I have been exercising pretty much my whole adult life in some form or another. From gyms and aerobics in the 80’s, to the treadmill and walking with a stroller all over town with babies, to videos in my basement and then back to the gym life again. I worked at Shape Magazine and Cooking Light many years ago which sparked my interest in reading everything I can about fitness, food and the like. It’s obviously an interest of mine and I am still learning every day, making mistakes and trying again. I can faintly remember walking in to my first gym back in high school, it was for women only but still intimidating. Then in my 20’s while living up in Boston, where I did aerobics on an open floor right next to the machines! There was no private room and I didn’t know any better. Aerobics in front of everyone with no room at 23 years old with my thong OUTSIDE my pants, why, lol! Not sure how I did that! I am passionate about what I do, so I seem outgoing, but I have a shy side when I don’t know people.
Being a beginner to exercise can be totally overwhelming. I had a great conversation with a friend just this week about this dilemma. It’s so uncomfortable to be the newbie. To have to start from scratch. To feel like you have no strength compared to the people next to you. It actually brought her to tears as she let me know what she was feeling. I told her if you are feeling it, then so are so many others! She told me what she could not do in the class. We immediately changed that around. Think not about what you can’t do but about what you can do. Then she mentioned that she had given up soda except for special occasions since starting. Fabulous!! As a beginner, you have to have a starting point. Just walking through the door takes mental strength and bravery! That’s an accomplishment. Putting on sneakers to go for an intentional walk for exercise is an accomplishment. If it’s new or you are doing something you haven’t done before then be proud of yourself and honor what you can do even if you only make it for a short while! Walk out and say, “YEAH, I did a push up!” And tomorrow try for two!
Put yourself on your calendar. Like anything, if you give it time, then eventually the feeling of being overwhelmed will go away and it won’t feel like it’s ruling your life and will simply become part of your life. It’s important to keep yourself on your calendar, like you would for kids, sports, work and everything else you have going on. Pencil in a walk in the park or your classes for the gym. Literally write it on the calendar! YOU belong in your life!
GET TO KNOW PEOPLE! If you are walking outside, enlist a friend to keep you accountable. If you are going to the gym get to know people! You can learn a lot from others as they can learn from you! We’re all connected somehow and we all need accountability. I hear it all the time, I don’t want to bump in to anyone, I just want to get in and get out. Ok, that’s a plan, but there is so much success in the web! The web of friends who post, check in and look for people. I have such an amazing group of people in my world, who have all cross- pollinated and look for each other. One of us will know when another one of us is missing and why. If it’s a case of lazy, we pull them back in. If it’s family issues or health, we send love and support. About a month ago I saw a new face in class. She saw a crowded room of people setting up, I saw her nerves and how she wanted to sneak back out. I worked my way back to her, introduced myself and now I am looking at a changing body. She told me on Friday how happy she was that she stayed that day! When fear kicks in people want to run and often won’t come back. That moment of connecting turned in to a pivotal moment for a happier, stronger woman!
Most importantly, do it for your health. We look at a big gym filled with people and think weight loss or muscle growth. However, science will tell you it’s so much more! As can be seen in the latest issue of Time Magazine article called The Exercise Cure, The surprising science of a life-changing workout, by Mandy Oaklander. “In studies where blood is drawn immediately after people exercised, researchers have found that many positive changes occur throughout the body during and right after a workout.” “Going for a run is going to improve your skin health, your eye health, your gonadal healthy.” “Doctors, researchers, scientists—even ancient philosophers have long claimed exercise works like a miracle drug. Now they have proof!”
Exercise comes in many forms and can be done in many places inside and out. You have to start somewhere. 80% of Americans are NOT strength training, which could be as simple as body weight exercises and is so important for the body to strengthen bones and muscles to keep us strong and in control as we age. Don’t know how to get started reach out to me. I am making coaching available for different levels. A few phone calls or emails to get you going could be just what the Dr. ordered! Email me for more details and don’t forget to sign up for Locker Room Chatter right here on the website! Thanks for reading and joining our movement!
See you in great shape,
Your Iron Beauty Coach
Health and Wellness Coach
NASM Certified Personal Trainer
Mom, Stalker, Cheerleader
Facebook: Kathi Croston Sottosanti