Fear is the biggest hurdle in fitness. You don’t know how to use the machines, or you feel like you won’t fit in at a class. Maybe you’re worried that you’ll look ridiculous at yoga class… or worse… fart! It could be a daunting goal that feels insurmountable. Perhaps you have no idea where to start and the thought becomes so overwhelming you just scrap the idea of exercise altogether.
Every single person you see at the gym who appears to have it so together was standing in your exact same shoes at one point. Everyone was a beginner and they all felt the same sense of trepidation that you do now. The difference is that they moved forward and continued in spite of that feeling. Will you say the same?
Being a beginner has its advantages — everything is new, fresh, and interesting. It’s an opportunity to try exciting new workouts and find your groove. What suits your style, personality, and goals? You’ll never know until you try a few things first.
Here are a few beginner tools to help give you that extra push to get started…and stick with it!
C25K — This free app has produced millions of new runners. The Couch to 5K accomplishes just what the name implies — moving otherwise sedentary couch potatoes through an effective training program to complete a 5K race. Through audio coaching on your phone, you’ll develop strength and endurance through a walk/run program that lasts eight weeks. You’ll workout three days a week for about 30 minutes. During that time you’ll grow from a non-runner to a 5K finisher. Once you complete that goal, why stop there?
MapMyRun — Now that you can call yourself a runner, keep growing in the sport. The MapMyRunapp joins you with a global running community where you’ll not only find support and encouragement, but plan your own routes or select from their curated routes. Track your activity, log nutrition, and even post your progress to social media.
Charity Miles — If you won’t run for yourself, do it for the betterment of someone else. For every mile you run, walk, or bike, 25 cents or 10 cents (respectively) will be donated to one of their partner charities. Your effort becomes real cash donations to groups like the ASPCA, Wounded Warrior Project, (RED), Autism Speaks, Feeding America, and many others. Use the app to track your progress and let Charity Miles do the rest.
MyFitnessPal — It’s one of the most heralded nutrition apps on the market, and it’s free! Millions have lost weight, maintained weight loss, or just held themselves more accountable using this simple app that replaces traditional food journaling. With a database of 5 million foods, and the ability to add anything yourself, nutrition tracking has never been easier or more effective. View reports, set goals, and manage broader nutrition than just calorie counting with MyFitnessPal.
AcaciaTV — Get a hard-hitting workout anywhere you are…and anywhere with internet. Home, office, hotel, or soccer practice, AcaciaTV‘s online database of hundreds of workouts by professional trainers goes where you go. Talk about eliminating excuses! A nominal monthly fee gains access to their video library from your computer, phone, tablet, or even Roku! Yoga, strength train, cardio, barre, kettlebells, and more are just a click away.
Personal Trainer — There’s still something to be said about working with a personal trainer, especially if you’re just starting to work on your fitness. Take advantage of free sessions with a new gym membership, or find a trainer in your budget and justify three or four sessions. Make sure they teach you the fundamentals so that you can work on your own, not just hold your hand through a workout. This will help you avoid injury, overcome fears, and get more out of every minute you’re working out.