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EVERYONE EITHER KNOWS someone or is that person who makes a New Year’s resolution to start hitting the gym, lose those extra pounds, and get in tip-top physical shape. Well, it’s now September, and I’m willing to bet most of the people who made that resolution broke it. Fitness is a hard thing to push yourself into; too many go in with great enthusiasm and end up quickly burning out. So, if you’re looking to get started on a healthier, more active lifestyle but aren’t sure how to get going, never fear—help is here.

First, know why you want to start this healthy lifestyle.

  • Is it to impress that cute girl in your math class?
  • Do you want to look like one of those models with the toned abs you see all over Instagram and Twitter?
  • Are you doing it out of guilt because you feel like you should?

Honestly, if it’s any of the above, you’re setting yourself up for failure.

You need to realize you can never be someone else; only the best version of you. You’ve got to love yourself and do it for you; do it so you can run longer, work harder, and fall in love with your own body.

Maybe you’re one of those people who, like me, were always involved in little leagues and school teams growing up, but don’t have time for that now and are itching to get back into some sort of fitness routine. Perhaps you’ve never been one to commit to an active lifestyle and are ready to change your routine to a healthier one. Either way, I commend you for taking the first step and I want to help you prepare.

Going to a fitness centre is quite different from being on a team. Firstly, there’s no coach telling you to pick up the slack or teaching you how to perform certain moves. You have to learn it all on your own,

Secondly, you need to know how you’re going to keep yourself motivated. The wonderful thing about fitness is that once you truly get into the lifestyle, it’s as if you’ve joined a great, big, motivational family. You’ll even find Twitter accounts dedicated to inspiring and encouraging others to get into the spirit of fitness.

Some things I’ve used to keep myself motivated:

  • Future goals: I set my goal to complete a five-kilometre run, , which I did this summer. On to the next one!
  • Working out with friends: Going with other people not only forces you to commit to actually going at a regular time, but their improvement can also be really encouraging.
  •  Progress pictures: Change happens gradually, and not noticing it can be rather discouraging. Before and after pictures show stark improvement when placed side by side and are great picker-uppers.

One of the hardest things about getting into shape is sticking to it. It really is key to find something that will keep you interested and keep you going while also allowing you to improve. Changing up exercises is a great example of this; try out new free weight exercises and alternate which cardio machines you use on which days.

The Internet is a great source for finding new exercises that target different muscle groups, allowing you to build your own full-body routine. You can also listen to music while you do your cardio, journal about your fitness goals, and/or keep your loved ones updated. Having a proper support system is a great asset to staying motivated.

Lastly, make sure you’re making fitness fun. The gym doesn’t have to be a chore, and chances are you won’t be able to get yourself to go if you view it as such. Keep your goals realistic and centred around you so you’ll be able to achieve them.

[quote]Always be a first-rate version of yourself and not a second-rate version of someone else

—Judy Garland

Don’t look at Photoshopped pictures of models and wish you had that kind of body; you don’t need to be someone else when you could become the most kick-ass version of yourself.

Stick with it and I promise the results are worth it. Not only will your physical appearance improve, but so will your health and how you feel inside. You’ll be less tired, less bloated, and far more energetic. So what are you waiting for? Go on and get started!

[styled_box title=”Marie Ottenbrite” color=”green”]

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Marie loves memes and online video games.
When she's not lifting she spends her time
discussing technique with her cousin/
personal trainer, having deep, 
intellectual scientific debates with
herself,and going on foodie adventures
with her roommate. Try not to bring up
the topics of Virology or,"the beauty of the English language" around her; she may never 
shut up.