Nowadays, many people associate being fit with putting themselves through a variety of rigorous diets, food-deprivation, almost starvation. They see physical activity as painful, boring, and something you need to force yourself into every single time. But in fact, itâ€™s really not that scary. True, if you want results, you will need to make some small changes to your diet and also to make some free time for a workout.
Small nudge is all you need
I'm in my mid 30's and Iâ€™ve been working out continuously, with short pauses, since I was 19 years old. Iâ€™d always been that skinny guy from the neighborhood and I was very self-conscious about it. But one day, by advice from my older friend, I made a decision to start working out with the aim of just increasing my weight. I was told that with regular training I would gain quality weight faster than without going to the gym. It sounded pretty simple. So, I packed a training bag, a bottle of water, a towel, and a pair of old sneakers; I paid a gym membership fee and my fitness journey began.
How and where to start
There are many places where your fitness journey can start. It depends on the preferred activity. If itâ€™s weightlifting, of course, a gym is a good option but also it can be done in your own home. Then, if itâ€™s running or jogging, parks, running tracks, or even your own neighborhood is a good place to start. There are a lot of running or jogging groups that you can join, where you will be in good company with much-needed support. Swimming and cycling are excellent activities too. You can check if there is any local community amateur sports club where you can also join. So, my advice is to stick to the activity that you like.
First steps, and the benefits
When I first started going to the gym, a bicycle was my main mean of transportation. In the gym, every day I was learning new things, new exercises, how to perform a movement, learning how to use a specific machine and it was all very interesting and fun. Soon after starting going to the gym, I devoted lots of my free time to studying nutrition. I wanted to learn what kind of healthy food I needed for maximum performance. I learned everything about calories, proteins, carbohydrates, fats, nutritive values, etc. I prepared a diet plan, calculated my daily food intake for weight gain, and went to my first â€śfitness shopping.â€ť Thatâ€™s how I call it to this day. Because of the gym, I even became a better cook.
Time went by. Three weeks turned into three months, three months into a year, and what I thought was a significant change in my lifestyle became a routine. It became my new way of life, which I liked very much. I really liked that moment when after a couple of weeks of hard training, I realized how much I progressed compared to a period of only, say, three weeks back. I was pleased that my efforts brought me exceptional results. I couldnâ€™t wait for the next training session because I â€śfeltâ€ť every workout and felt that ever-elusive Arnold SchwarzeneggerÂ â€śpumpâ€ť. I was hooked. I felt really good about myself.
At the time, I was very busy working as a logistic manager and the gym was my escape from everyday stress, my time of the day. So there are many benefits. In addition to the obvious benefits for health, by doing fitness activity you like, you will feel good, look good, be satisfied with yourself, have plenty of energy, and better cope with stress. You donâ€™t need to do only one activity. You can mix it up. For example, if you are going to the gym you can replace your chest/back workout with swimming, and leg day with cycling, from time to time. Keep it diverse and you will be on top of your game. Furthermore, after a short period of time, there will be no bus in the world you couldnâ€™t catch, and youâ€™ll do it without even losing your breath.
Drawbacks, like thereâ€™s any
As for drawbacks, I almost canâ€™t think of any. I mean, yes, every fresh start or new beginning is hard. At first, you need to take things slowly, so you can adapt physically to the fitness activity of your choosing, in order to avoid potential injury or muscle and joints inflammation. So, when starting with any fitness activity, be it weightlifting, jogging and running, swimming, or maybe cycling, etc. yes there will be muscle soreness, there will be an initial feeling of fatigue, but only for a short period of time. And once the result starts to show, all efforts will be justified.
Before you start your own fitness journeyâ€¦
The first step to take before you start training is making the decision. Remember, the mind is the one that controls the body, and this works no matter the reason for training. Whether you want to look better, feel better or simply want to have some additional obligation or a hobby, the principle is the same. Sure, as I said, every beginning is difficult. But if you start building your fitness on healthy foundations and maybe start eating clean along with training, I assure you that youâ€™ll see the results, and youâ€™ll see them soon.
While weâ€™re at the results, the second step is not to set your expectations too high at the beginning. Itâ€™s not going to be easy at first, but remember, after a very short period of time, youâ€™ll start to see some results. Remember that getting fit is a marathon rather than a sprint. You have to be consistent and persistent. In other words, donâ€™t give up after the first muscle soreness or first signs of fatigue. Whatâ€™s more, youâ€™ll learn new things along the way and you can apply them in your regimen and get even better results with time, and thatâ€™s what is going to keep you on the right track. And oh man will you feel good about it!
Whichever activity you are starting, whether itâ€™s bodybuilding, joining a sports club, or jogging, running, swimming, etc. you will not make a mistake. People who are engaged in sports and fitness are generally extremely positive and adventurous. Also, whomever you meet when you start training will support you because, at some point, they were beginners, too. They like to share their passion because they have walked that path already. I assure you that youâ€™ll get support, knowledge, and maybe even a good friend.
So, make the decision and good luck!