Getting back into fitness has a pre-starting point: deciding to get back into fitness. There has to be a turning point in the life of a sedentary lifestyle to exercising. The type of exercise doesn’t matter – yoga, jogging, dancing, counting steps, mma fighting, crossfit, at the end of the day they’re all the same, you’re doing something more active than previously. But how do we find that turning point?
For me I went from being sedentary to being active after hurting my knee one too many times in 10 years. I had stopped my hockey playing, running, lifting, backyard wrestling lifestyle after what I thought was a serious tear in my knee in my late teens. I had days of debilitating pain where I could barely walk on my leg. I bought numerous knee braces and tried to avoid fitness to avoid having to go to the doctor.
Sadly part of this was due to a lack of (or not having) health insurance. I personally have a fear of surgery and thought going to the doctor was going to lead to me going under the knife so I avoided the first step like the plague. Finally enough hurting my knee was enough and I went to a physical therapist who told me I didn’t need surgery. Yay, I was off and running.
I wish I hadn’t let the fear of finances and doctors keep me from living life to it’s fullest for a decade. Finances and fear are hard. The only thing you can do with fear is face it. With finances you need to look at what you’re making and how you can pivot.
If you’re struggling to make ends meat the only advice I can give is to go to see a doctor or physical therapist for a few hundred dollars to see if you’re alright to start working out. Yeah, that’ll sting the pocket book momentarily, but getting into the community is going to give you connections to move yourself forward in the world. It’s an investment in yourself and your future. Can you paint a house or build a fence? One of your new gym friends may be in need of your skills so you can pay yourself back later. Make the investment now.
I’ll ask the question again, what’s your turning point? For a few of my co-workers it was starting their new job (the one we’re all at now.) Starting a new job can be an incredible turning point to starting a new life. It’s easier to establish a new routine when your “entire world” has changed. Tell the new boss when you’re starting that you want to leave early, or come in late, or take off during lunch to go do your new fitness activity. It’s easier to negotiate at the start than later on (but can still be accomplished if you’ve been somewhere for awhile, I did it after about a year of being employed.)
Is it fear that’s holding you back like it was in my case? Is it comfort from having a routine that you take part in day after day? Do you have children and can’t find the time before or after work? Think hard about the reason you believe you don’t have time or don’t want to take part in getting into or back into a fitness routine.
Are you really using your child as an excuse to not exercise? How good are you to your child or children if you’re out of shape and unhealthy? If your muscles have started to atrophy from sitting at a desk all day? Or, if you have a job that requires using your body, if you’ve lengthened certain muscles and shortened others leaving yourself open to injury. You need to be healthy for your children. Their lives will be improved by your health. Do what I suggested in the above paragraph – negotiate coming in late or taking off during lunch or leaving early a few days a week to go take care of yourself. If they say no, wake up a little earlier or go to bed a little later to fit it in.
Are you comfortable in your current place in life? Are you really? Do you compare yourself to others while you’re walking down the street? Yes? Time to do something about that. Get started going to the gym. If you answered no, good for you. But, do you want to be healthier? We can all be healthier so this one should be a yes regardless of your level of security / insecurity and self-esteem.
It all starts with the simple thought – I want to be better today than I was yesterday. I want to feel better about myself. I want to be healthy. Make one simple change that day. Spend less time sitting at your desk. Walk to lunch instead of driving (if you live in a region where that is possible.) Take a stroll in the park (if it’s not 100 degrees outside.) If its 100 degrees go stroll through your indoor air-conditioned mall. Bike to work instead of driving (if it’s a reasonable distance.) Jump online and find a gym near you that is of an interesting subject matter you think would be interesting (dance, rock climbing, kick boxing, etc, etc.)
I’ll let you know from firsthand experience that you’ll feel better about yourself once you start training. Your posture is going to improve. And as you start feeling better about how you look in the mirror and how you feel on the inside (healthier and more energetic) the more you’ll enjoy walking around in the world. This will lead you to interact more with the world, being more open towards others (in your physical appearance.) You’ll make new friends and acquaintances. You’ll be more self-confident.
Do not put off tomorrow what you can start doing today. Yes, it’ll temporarily hurt. Yes, you’ll be sore. Yes, even after months or even years of working out you’ll have days where you don’t want to go. But you’ll feel better and look better. It becomes a lifestyle. And once it’s a lifestyle just don’t beat yourself up if you miss a day or two. You’re going more often than you’re not so you’re good. Maybe you need a rest day or a recovery day. No problem.