7 tips to get started getting fit

December 26, 2012

I firmly believe that fitness is the key to many things. We know the physical benefits of it, and there is without a doubt psychological benefits as well. Just Google exercise and depression, and you get plenty of proof. Click here for an example. Just like anything else in life…. fitness is a choice, a habit and a way of life. Around here it’s part of our lifestyle…. the fact that we are competitive athletes is an aside. Even if we were not it would still be a priority. We are just not folks who sit.

How do you make fitness a lifestyle? Here are some tips how to work it into your life.

1. Decide it’s important to you. Once you decide it’s important to you, really decide…. you will find a way to commit to it.

2. Make time for it: As little as 20 minutes a day reaches far to improve health, help you lose weight and help the mind too. We all have 20 minutes in our day to move.

I happen to workout in the morning. As a lifelong swimmer who was routinely in the pool at 4:30am before school…. it’s just how I am programmed. I find that between the hours of 4-7 am … no one needs me. If they do it’s an emergency. People tend to think that because my son is 12, that he was never a baby. Not only was he a baby he was a difficult baby. And I worked shift-work. Sleep deprivation?  I invented it. Qualified for Kona three times that way. It wasn’t the best way, but I got it in because it was important to me. Now…. it’s much easier because I mostly work from home, I don’t do shift-work and I sleep regularly. I have paid my dues!

3. Do what you love to do: What do you like to do? I love to swim, bike and run. I also like to take classes. Group ex has always been fun for me, and I have allowed myself to bring that back into my regimen again. If you hate running, I have a simple solution…. don’t run. Look around… what’s out there that is fun for you? Do it!

4. Get into a schedule: Piggybacking on number 2……  get into a regular schedule. for me it’s early morning. for you it might be that class at 4:30 in the afternoon. Schedule it out, put it right into your calendar, treat it just like everything else. For me training is non negotiable. It’s just as important to me as a doctor appointment. I also go to bed rather early. I don’t watch TV in the evening, I spend time with my family and I go to bed. I never have trouble going to bed! But find your time and get into the schedule of it, and allow nothing (aside from an emergency) to disrupt that. It’s your time.

5. Get organized. I have about 15 pairs of hot pants. They are just short black bike shorts without the padding. I also have a bunch of tank tops, most of which are men’s black hanes undershirts. I am not a fashionista at the gym (but I have some color, no worries). My point is this; on Sundays I prepare for the week in terms of workouts. I have a bin of clothes ready to go for the week. I hit the gym Monday through Friday (train at home on the weekends) and my clothes are ready to go. I pack my bag the night before so that nothing needs to be done for the morning.

My training is very organized. It’s all laid out a month in advance and on Sunday night I review the upcoming week. The beauty of training is that it’s simple. It doesn’t change much except for recovery weeks and even those are the same. Know what you are doing for the week on Sunday night and if you have to … schedule your bedtime. Then… stick to it.

6. Schedule assessments. Find someone reputable to hep you determine your body composition. It’s good when someone else knows and knows your goals, outside of your family. The benefit of an outsider doing that assessment and knowing your goals is that you are more likely to hold yourself accountable. Also… knowing where you stand in itself can be very motivating. If you begin a fitness program today, schedule a reassessment in 6 weeks. You may or may not see change in 6 weeks…. but it gives you something to work for.

7. Determine your why: This is the crucial one. I can’t tell you how many emails I get a week asking how do I get motivated. You get motivated by finding your why. There is the story of a man who was 100 pounds overweight. His daughter needed a kidney and his was the only match. Because he was so overweight he was not able to donate that kidney, and her life depended on it. He lost 100 pounds and was able to donate, saving her life.

His why…. was that he wanted to save his daughter’s life. His how… just became easier. If you determine your own why…. your how will become more doable (I hesitate to say easier). This ties back to #1 up there. You have to decide that this is important to you. it’s not something you will do for a while and then stop. That’s how you got here in the first place.

Don’t wait until january 1st. Start today. I see so many people decide to begin this whole new lifestyle on Jan 1st, so they eat themselves sick this week as if they are attending the last supper. Start TODAY. It doesn’t mean you can’t have your Christmas goodies, it doesn’t mean you are perfect. Start today. There is just no reason to procrastinate. It’s your health, it’s your life. Don’t wait.

A year from now, be able to look back and say… this was the year I really prioritized my health and my life!



  1. Happy Holidays, Mary! Getting back on the workout train – took your advice and went for a walk today.

  2. This is so awesome – even if you aren’t just getting started. I love the bit about finding your why. So true!

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