How to start working out

So you got yourself a gym  membership, a velour tracksuit that J-Lo would be envious of and a new pair of sneakers – now what? I am asked all the time how to start a workout regimen – whether it’s running, weightlifting or yoga. Or even just how to finally get active.

It’s simple and I’ll tell you how. Just send me three payments of $9.99…

Just kidding.

You start by walking – literally. Take a walk outside or on a treadmill… Just walk. For a mile or three. Whatever you can do. Try that for a week. The week after walk a little farther or walk a little faster. Maybe add in some run/walk/gallop combination. If the weather is nice, go for a nice long hike.

If you joined a gym, try a group fitness class.

Most gyms have a weightlifting class or a sculpting class that can accommodate all levels of fitness. That is where I started. Instructors were able to tell me how much weight to use and kept an eye on my form to make sure I wasn’t hurting myself. (At the beginning, senior citizens were lifting twice as much weight as I was but I made myself feel better by moving my bench as far away from them as possible – bunch of overachievers.) 😉  I tried every single group fitness class that was offered – including Zumba – I felt both fabulous and ridiculous. (Did you know that laughing at yourself also burns calories?)

From there you figure out the activities you enjoy – what motivates you, keeps you challenged and more importantly keeps you coming back. Once it’s in your blood it’s fairly easy to delve into other activities like kayaking, hiking, rock wall climbing or long bike rides.

Here are a few tips you can try:

5k Running Machine

1.  Tag along with an already active friend (i.e. let her drag you to something you never thought you’d do).

2.  If running is your chosen drug, register for a 5k race. There’s nothing like a definable goal to keep you motivated.

3.  Sign up for a challenge. (Like the Burpee Challenge starting tomorrow!)

4.  Rope a friend in. Hopefully you’ll keep each other going.

5.  Start simply and build. Don’t allow yourself to take on too much. You start small and get stronger every day.

Ultimately, being active will become a way of life – something you want to do rather than something you have to do. But the beginning is really as simple as walking out of your front door.

So what are you waiting for?

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How to be a ROCK STAR student

There is a plethora of articles on what makes a good yoga teacher but the reality is it’s not just the instructor that can be bad. YOU could be a yoga teacher’s worst nightmare.

You come in late. You noisily roll out your mat. Your audible sigh practically echoes in the room. You showboat during class. You don’t listen to any coaching and worse yet you stoically stare at the teacher the entire session without cracking a smile.

So let’s talk about it… HOW TO BE A GOOD STUDENT:

  1. Lay off  the perfume but definitely layer on the deodorant.
  2. Walk in with an open mind that is ready to focus and work.
  3. Do I really need to tell you to silence your phone? Okay, well, SILENCE YOUR PHONE!
  4. Let the teacher know if you are new to the class, injured or recovering from an injury.
  5. Do your best to follow instructions and ask questions, if appropriate.
  6. Try not to move ahead of the teacher. Poses are held for a reason and no one likes a show-off.
  7. If the teacher says something funny, go ahead and laugh. It’s okay.
  8. Respect your fellow students – don’t lay your mat too closely to someone or block her view of the teacher.
  9. If you’re late to class or have to leave early, be as quiet as possible so as not to disrupt others.
  10. Provide feedback. (Really! We’d love to know how we could improve!)

Teachers are fueled by the energy from students. So any positive energy you can share not only improves your experience but helps the class as a whole. Remember, we are still human beings who want to make sure you’re also enjoying yourself so give us a break and smile back. It won’t kill you.

Your teacher is giving you everything he’s got. Are you giving back?