Monday, March 31, 2014

GUEST POST: Working Out: Where to Start?

I was approached by a fabulous reader for a guest post about working out and where to start!  It's a great topic and I hope you can gain a lot from what she has to share!


Hi all, I'm Caitlin, a full-time SAHM, nature lover, and health nut! I also have a strong passion for writing, Julie has been kind enough to let me share my writing on her wonderful blog. So today, I'd like to share with you tips on where to start with working out! If you have any questions feel free to email me!


I remember when I first decided to start exercising. I was really apprehensive. Would it kill my joints? Would I be able to lose weight and look fit? Would I become the kind of person who is constantly bragging about my workouts on Facebook? As it turned out, getting into shape changed me into a different person. By figuring out how to start out slowly, ramping it up, trying new things and staying motivated, I have kept it going for years. Below are my 4 tips to get moving.

1. Take Stock
The first thing I had to do is figure out what I was dealing with. One does not go from zero to CrossFit overnight. I think that anyone who is out of shape, whether they are overweight or thin, should discuss the situation with their doctor before they start an exercise program. My doctor was like, “Yes, get started!” Joint problems run in my family, so I didn’t want to start running 5K and end up with a torn ACL or chronic tendinitis. And I was otherwise healthy, so I decided to get going.

2. Slow and Steady
I started with something that I perceived would be really simple: Pilates. This exercise stretches and tones without causing me to get really out of breath (a motivation killer for a lot of newbies). It’s kind of like yoga, but most of the positions are nowhere near as complicated. I found a ten-minute Pilates video on SparkPeople, and did it every day while my son was napping. While ten minutes did not seem like much, I felt like a rock star for consistently exercising. And before long, I was looking for longer programs and adding cardio to my workout.

3. Finding the Right Exercise
Everyone has to find the workout that suits their mood. For most people, this is a combination of several exercises. As I got into better shape, I started trying out different workouts to see what I thought. In time, I learned how much I enjoy interval training for the same reason. Interval training means doing really intense bursts of exercises for short periods of time. I borrowed p90x from a friend, and that was a little too intense for me, but I did find that Beachbody (the makers of p90x) had a lot of other workout routines to choose from too. I ended up going with Hip Hop Abs and I really enjoyed the dance workouts. Some days only require 25 minutes so it’s perfect for a busier day.  These short programs made it easy for me to get into shape without spending the whole day at the gym. Every few months, I try a new exercise and see how it fits into my weekly routine.

4. Staying Motivated
Just about everyone has a failed attempt to get into shape in their past. It’s barely spring, and the hordes of people at the gym have slowed to a trickle. I quit exercising in the past because I started out too ambitious. Either I would work out too fast, too long and too hard in the early days and injure myself, or I would expect huge results from my body in the first week. Then, I’d give up because it didn’t seem to be working. Fitness is a marathon for me, not a sprint. Focusing on how exercise makes me feel helps me to get past the times when I don’t see visible signs of my progress. A little retail therapy goes a long way too. For some reason, new workout gear makes me excited to keep going. Next time I need a little push, I’ve got my eyes set on thesebeauties.

Fitness is a huge part of my life, but it wasn’t always this way. I eased into exercise this time, and that slow commitment changed me in big ways.


  1. Wonderful post! Very important things to know.

  2. Its so true to stay motivfated to exercise that you need to find the ones that you enjoy and are going to stay with.

  3. Indeed. Thanks for sharing this. - Dev