I figured the beginning of the year would be the best time to create this post because this is the time of the popular New Year’s resolution that many of us seem to struggle with: living a healthier lifestyle. As we progress in the era of healthy living, it is easy to get overwhelmed in the craze of it all. These super fit bloggers and Instagrammers appear to live the healthy lifestyle we all want flawlessly, and maybe they are successful at it, but what about the rest of us? As much as I want to have that immaculately toned physique and eat a perfected clean diet, I understand that it’s probably not gonna happen. At least not any time soon. Like many other people, I am just getting started. I know this transition won’t happen overnight, but my hope is that by the time I get to college, I will have a strong enough foundation of good, healthy habits that I can continue to use throughout my freshman year.
As I attempt to shape a healthy and happy lifestyle for myself, I will continue to share my struggles, progress, and successes along the way.
The approach that I have decided to take to this is to do it one step at a time, and perfect each step before I move onto the next. My first goal is to get on a regular workout schedule.
In order to do this, I have compiled a list of tips that I plan to follow and think are super important in order to achieve a healthy lifestyle:
1. Get a workout buddy
I list this first because I feel that it is the absolute most important piece of advice I can give. If you can push yourself on your own, then all power to you. However, for the rest of us who are not quite as strong-willed, finding motivation to workout and push our own limits can be a bit more difficult. Having a friend with similar goals as you will help as y’all continue to support one another to pull through those very real and very relatable days where hitting the gym just seems like the LAST thing you’d ever want to do. I am completely and 100% guilty of wanting to stay in bed rather than go to the gym, but luckily I have a such a great workout partner who doesn’t take any of my no’s for an answer.
Additionally, having someone who can spot you as you progress to doing more and more weight is very important. Without someone there, you will not be able to workout to your fullest potential. Continue to push each other to achieve things you didn’t know you could do, and your progress will come much faster.
2. Health first, weight loss second
I saw this on a Snapchat Buzzfeed article and I loved it. Constantly looking at the scale does not make for a healthy mindset. You could be at the peak of physical health but have a BMI that says you are overweight. Muscles weigh more than fat!! The scale means nothing.
3. Have a plan
Create a schedule. Know which muscle groups you will workout before you go. Have an idea of what workouts you will do. Having a plan will keep you from wasting any precious time wandering around the machines as you think about what exercise to do next. Also, it is a bit harder to skip workouts if you have a set schedule. If you are unsure of how to split up your workouts, here is a link with splits that you can choose from that fit your schedule best:
This will help to make sure that you cover all your muscles accordingly and do not neglect any muscle groups.
With that being said,
4. Do not skip any muscle groups
This is important. Putting emphasis only on certain muscles (the ones you can “see”) and neglecting others can lead to muscle imbalances and injury. Many neglected muscle groups are still extremely important to our every day movements. An example of a very common muscle that is neglected is the upper back. If ignored, it will weaken and could eventually lead to being bent over like the hunch back of Notre Dame. Trust me, it’s not a cute look. All the muscles are connected, and your workouts must treat them that way.
5. Don’t forget your headphones
Pretty self-explanatory. If you like to workout to music, don’t forget your headphones. It will making working out far more enjoyable.
And last but not least,
6. It is okay to start slow
As I sit here unable to really move because of my sore muscles, I can definitely attest to this one. After not working out for about six months, my first week back has felt like hell. I was definitely disappointed in the fact that I could not do nearly as much weight as I used to be able to do, and I felt a little embarrassed at the gym when I was just benching the bar. However, we all have to start somewhere. Start with what you can handle and then slowly but surely, the progress will come.
There are definitely more pieces of advice I can post, but as I said in the beginning of this post- it is easy to get overwhelmed, and there really is no need for that. Long story short, it all comes down to whether or not you want any change to happen. You will probably get nowhere if there is no desire. However, if you want to begin to live that healthy lifestyle, then start slow, work hard, take it one step at a time, and eventually we will all get there.