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3 things in starting any fitness regimen

Here are the three must-dos for any positive fitness regimen.

First thing to do is to sit down and set fitness time blocks on your calendar that you can

commit to. Example, you can dedicate four hours a week toward your workout so you block off

one hour for four days out of the week. I would suggest starting off no more than 5 workout days

for an hour each per week, and no less than three times a week for 30 minutes. This will prevent

overtraining but enough where it is still positive habit forming.

If you do not routinely work out yet, this is the most important thing to do as habit forming

is the hardest part of any fitness regimen. Most people spend their burst of motivation to learn

about fitness, yet the most important thing is actually doing the exercises. Most people already

know enough to start working out. Remind yourself of basic exercises you are already familiar

with from grade school like jogging, push ups, and squats. If you run out of exercises, getting

new exercises can be as simple as scrolling on social media. The downfall in goal attainment is

not usually the lack of exercises but the lack of fitness habits. Therefore putting it on your

calendar, protecting that time, and following through is the first step.

Second thing you must do is to have your top three concrete goals written out. Can

there be something worse than exercising? YES. If a person’s goal is to feel skinny, they might

lose 5 pounds and then say they need to lose another 5 pounds, then another, and then another

until they are dangerously underweight without realizing it. Chasing a feeling might not ever

come to fruition because good health does not mean it fills emotional voids.

As people within the LGBTQIA+ community, gender expression goals can be a great

motivating force yet can be damaging at the same time if not framed properly. All fitness goals

must align with health parameters because a fit person does not mean a healthy person. For

instance, a masculine gender expressing individual, who weighs 125lbs, might have a goal to

bench press 250lbs, but if bench pressing your bodyweight is an impressive feat already, then

trying to double it might cause that person injuries. To know what is healthy for your body, it is

best to talk to a professional about your fitness goals.

Last thing is to have a “minimum activity” commitment. Let’s say that you were not able

to workout a day that you had scheduled yourself to. If your minimum activity is 20 squats, then

before you brush your teeth to head to bed, you knock out the 20 squats that took you less than

a minute to do to fulfill your scheduled workout for that day. Therefore, if nothing else went right

that day, you still did a tiny activity that can count as your “workout”. Though small and may feel

silly to have to commit to, it is crucial that you do it. It allows you to stay accountable even if you

were not able to fit in your usual workout routine. What allows people to completely forget about

their workout routine is that it gets pushed off to another day until it is forgotten. Doing your

minimum commitment to yourself keeps you on course by keeping your workouts on the surface

of your mind for the next day where you can start anew.

originally published as a contributor for Out Voices in 2022


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