Ladies, fitness is more than running a marathon, going to cross-fit or doing the splits. Fitness is part of our overall health and wellness. It’s a combination of balance, variety, kindness and being consistent.
Sometimes we take fitness too seriously, and other times we don’t take it seriously enough. It’s not all or nothing, it’s just a little bit of everything. Staying in good physical shape can help your mental health. When you’re active, your body releases endorphins, which help boost your mood and calm your mind.
Here are 4 quick tips to help you in your fitness journey—because your health is one of the most important investments you’ll ever make.
1. Find balance
Fitness and health in general, is all about balance. You don’t have to hit the gym every morning at 5am to deadlift (unless that’s your thing) just move more. Fitness is, at its core, just movement. And, the movement can be as easy as walking.
Walking is actually one of the best movements for humans.
“Whether it is a stroll on a sunny day, walking to and from work, or walking down to the local shops, the act of putting one foot in front of the other in a rhythmic manner is as much human nature as breathing, thinking and loving,” wrote researchers Emmanuel Stamatakis, Mark Hamer, and Marie Murphy in an editorial published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine.
So, go ahead, take a walk in the morning before work, or during work, or just because. Fitness is a balance of intensity and simplicity. Pick something easy like walking, and another activity that’s more intense like a bike ride or a HIIT workout, to give yourself balance.
2. Mix it up and make yourself accountable
It’s natural to dread working out if we have to do the same thing every day. Here’s the good news: you can do whatever you want! Walk, run, bike, hike, ski, swim, do yoga, take a HIIT class, barre, or kickboxing class—whatever makes you happy and gets you moving.
Grab some friends and try something new! Bonus: when you work out in a group, it gives you accountability AND fun.
“Group classes can be a fun way to sweat it out with friends or meet new people. Plus, when you sign up for a class, you’re committing to your workout, which can help you stay on track with your routine,” wrote SELF magazine.
Also, you can use a fitness tracker like a FitBit or Apple Watch, to monitor your steps, your heart rate, and your progress.
3. Be kind to yourself
Working out, eating well and taking care of yourself is important because you are important. Self-care is not selfish. Taking care of your mind, body and mental health is necessary. Be kind to yourself—do things that are good for you and surround yourself with positive people who are good for you.
“You matter. You are worthy just as you are, and you are worthy enough to inhabit the center of your own life. You are worthy enough to have goals for yourself and work toward them. You are worthy enough to ask the question “What do I need?” and give yourself or do for yourself whatever that is,” wrote Shape Magazine.
4. Be consistent
Do what you love, but don’t overdo it. Make sure you’re balancing your workouts and taking rest days. They are *just* as important as your intentional workouts. Whatever you do to get moving, just be consistent. Being fit is really just being active. And, bonus, it doesn’t have to take your whole day!
Take Jada Pinkett Smith (who recently had a treatment that went viral) , actress, business woman and EXTREMLEY fit and fabulous at 47. She told BET that she only does cardio for about 20 minutes a day!
“Everybody’s thinking you gotta be in the gym for an hour and a half. Literally, I’m never in the gym longer than 45 minutes,” Jada Pinkett Smith told BET. “Just be consistent—that’s it! It doesn’t necessarily have to be intense, and you will see a difference. Just go out of your house and do a brisk walk!”
Ladies, if we have 20 minutes to scroll through social media or watch one (or five) episodes on Netflix, we probably have 20 minutes to do a quick workout.
Tying it all together
As you’re planning your next workout, remember this: fitness your journey. There will be easy days and difficult days, high intensity workouts and calming workouts. There will be seasons where you don’t feel like focusing on fitness, but the most important thing you can do is just move.
“Showing up is the most difficult challenge. I had to drag myself out and do even a little. Consistency has help me so much though…because the body wants attention and wants to be moved. So important for your circulation, your health, your happiness and for your strength,” wrote Hilaria Baldwin on her Instagram account.
Find your fitness flow! Want to start right now? Check out this simple 10-day fitness challenge to help you get moving.