For me, the fitness journey is a never-ending cycle. Every year, I set a new fitness goal to achieve. It might be losing weight, gaining muscle, a different type of workout etc. However, there a few things that I do that help me kick start my journey every year and keep me motivated throughout the year. Because motivation is key!
1. Make sure you are working out for YOU
Probably the most essential element to any fitness journey is to make sure that you are starting your journey for you. For example, to be healthy, to feel better. Yes, sometimes it’s because you want to fit into the perfect dress or the new swimsuit, but as long as you are doing it for you, it doesn’t matter.
2. Download a good fitness app
If you are anything like me, you really don’t have time to search for workouts every day. So I prefer to use a good fitness app that provides me with all my workouts for the week. My favourite app is the Sweat App. I have been using it for two years and what I like the most about it, is you can choose from a variety of trainers to suit your workout style, it integrates nicely with your apple watch, and it has a massive community where you can connect with women just like you. You can read my full review of the app here.
3. Get an accountability partner or workout buddy
An accountability partner is vital… because you can lie to yourself, but it’s tough to lie to others (at least it should be). So, get yourself an accountability partner, someone that will be honest with you and someone that you can report to every week and track your progress alongside you, and you can help to motivate each other to stay on track.
4. Start a competition
One of the things that I find works well for me is competition. I mean, who doesn’t like to win. My friends and I have done all sorts of challenges over the years, ranging from an 8-week biggest loser challenge (with real money on the table), many Fitbit step competitions in which I literally didn’t sit down ever to ensure that I would get the most steps. Most recently, we have been using the challenges app to do group competitions on our apple watches. These competitions encourage us all to get moving, and even if you don’t win, the point is you got, you did something to better your health.
5. Follow fitness accounts for inspiration
Remember, everyone’s journey is different… but I find it so inspirational to follow other women who are physically fit and live a healthy lifestyle. Some of my favourites are @katricekeepsfit @chanelcocobrown @whitneyysimmons and @kelseywells (who is also one of the sweat app trainers) each of these ladies offer their own unique fitness-related content and keep me motivated on days when I don’t have it in me.
6. Buy some nice workout clothes
When I look good, I feel good… I love to start a fitness challenge or journey with a few new staple pieces. Aerie is one of my favourite brands as they promote women’s empowerment and body positivity. They have a great selection of quality, moderately priced workout and loungewear and almost always have a 40% off sale. Fabletics is another quality workout brand that I wear quite often. They have A LOT of trendy outfits and separates to choose from that can be worn in and out of the gym. However, they are a little on the pricey side and require a monthly membership (but you can skip the months you aren’t interested). Lastly, Old Navy also has some super cute and very affordable workout clothes and good quality, too (look out for the 50% off sale)!
7. Track your progress
Tracking your progress is so important. But, it’s not always about losing weight. Sometimes you may have goals to “grow a bigger butt or do 20 pull-ups”. So, I usually take photos at the beginning and measure inches depending on my goals. If I am trying to lose weight, I also track how much I weigh, but I try to only weigh myself once a week at the same time, so I don’t focus on just the numbers… because weight is only half the battle. I take photos every 4-6 weeks to see my progress, you’d be surprised how your body changes in that time frame when you are consistent. I also track my progress through my Apple Watch – I know fitness trackers aren’t for everyone. But, I thrive off of closing my rings or winning badges and awards.
8. If you eat it write it
At least for the first few weeks, try and record what you eat and when. There are a lot of great apps that can help you do this, but I use My Fitness Pal. As they say, diet is 80% of it, and it’s essential that if you want to lose weight, you have to consume fewer calories than you burn. That doesn’t mean you have to eat cotton balls and carrots. It just means to be mindful of what you put in your mouth, and after the first few weeks, you see no progress, then review your food diary and see what you can change. You don’t need to track forever (because I couldn’t live like that). But, it does help you get a jump start.
These are the things that work for me when starting a fitness journey. Let us know if they work for you, or if you have other tips that you want to share in the comments below.