My Number One Tip To Start Exercising

This is a new series I'm starting- a weekly {or bi-weekly, seeing how it goes} blog post on health and fitness. Being a group fitness instructor for over 6 years now, many of my students, friends, family and blog followers ask me a lot of questions on fitness and all the topics related to it.

Through these blog posts I'll be answering the most common concerns and questions I get on exercise, food, diet, sleep, breathing {since one of the programs I teach is yoga}, working out, body image, mental health and overall wellness. All my advice is based on my experience, whether that's with my own body and fitness, or what I have seen my class students experience over the years. To this, I'll add scientific research and results from studies done by authentic organizations that I trust.

One of the most common and most frequently asked questions I get asked is-

I want to start exercising. Where do I begin?

My answer to this is always the same, and it's what I say for anything in life- 

Find something you love doing.

Exercise can feel like a chore. Okay. Let's rephrase that. Exercising is a chore. The only way you're going to stick to a workout plan is by doing something that makes you seriously happy. Exercise should be fun. You should feel happy while doing it, and it should leave you feeling exhilarated after you're finished. 

Finding something you love doing is key to continue doing it. All the other things like working out with a friend, paying a high fee for a gym so you'll be forced to go... none of it will work if you find the exercise itself unpleasant. You'll stop doing it eventually. 

Many people hate going to the gym. The good news is, you don't have to! There's SO much to choose from in the world of working out other than gymming. From playing a sport to attending fitness classes, to simply going for walks with a friend, there are several things you can do to lose weight and stay active. You're bound to find something you like.
To get your creative juices flowing about what you can do, I have listed a few things below that count as exercise. You can explore these and see if you enjoy doing any of them:
  • Go for walks on the beach/ corniche with a friend or your music for company. 
  • Dance in your bedroom/ living room. 
  • Clean your entire house manually- dusting, vacuuming, mopping. Get down on the floor and use a washcloth to mop the tiles for excellent leg conditioning. 
  • Join fitness classes like LesMills, CrossFit, MetaFit, Yoga. 
  • Sign up for dance lessons with or without a partner. 
  • Take up horse-riding lessons. 
  • Sign up for a group sport team- volleyball/ basketball/ cricket. 
  • Join a tennis/ squash club. 
  • Enrol in a membership at an adventure place where you can do rock climbing, obstacle courses, etc, indoors. 
  • Work out at home by following YouTube videos and fitness apps. 
  • Join a mixed martial arts program. 
  • Try your hand at watersports.
If you already know what you like, great! Make a plan to do more of it. If you don't, my advice is to try out a lot of different things- try out various classes {most gyms will let you purchase a package of just classes}, try out floor areas of a few gyms {again, gyms have day passes for sale or will let you use their facilities for free for a day}, sign up for a sport, or try working out at home. See what makes you feel the most comfortable, but also motivated and happy to do more of it. 

Once you find something you like doing, mix it up by making it challenging as you go on, and also try to include all three forms of training- cardio, weights and flexibility. More on this in the upcoming posts. You can read more on my views on health and fitness in my book, Loving Yourself In Style, available in bookshops in Bahrain and online everywhere.

If you're seriously overweight and need to start a fitness plan, I'd highly recommend beginning with a personal trainer. One-on-one training with a personal trainer can help you make the necessary changes in your diet and lifestyle to reduce your weight. They help get you started on a fitness plan gradually so you don’t get demotivated after trying to lose weight on your own. Once you have begun on your fitness journey and know what you’re doing, you can explore other ways like the ones listed above to keep exercising.
So that’s my number one tip to start exercising- fall in love with your workouts, and you won’t stop. Even if you don’t see results immediately or hit a plateau in a few months. If you’re doing something that makes you happy, you’ll continue doing it no matter what.

Whether you're someone who's brand new to exercise, or have been working out since some time, give this a try and let me know what you think.

NB: The links in this post are not sponsored. 

Until next time

Shabana Feroze

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