9 Tips For Whatever Fitness Journey You're On, From Regular People Who Have Been There, Too
You've probably picked up dozens of fitness tips, tricks, and motivational quotes throughout your journey, with two or maybe three that really stand out. When experts (like trainers, doctors, registered dietitians) offer up their wisdom, it's smart to soak it in. But sometimes, the most useful advice comes from the people who have gone on their own fitness journeys, figured out what works, and learned enough to pass it on to the rest of us. In other words, they've been there, done that.
The POPSUGAR Workout Club is full of these people (join us on Facebook!), and today, they're sharing their wisdom. These tips range from gentle reminders (be patient, start slow) to motivational advice (just show up!). So if you're looking for some support, an energy boost to a tired routine, or just some kind words from people who've gone through up-and-down fitness journeys of their own, keep reading and get inspired.
—Additional reporting by Carly Sokol
A Short Workout Is Better Than Nothing
"Work out even when tired, unmotivated, or just not feeling like it," said Linda J. "It's when you need to work out the most to boost mood and endorphins. Stick with it like with brushing teeth — consistency is the key."
Saskia V. suggested following the "five-minute" rule on days you don't feel motivated: "you only need to do 'x' for five minutes, then you can stop, or you only need to show up at 'x,' then you can leave again. Chances are you're going to keep going."
Do Workouts You Enjoy
"Make sure you enjoy what you're doing!" said Jenny S. "And keep it exciting and challenging enough, so you're motivated to stick with it."
Just Show Up
T'Keyah H.'s recommendation: "Always show up! The hardest part is getting motivated to get up and get active. If you make it to the gym, or the park, or Zumba class, once you get started, you will feel amazing afterwards!"
Don't Compare Yourself to Others
"Do what workouts are best for your body," said Shelby K. "Do not judge yourself against others. They may have been working out longer, or their body process is different then yours."
Ashley B. said that it's important to "be kind to yourself during the process." After all, said Angelica H., "You are unique. Your challenge is not their challenge, and vice versa."
"Take your time, and always be gentle with yourself," said Brod C. "Let go of your ego, and let your body guide you . . . There will be amazing days, and there will be days where you just want to quit, but don't give up on yourself, because you are always worth the growth."
Krissinda R. confirmed that patience is key. "I've lost a little over 100 pounds, and it's a journey, not a race. You don't want a quick fix. You want long-term sustainability. Be patient with yourself and the process. It takes time, but it's so worth it! Just like you are worth it!"
Start Where You Are
"Start where you are, wherever that is!" said Shana S. "And that can be as simple as starting with good posture in the chair you're sitting in. Every step counts, and the good news is we feel even more accomplished and motivated taking lots of small steps than one giant leap."
And a reminder about that slow start, from Becky A.: "It's OK to modify when you first start out . . . it's better to build form and confidence in the moves than run out of the gate doing the full-out moves and risk injury. Slow and steady creates the daily discipline to change your life."
Focus on Progress Over Perfection
"Let go of perfection, and focus on progress," said Maura J. "Some days will be hard, and others will be easy. We need to take each day as a step-by-step journey. How can you be your best self today? Let everything else go!"
Make Fitness a Lifestyle
"Fitness is a journey, not a destination," said Yvette A. "Make it a lifestyle, so your journey can be an enjoyable one of ever-changing scenery."
Acknowledge Your Cravings
If you're struggling with food cravings in particular, Saundra S. has some advice: "Listen to your body." Ask yourself if you're really hungry, "or is it built up energy that's being directed toward food and cravings? If it's the latter, don't just try to power through the craving. Get up, do something different for few minutes (fold laundry, wash some dishes, stretch) to help it pass, and then go back to what you were doing."