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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Tampa chapter.

For as long as I can remember, I’ve always ~hated~ physical exercise. I grew up playing a variety of sports ranging from basketball and volleyball to gymnastics and tennis. I hated every second of it. The way my breathing struggled to keep up, the gross sweat in my eyes, how sore my muscles felt- it was overwhelmingly horrible. So eventually, I gave up every sport I ever tried and vowed to always stay away from exercise.  

But then I entered college and had a horrifying discovery: your body needs some form of movement. Gross. If it was up to me, I’d stay in bed all day, but I’ve slowly realized that exercise actually improves my physical and mental health. Shocker.

So, here are my extremely useful and very unprofessional workout tips for beginners.

Step 1: Stop complaining about it. 

Realistically, you are not too busy to take 30 minutes out of your day to do your silly little workouts. Remember, the hardest part about working out is making it to the gym (at least that’s what they say).

Step 2: A cute workout fit helps. 

Although nobody looks cute doing a glute bridge, at least you’ll feel a little more confident in a cute workout set. Amazon has some great Lululemon dupes if you are looking for something inexpensive.

Step 3: Mind your business.

No, that girl with perfectly toned abs and an adorable Lululemon workout set (not a dupe) is not judging (or looking at) you. Is she better at Russian twists than you? Maybe. Probably. But so what? Get over it.

Step 4: Blare music.

I mean it. If you can hear your own breathing, you’ll remember how much pain you’re in. Bring some obnoxious noise-canceling headphones and blare your fave songs.

Step 5: Bring a friend. 

More importantly, bring a friend that is not a beginner and knows how to exercise. This way, you won’t be stuck in a workout room panicking because your “Alexis Ren 10 Minute Ab Workout” video on YouTube isn’t loading. Just copy your friend.

Step 6: Take advantage of the treadmill.

The treadmill is a great option for beginners. It’s the easiest machine to navigate and far less work than bobbing up and down on an elliptical. Besides, you can never go wrong with a 12:3:30.

Step 7: Mind your business (part 2).

Sometimes the workouts can feel extremely embarrassing and outlandish to do in public. *Cough* glute bridges and fire hydrants *cough.* At some point, you will realize that you are not the center of attention, and eventually, you will make peace with the possibility of embarrassing yourself :).

Step 8: Stay hydrated.

This one is self-explanatory.

Step 9: Reward yourself!

Yay, you conquered the gym! And you absolutely killed it! Now you can reward yourself with some ice cream and an episode of Criminal Minds. Trust me; it’s the little things that will keep you motivated.

Once you’ve completed these steps (multiple times over a series of multiple months), you will start to see some positive results. Eventually, the idea of going to the gym won’t seem so scary anymore. And hey, who knows? Maybe you’ll end up advancing to the weights room…..or staying on the treadmill for a bit longer. Baby steps!

Senior at CMU. Majoring in Integrative Public Relations and minoring in Event Management. Member of Sigma Kappa Sorority.