I’m going to level with all of you, I’m pretty…uncoordinated. Okay, I’m painfully un-athletic.
As a kid I tried everything. Soccer (too much running), basketball (too short), volleyball (too short again), softball (can’t throw), and the list goes on and on. By the time I entered high school I decided that sports (and exercise) just weren’t for me.
However, in the past three years I’ve really made an effort to get myself into better shape and make working out a priority.
Your college years are when you’re at your physical peak. On top of that, the rec center is the last time you’ll have access to a full gym without having to pay terrible membership fees.
With the New Year finally in full swing, you might have promised yourself that you were going to get fit.
Here’s some lessons I’ve learned in my journey to go from winded climbing the stairs to a somewhat active person.
1. Find Something You Like
When I started college I tried group fitness classes at the gym. I promised myself that I would try everything at least once. Though things like Body Pump and Zumba were out of my depth, I discovered that I actually really like yoga.
I have friends who never played a sport in high school, but found out that they love playing flag football or racquetball or even ultimate Frisbee. Trying new things can suck (see: my disastrous experience at spin class), but it’s great when you finally find something that clicks.
2. Make a Schedule
Part of staying active is making time for your activity. I have a schedule of when I go to the gym, when I take classes, and when I need to shake things up. By finding a time that I can commit to, and have on my schedule, I’m much more likely to stick to it. Which bring me to…
3. Stick to it
I get the laziness. I get wanting to skip. But you can’t. Once you skip once, it becomes easier to keep doing it. If you make gym time nonnegotiable it will stay that way. Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither were your biceps.
4. Try New Things
It’s really easy to get in an exercise rut. But you need to add some new things every once in a while. Last spring I decided to add running to my workout regimen. Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m still hopeless at running. But I did finish my 5K (even though I had to limp the last mile… woo).
Running is perhaps the least natural thing in the world to me. But I added it because I needed more cardio in my life.
5. Keep It Up and Find the Joy
When you’re un-athletic its easy to call it quits. A busy week, or a bad cold, or winter break can really mess up your workout groove.
But health is important, and now is the time to kick it into gear. Small accomplishments like getting your heels on the ground in downward dog, or running your first 8-minute mile (I HAVE SHORT LEGS OKAY), or having a personal best weightlifting should be celebrated.
Even though I never find that runners high…that’s okay. But I can find the joy in my workouts, even when I fall flat on my face.
And no matter how stressed you are…Remember the immortal words of Elle Woods to get you through your workout.