5 Things to Know If You Want to Start Working Out

The beginning of the school year, like New Year's, is marked by promises to yourself that this will be your year. And why shouldn't it be? You'll get that departmental award, dedicate your time to your studies and on-campus organizations, and still be able to make time to get to the gym. But if this is your first time adding regular workouts to your schedule, read on for a few tips to help you make the most of your workouts.

1. Drink water

Have a headache? Tired? Your skin keeps breaking out? Start fixing these problems by drinking water. It’s a fitness tip that’s probably been shoved down your throat, but it’s one of the easiest ways to be healthier. You don’t need eight glasses of water a day – that’s more of a guideline – but it is essential to make sure you get enough for what your body needs. There are lots of water tracking apps on the market, but the one I’m the most familiar with is Plant Nanny. It calculates how much water you need based on your weight and activity level, and every time you hydrate, you water plants to grow your own garden. 

My dandelion, Sadie, the first plant I ever "grew" with Plant Nanny.

2. Don’t eat less, eat right. 

Skipping meals does not equal instant weight loss. It may seem weird to hit the gym for a few hours and then go get dinner, but on a very basic level, your body needs carbs for energy and protein for muscle and hair growth. Treats are fantastic in moderation (heaven knows we deserve one now and again), but don’t overdo it on your favorite indulgent snack. 

3. Find a workout buddy. 

If you’re just starting to make a habit of working out, it can be hard to motivate yourself. But having someone to hold you accountable and suffer work out with you makes staying motivated so much easier, and much more fun. Burpees suck, but they suck less when you’re doing them with a friend.

 

4. Find workouts you like. 

Whether you like running, weight training, or simple crunches and pushups, do whatever makes you look forward to working out. There’s no one right way to exercise!  Darebee.com posts new workouts every day, the majority of which are inspired by video games, movies, book characters, and superheroes. If you like exercise that doesn’t feel like exercising, try finding a Zumba class in your area or check out The Fitness Marshall on YouTube. 

  

5. Shake it up a bit.

Finally, once you find workouts you love doing, remember that variety is your friend. Certain muscle groups get used to doing the same exercises over and over, and you may not see the results you expected. Variety also helps fight falling into a rut and that “ugh, I have to go to the gym” feeling. Try a new fitness group class or new yoga routine from Pinterest, add a few new songs to your workout playlist, and let’s get sweating!