. Give it at LEAST 12 weeks and don’t give up.