My lungs were on fire. I couldn’t even tell if my legs were getting tired because I was breathing so hard… I couldn’t close my mouth or talk, and if I did talk, it would be to curse the treadmill!
This was me, a personal trainer, after returning to the gym after three months away to have my baby. Of course, I was too anxious to get back to the fitness level I was at the year before. I understand how hard it is getting back into shape after being away for awhile. It can be even more un-appealing if you have not worked out in the last 3, 5,10 or 20 years.
But it’s never too late. I always say, “Don’t worry about what happened yesterday, you can only control today, and tomorrow.” Yesterday you may not have been someone who worked out, but today you can get in a sweat session, and a better one tomorrow. You are now an athlete in training and can tackle your New Year’s Resolution.
Here are some tips from, my book Slimnastics, for the beginner to get in shape without a “Workout from Hell.” Then watch the VIDEO below for some beginner moves from my Hard Core Abs DVD!
1) Get a trial gym membership that allows you free trial sessions with a trainer. Ask him or her to show you all the machines on your first few times. If this is not in the cards for you, get a few DVDs under 20 dollars. Start with three, a walking workout, gentle yoga, and toning for beginners. Get supportive sneakers, a mat and free weights in 5, and 10 pounds (for most beginners).
2) Take it easy. After a 5 minute warm-up walking on the treadmill, work out on the machines what isolate one muscle group (most of them do, except for new TRX types which you can play with later) . Put the machines on the lowest or second-lowest weight. This will allow you to get a lot of muscles worked without a lot of distress, and less soreness later. If you are at home, do one move at a time, like bicecps curls, triceps presses, shoulder lifts, kneeling push-ups or push-ups against the wall, upper back reverse flys, squats and lunges. Just do 15 minutes a day alternating with walking cardio and your DVDs.
3) Alternate your workouts. You will be a little sore after your muscle workout, so on day 2 walk on the treadmill or outside for 10/15/20 minutes if you can. Just do what you can do. Each day you can add a few minutes or a few pounds of resistance. Do gentle yoga on the 3rd day. Repeat, and don’t forget your abs. Don’t schedule a day off, sometimes a day off will just happen out of your control. Better not to schedule it, and you should move every day anyway!
4) Speaking of schedule, put your workouts in your calendar. Mornings are best because your day won’t beat you up or over scheduled you at this time. Go to bed early, and wear workout clothes to sleep, so you just throw on sneakers, and deodorant (maybe a sports bra) and you are ready to go. If you are already dressed, you are more likely to do it.
5) Set a playlist that is fun and fast. Start playing it before you work out to get you motivated. You can even set it as your alarm. Playlist suggestions are on my website at www.nikkifitness.com
Do all of these things, and before you know it, you will be craving your workouts and start toning up. You’ll want to try multitasking toning moves, plyometric cardio intervals, TRX machines, group fitness classes, and my line of NikkiFitness DVDs. The only thing on fire will be your smoking body and the only thing crying will be your fat — because sweat is just fat crying! I promise, if you keep with it, you will soon start craving your workouts, feel completely energized all day, and sleep better at night.
For more mantras, free moves of the day, diet tips, and workout tricks, follow me on twitter @NikkiFitness or visit www.nikkifitness.com for my free newsletter, DVDs, book and TV segments.
Fitness — fit it in!