#YesSheCan Explores: Kickstarting Your Fitness Journey

In this #YesSheCan blog, Vashti Blair is going to be exploring how to kickstart your fitness journey.
My name is Vashti Blair and I’m here to help you kick-start your fitness journey using the same formula that motivated and worked for me.
Breaking out of habits that aren’t serving us positively can take time so even if you reach a certain step and fall out of routine, be proud of where you got to and restart!
I’ve always said to myself and others, the first step is thinking about it and the fact you are reading this blog shows you are taking initiative!      
There are lots of benefits to spending more time on fitness and moving your body such as increasing endorphins naturally, boosting your energy and improving your overall quality of life.
We know fitness and health can look and feel different to everyone and we know this might not work for everyone. We always recommend to follow a plan that is comfortable for your body and suits your needs. Fitness should be a positive addition to your life, not an action that can harm or control you. If you are affected by issues like this, please seek support from a trusted person or GP.
 
Trash talk (and walk)
Let’s face it; taking out the trash or recycling to the bin has never been anyone’s idea of a thrilling adventure. But what if I told you that those mundane tasks could be your secret weapon against laziness and fatigue?
Instead of putting off simple tasks, like taking out the trash or fetching something from downstairs, tackle them head-on and quickly. Doing this can help clear your headspace and improve your mindset. Every little bit adds up, and you’ll find yourself feeling more accomplished and less sluggish.
 
Snacks can be integral in our journey
Taking snacks out that can affect our diet and health can be hard (especially if it’s habitual to have them) but not completely necessary.
Always try your best to cut down or opt for budget-friendly protein treats from Aldi or Lidl. They offer yogurts, chocolate and salted caramel desserts that include 15gs of protein which is essential in weight loss and building muscle. Protein is notorious to keeping you fuller for longer and giving you sources of energy that can last longer.
Also, don’t forget your vitamins; a daily multivitamin or some cod liver oil can go a long way. If you plan your snacks, you can create a plan with foods which can include these vitamins naturally.   
 
Walk it out
The corner shop may be a two-minute drive away, but why not turn it into a scenic stroll?
Find yourself a walking buddy, fire up your fitness tracker, and turn every step into a victory lap. For example, the iPhone shows your steps/distance daily or you can aim to close a ring on your watch. Once you can see the number of calories burnt or steps you made, it will encourage you to keep going. Metrics are a better thing to focus on rather than how much we weigh as weight and fitness are not synonymous.
 
Weight Training for Dummies (Like Me!)
The gym can be intimidating, especially if you’re new to weight training. Thankfully, the internet is filled with resources. Check out platforms like TikTok for short and to-the-point demonstrations on proper form and machine adjustments.
Maybe even practising a few at home before even stepping into the gym can take the fear out of lifting, and remember – everyone starts somewhere.
Once doing this you will now know what exercises you want to do for the 5 major muscle groups: legs, Back, arms, abs and glutes. Think of at least 4-5 exercises you want to try for each muscle group, which brings us to the 5th step…
 
Plan your attack
Structure your workouts to keep things manageable. This is key to shaping your fitness journey around other important parts in your life. It shouldn’t overtake your life and should be a positive addition!
For example, you can assign specific days for different muscle groups or activities. Whether it’s glutes on Monday, cardio on Sunday, or a mix throughout the week, having a plan helps you stay focused and consistent.
Even if you are still feeling unsure about how to do certain workouts, TikTok can help you find a workout plan for beginners. Remember to give yourself a day or two in between to rest.
It doesn’t all have to be gym-focused either, you can add 15-minute walks to your morning or afternoon or skip the bus and walk to a friend’s house instead.
 
Gym phobia? Try classes
Navigating the gym environment can be overwhelming, and the fear of feeling exposed as if all eyes are on you can be a major deterrent. It’s easy for me to say that people aren’t watching, but you need to experience it for yourself before you believe it.
Thankfully, a lot of gyms have 45-minute classes led by personal trainers (PTs). These sessions are available to individuals of all skill levels and usually take place in a corner or in the centre of the gym. Don’t let this discourage you – PTs are there to guide you, answer questions and show you how to use equipment.
I have yet to encounter a rude personal trainer. Also, being surrounded by other beginners and people with similar goals lifts your motivation. After a few weeks, you’ll likely notice that no one in the gym is staring or judging.
Instead, you’ll find yourself gaining a variety of new workouts and feeling more confident. This newfound confidence may even lead you to consider continuing your fitness journey independently after two months, finding a time that better suits your schedule.
Again, a gym might not be your place and you can take a look at Facebook, Instagram, Eventbrite or local groups near you to see workout classes. These are usually pay-as-you-go so you don’t have to commit if you realise it’s not your thing!
 
Mix in fun workouts!
Remember playing the ‘Just Dance’ game when you were younger or seeing your children in the past on their Wii? Well, 30 minutes of ‘Just Dance’ on YouTube or a game console still counts as working out! This is a fun way to be active, produce endorphins and pick up some cool dance moves.
There are also lots of groups, probably in your city, which do things like dancing workouts to a variety of genres, yoga, walking groups, etc. There will be something out there for you!
As you continue this path, may your determination be unwavering, your goals within reach, and your journey filled with newfound strength and resilience. Here’s to a healthier, more vibrant you – you’ve got this!                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      
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This blog was written by Vashti Blair, a second-year communication, society and media student at NTU and #YesSheCan work experience placement student.

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