I Went From Never Working Out For 31 Years to Doing It 3 Times a Week — Here's How

Jun 16 2020 - 10:40am

I used to shudder at the sound of the word exercise. I couldn't understand why anyone would want to put themselves through something so sweaty, sticky, and gruesome. Plus, I was always slim so, in my mind, I didn't have much incentive to work out [1].

After battling depression for five years and reading tons of self-help books, I started looking for practical and healthy ways to lift my mood [2]. Almost everything I read suggested exercise, and that's when it dawned on me that working out wasn't just about weight loss. There are lots of reasons people love going to the gym or breaking out their own equipment at home [3], and one just happens to be the happy-making endorphins that come along with exercise.

Once I started working out, I quickly came to the conclusion that it's far from overhyped or overrated. It's worth the time, sweat, and muscle aches. But going from not working out at all to exercising three times a week takes some effort. Here are my best tips for getting there yourself.

Know Your Reasons

I didn't need to lose weight and wasn't motivated by any specific muscle-building goals, so I had to look beyond those short-term benefits to what I wanted to gain in the long-term. Now I just want to make working out part of my lifestyle so I have enough energy to live my best life even when I'm 60.

Buy Some Cute Workout Clothes

It may sound small, but this has been one of the most exciting parts of my fitness journey. I always look forward to working out in these outfits [4] so they don't go to waste.

Take Note of How You Feel

For me, the facts were undeniable: when I work out, my days are 95 percent better. Because I've pushed myself physically and mentally, I have the stamina, clarity, and confidence to take on whatever the day brings my way. I also feel happier, which is an important motivator for me.

Put the Time Commitment in Perspective

I used to make excuses about not having time to work out, but the truth is that I do. I spend an average of six hours a day on my phone, so surely I have 30 minutes to better myself physically, emotionally, and mentally. And if I really don't have 30 minutes to spare, I do a shorter workout instead. Something is better than nothing.

Give Yourself a Break

So that it doesn't become too overwhelming, I work out every other day. That way, my body gets a chance to rest, and I can use those 30 minutes to practice other types of self-care, whether it's reading or sleeping. Balance is key to staying committed long-term.

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