It’s the start of a new year, a popular time to begin a fitness journey. New Year, New Me – am I right? I’ve been on my own personal fitness journey for over four years now. And along the way I’ve learned a lot about exercises and programming, nutrition, and myself as a person. It’s this knowledge that I want to share with others so that they too can find success in their own fitness journey.
Fitness is more of a lifestyle now than it is a journey. I love being active and sharing my story with others. As you get started on your journey, it’s important to remember the why. Becoming more fit or active should be about bettering yourself – inside and out.
While you’re on this journey you’re bound to run into influence from others, positive and negative, and I’m here to share a few things I’ve learned that I hope will help as you too learn. I started my journey without almost any knowledge on what to do. I wish that I had had this list or a mentor early on to help guide me. It would have saved me time and unsatisfying meals (and probably a lot of money too).
So here’s 4 things I’ve learned on my fitness journey that you should know too.
1. Don’t compare yourself to others.
This is a big one and it applies to so many parts of the journey. From the exercises that you do at the gym. To the foods and calories that you’re consuming. Everyone is different and everyone’s journeys are going to be different. Be mindful with your exercise decisions and how you build your workouts. Choose exercises that you enjoy, not what’s popular. Eat what your body needs, not what you see others eating. Remember, no two people are alike therefore no two routines are going to be alike.
2. Nutrition comes first.
No matter what your goals are, the most important part of the journey is nutrition. Specifically, the amount of calories you’re eating in a day and what’s in the foods you’re eating. The nutrition is often where most people struggle and need a bit more guidance to get started. I personally recommend tracking macros, or flexible dieting. I’ve been tracking my macros for about three years now and it’s given me the results I’ve always wanted. If weighing your food isn’t your thing, I recommend at least using measuring cups and spoon to get a better grasp on serving sizes.
3. It’s not about fashion or products.
Consumerism is found in many industries, and the fitness industry is no exception. I’ve gone through many phases of the fitness journey, from wanting the most popular workout clothes and needing BCAAs to fuel my workout. I’m sorry to say, but you do not need these, and much of what you see influencers promoting, in order to meet your fitness goals. All you need, is a set of goals, a place to workout (whether that’s a gym or your spare bedroom), and healthy diet.
Stop buying the supplements you see Instagramers promoting. (Have you ever noticed how many of them change the brands they’re promoting every few months?) You also don’t need to buy workout clothes from every new release of that popular athletic clothing brand. Consignment stores and Poshmark sell gently used, high quality athletic brands for a fraction of the cost without any of the fast fashion impacts.
4. Never say never.
When I started learning how to lift, I stuck with the main three movements – squat, dead lift, and bench. That’s all I did and wasn’t going to deviate from it. Then I moved into training only for strength, thinking I was too good for accessory work. If I had kept a closed mind, I would have never started jumping rope and doing more circuits. I would have never ran a 5K or a mile or under eight minutes.
Everything I’ve done during the course of my fitness journey has led me to be a better athlete. And I want to always continue improving as an athlete by learning new exercises and participating in different sports. So never say no to learning a new sport or exercise during your journey. You might find your new favorite activity!
Are you starting your fitness journey this year? What are your fitness goals for 2019?