I started off on a fitness journey – seriously – last year. I guess it was a new year’s resolution, which I typically don’t do. But I wanted to commit myself to a better lifestyle, for good.
I don’t have “small” genes in my family. To the contrary, I have an inherent fat gene that loves to pronounce itself, unfortunately.
I’ve been fighting against it my whole life.
Which leads me to the issue I take with body shaming. Most folks’ makeup include factors beyond their control. And it’s not fair to criticize one’s place in their journey. You never know what someone is battling.
So back to my commitment, I decided to start eating better; which mainly consisted of eating out less, incorporating produce more, and limiting processed foods. I wasn’t vegan yet, but the decision was definitely a step in that direction.
I also upped my fitness game. I’ll be honest. I hate working out. Ask my girl I used to work with together with our personal trainer. I practically bitched the entire time.
But I’ll finish hahaha Kickin n screaming.
So I had to alter my relationship with fitness. It felt like a struggle because it felt like work. And I didn’t like working so hard for results that took too long to see. For what? Just to be sore in the morning and say I did? Nah son.
I respect folks that have that “beast mode” in them. Admire it, really. You know the ones that actually look forward to the gym. Yea, that’s not me. BUT I know my faults, I know my body, and remember that fat gene I was talking about? Yea, that’s not just gonna go away by eating fruits and vegetables and grilled chicken or tuna. Trust me. I tried. And I was starving. So I was cranky. And anyone who knows me without food knows it’s not a good idea – for me or those around me.
So I reshaped my idea about fitness. I have to be active. I have no choice. So if this is going to happen, I need to make it something that I enjoy doing that serves the same purpose.
That became dancing, running, and poling. Not all at the same time, but those three things.
I love to dance. Zumba, reggae, and House are my favorites to get me moving so I started there.
Look what a pinterest search for “zumba” returned! It’s just too easy, y’all.
Running. Aw man. I hated running. Hated the idea of it. Hated treadmills even more. But I knew running was great cardio. I started off just going 5 minutes at a time, alternating with fast walking, 3-4x a week and slowly increasing the length of time I ran consistently. I got up to running 30 minutes straight and damn near beamed from ear to ear with pride. Because I was never a runner. And I’d hated it. But I created a bomb playlist, and that kept me going. Eventually, I didn’t hate it anymore. I actually looked forward to it!
I still needed to incorporate strength training in my routine somewhere. Because I wanted to return to pole I knew I’d need to build my core, upper body and flexibility back. So I found videos on Grokker and incorporated strength training moves into my weekly routine, usually 2-3x per week. I like Grokker because you can find videos on whatever fitness topic you want – yoga, cardio, HIIT, etc., and can do them in the privacy of your own home. I was in grad school, which took a great deal of my time, so carving out time for going to a gym was not realistic. Every minute was valuable.
I purchased the basics I’d need to be able to do a variety of exercises at home – a yoga mat and a plyo mat (more support for the back), 2 sets of dumbbells (1 light, 1 heavy), an exercise ball, and eventually added in resistance bands.
I haven’t run in a while (few months). Actually had to pull back on it because of knee pain. But walking is Still as effective, and actually (according to several readings I’ve come across is as effective and healthier because it’s gentler on the joints)
Walking became therapeutic for me. It was quiet time. I completed two audiobooks while walking, first thing in the morning, for 30 minutes every morning. Not only was I getting in activity but starting my day off that way really changed my attitude before work. I actually had More energy. I’m in bed no later than 10:30 is the goal to be up by 6:30 and out the door by 6:45. I’ll admit it’s been more challenging in the cold. I haven’t been as consistent because I hate cold. Don’t judge me. I’m human.
The point is, you have options. If you suffer from what most Americans do of “I don’t have time” syndrome, see if you cam realign your priorities. Go to bed earlier. That may mean not watching that late show. So you can get up earlier. Your body will thank you. I promise when you finish you won’t wish you’d stayed in bed. I’m not a coffee drinker, and actually realized I was far less tired when I started my day with a workout.
You really can do a full body workout without equipment. That’s even a category on Grokker! (FYI I’ve been a member on Grokker for a while but I don’t recall paying for it. If when you go on you have to pay, you can easily find the same videos on YouTube. Bam.)
There are some no-fail standard exercises you will see repeatedly. If you’d like to start your own routine but not ready to commit to a gym or (like me, hate gyms) create your own workout with these. You got this! No excuses, k? I have no fitness background. None. All that’s required is a desire to do better. #startsomewhere
Jumping Jacks or Inch-worms (for warm-up)
High-knees (great cardio!)
There are so many variations in exercises there’s no limit to what you could possibly do.
These are some of my favorites I always try to incorporate. And by favorites I mean in execution. Because, remember : hate working out. Would rather be napping or reading. But, goals. Or whatever 😁
So, below I’ve uploaded some at-home workouts you can do to get you started. Maybe even mix them up! Throw in some booty shaking (twerkin, mind you is great exercise!), or even salsa – between JLo and Pitbull, just start with a radio station of either of them on Spotify and you’ll be good for at least 30 minutes! I started by finding ideas on Pinterest, that has now grown to several boards targeting the workout area I might be interested in – total body, core and abs, upper and arms or lower body – feel free to follow me on there so you get updates on my pins!
I hope this helped some. Let me know what you do! I’d love to hear back from you and even share workout ideas.