Updated: Mar 3
I'm new! I don't know what to do! 3 ways to get started getting fit.
Overwhelming. Frustrating. Scary. Futile. These are just some of the words that can come to mind when you first start working out or are trying to get back in the gym.
Luckily, we have a few fool proof strategies to help take the edge off. We’ll be looking at the pros and cons of three different ways to get in shape by joining a gym, working out at home, and simply living an active lifestyle.
Joining a Gym - Pros
Equipment for cardio as well as weightlifting
Treadmills, stair steppers, ellipticals, oh my! One of the easiest ways to get your heart rate up is to jump on the treadmill and press start. If you’re new to working out, weight lifting machines also make it extremely easy to know which muscle groups to train. Machines also give the benefit of mastering form before you move on to free weights.
Many gyms offer classes
Workout classes (e.g. bootcamp, kickboxing, etc.) can be a lot of fun! When you attend consistently you also start to form bonds in the community, which makes it even easier to come back next time. If you’ve never tried a workout class, check out your local YMCA to start. Click here for more info on YMCA.
Monthly fees encourage you to make use of your membership
No one wants to pay for a car they don’t drive and the same goes for a gym membership you don’t use. Although it’s very common to hear people complain about their payment and not workout, at least it’s always fresh in your mind. The dollar investment encourages time investment, which is what it’s all about!
Joining a Gym - Cons
Getting locked into a long term contract
Whenever possible we try to look for a gym tat doesn’t require a yearly contract. Unfortunately, this cost is typically offset by a large sign-up fee. The best of both worlds is a deal like you’ll see at Planet Fitness that offers $0 sign up bonus with no contract.
Feeling intimidating by all of the equipment
The first time you walk into a giant gym and look around at all there is to look at - cable machines/weight racks/sweaty people jogging on treadmills – it can be tempting to turn right around and walk out.
Here’s one strategy to get you started:
1. Go find a treadmill or elliptical and hop on. Press quick start and follow the directions. Do this for about 10-30 minutes. Note: You can change the intensity to go faster or have more resistance.
2. Find two machines that you are pulling the bar or cable towards yourself and follow the directions on the machine. Adjust the weight to the lowest setting and complete the motion on the machines description 10 times. Rest for 30 seconds and repeat. Rest for another 30 seconds and repeat again. You just did three sets! This will work your back and bicep muscles.
Common machines – Upright row, bicep curl, cable pull downs.
3. Find two machines that require you to push the bar or cable to complete the workout motion. Follow the steps above to complete three sets on each machine. This will work your pectoral and triceps.
Common machines – Pec deck, chest press, tricep extension.
4. Follow the same strategy for leg workout machines to work your quadricep and hamstring muscles.
5. Do 25-50 sit-ups.
** PLEASE NOTE ** IF IT HURTS, STOP. You should not experience sharp pain in your joints or tendons while working out.
Expensive monthly fees
Working out is an investment. Make sure that you are getting what you pay for. Hiring a trainer, joining a crossfit gym, or attend yoga classes may be more than you bargained for. If you just want the basics, look for a gym that is $10-$20/monthly.
Definitely check out Class Pass if it’s available in your area. For a small monthly fee you can attend a lot of different classes! Check it out here:
Working Out at Home - Pros
The travel time is zero minutes!
Seriously. Wake up, put on some clothes, and BAM! You’re in the gym. It doesn’t get much better than that. Unless your biggest issue is rolling out of bed…
If you live a busy life and have to balance work/kids/family/social obligations, cutting down the time it takes to get to the gym can make all the difference.
Technology makes it easy
Apps like **** can make it super easy to workout at home. You also have programs like *** and *** that allow you to just follow along via your TV. Some of our followers have had great success with programs like these. Our favorite is ****.Learn more about *** here.
No one to be embarrassed in front of
Some of us prefer the privacy that in-home workouts offer. If you’re just getting your feet wet and aren’t sure what to make of the workout world, we recommend starting at home and working your way up to the gym.
Working Out at Home - Cons
Lacking versatility in equipment unless you invest in it
Bodyweight workouts refer to working out with just the weight of your body. Chances are you don’t have dumb bells and a treadmill at your house. You can use milk jugs full of water or really anything heavy that you can pick up and some really enjoy this! Hey, maybe you’ll even find one of those giant tires laying around. If you’re looking for some cheap gear, check out craigslist or the facebook market place in your area.
For a brand new solution, head over to ***. They have some of the best deals and even offer free shipping on heavy items!
Easiest workout to skip
This speaks for itself. There’s something about getting dressed and traveling to the gym that sets it in your mind that you have to do it. For some it’s very hard to workout consistently from home. Others love it! To each their own.
Unless you have a friend or partner that’s coming over to work out with you, it’s going to be a solo endeavor. This could be a great opportunity to build a friendship or just have fun with a group of people you like to hang with. Most likely it’ll just be you doin’ you.
Living an Active Lifestyle - Pros
Most fun you can have working out
Hiking, swimming, climbing, surfing, biking… so many ings, so much fun, and all great exercise! You’ll have to find the things that you enjoy personally (or at least don’t hate) and find a way to integrate them into your life.
Check out a store like *** for inspiration. Hey, maybe you’ll find your life’s passion!
Easiest to start
Unless you live underground or on the moon, you can find things to do outside. Even the moon objection is arguable. Walk or ride your bike to work or even just around the block. Remember that sport you played in highschool? Go do that. Buy a tennis racket. Take the stairs. It really just boils down to doing the more active thing rather than the easy thing. Turns out it’s a pretty easy choice to make.
Spending time outside is peaceful
Walking through the park can be a chance to just get away and clear your head. If you’re lucky enough to live by the ocean, go for a swim a couple times a week. Riding your bike to work rather than taking the bus can be a huge mental break that you didn’t expect. Even just a walk around the block is proven to help blow off some steam.
Meeting new people
When you take part in a fun activity you are bound to meet people that enjoy the same thing.
Check Facebook Groups or just do a quick google search for “Outdoor Activities in My Area”. My goal is to join a kickball league next summer!
Living an Active Lifestyle - Cons
Difficult or impossible in the winter (location dependent)
If you live in certain areas of the north, you may need to ride a dog sled to work rather than a bike. Snow isn’t exactly conducive to spending time outside. One great option to overcome this would be to grab a set of cross country skis. You might also start a little side hustle shoveling neighbors driveways as a workout. You’ll break a sweat and make some money. It’s a win-win!
May need to purchase equipment
This could be a positive or a negative depending on who you are. Maybe you’ve been looking for an excuse to buy a kayak or a stand up paddle board! If you do decide to invest in some equipment for outdoor activities, make sure you get a helmet.
If you didn’t earlier, check out *** for inspiration on all things outdoors.
If you’ve made it this far, you no longer have the excuse that you don’t know where to start. Congratulations!
We’re here if you have any questions, feel free to shoot us a message or leave a comment below if you have more questions. Let us know if there’s anything we left out that can make the next article better.