If you’ve been thinking about starting (or restarting) your fitness routine, it’s easy to tell yourself you’ll just start fresh in a few months. After all, that’s what New Year's resolutions are for, right? Why not just enjoy the hectic holidays and make fitness and exercise your focus for next year?
Every year, gyms and fitness studios across the country see an influx of new visitors right after the ball drops–brimming with newfound motivation. Unfortunately, research has shown that up to 80 percent of New Year’s resolutions fail by the second week of February. (What’s more, fitness goals are among the most common resolutions made–and broken.)
You don’t need to wait for a specific day of the week or time of the year to start your health and fitness journey. You don’t even need to feel motivated to begin. In fact, evidence suggests more success is found by not waiting for the “right time” and instead starting right now. As one Orangetheory member put it: “I learned something a long time ago: You can totally lead a decision with your head, and eventually your heart will follow. You don't have to wait for the ‘feeling.’”
Want to jumpstart your gym routine, but don’t know how to get back into working out? Fuel your motivation and confidence to take action with advice from empowered Orangetheory members who have been in your shoes and know the immense rewards that come from powering through. Here are 5 tips:
1. Take the First Step
If you’re new (or new again) to exercise, simply getting to the gym can feel overwhelming. So focus on the most basic task to ease back in. “Just set one goal: Get to the studio,” an Orangetheory member suggests. “Once you are there, even if you walk the whole time, consider it a win. But I bet the energy of the room will take over and you will feel motivated. Even if it doesn’t, be proud you got there. Keep setting the goal to ‘just go’ until it becomes a habit and you can’t wait to get there.”
2. Knowledge is Power
The great part about a group fitness class like Orangetheory is that the workout plan is led by super-smart, triple-certified coaches that can help you start or restart your fitness journey. So if you’re confused or uncertain in class, just ask. “One thing that helps me: When you ask the coach for help, ask what muscle(s) you’re working. Then, concentrate on that muscle to make sure you’re feeling it engage,” one member recommends. “And remember: We do almost every workout twice a month so consider the first time your practice!” Other members suggest joining Orangetheory’s Reddit channel or Facebook group to score early intel about classes, and field questions to the global community at large.
3. Nerves Are Normal
Being new at something can be stressful–especially when that something is a fitness class that displays your heart rate data. If you’re feeling intimidated, know this: You are not alone. “When I started, I was in the blue zone as soon as I walked in the door and the green zone just from sitting in the lobby," one Orangetheory member shared on Reddit. "Same happened to me when I first joined,” echoed another. “I was in the orange zone during the warmup and was so embarrassed.” They remind each other that it happens to everyone–and more importantly, that no one is paying attention to (or judging) your numbers on the board. “Eventually two things happen: You get in better shape and you stop being nervous—and instead just look forward to a good workout.”
4. Find Your "Why"
When an Orangetheory member shared her nerves about going to her first class postpartum, the community rallied. “Don’t focus on the numbers, focus on the feeling. Try to keep in mind some qualitative reasons you’re working out instead of quantitative," one member suggested. "For me, it was so that I could have that time to focus on myself, set an example for my son, and so that I could be strong enough to play with him for hours on end.” Whatever your situation, zero in on what this fitness goal really means to you–it’s guaranteed to help you stick with it.
5. Imagine Future You
There are still two months left in the year. That’s eight weeks of opportunity to start making positive change. By this time next year? Life could look a whole lot different. Take it from Vance, who gave an update in October to the OTF Members Facebook group: “I started Orangetheory in June. I did a body scan today. I have lost 8 pounds since June 17. I’ve lost almost 3 pounds of body fat. I’ve increased my muscle mass. Most importantly, my blood sugar A1C is down by 1.8. I feel great.” Need even more incentive to start now? New members who sign up during the month of November get their second month free.