I am definitely not one others would consider ‘athletic’. Growing up, I opted to reading a good detective novel, watching a comedy show that gave me a laugh, and practising calligraphy as opposed to going out on the field. Sports were never part of my childhood memories–not that I ever tried particularly hard to give them apart either. My life would probably have continued on the same route without a trace of the athletic element if not for the COVID-19 pandemic, during which I was stuck home most of the time and finally decided to try out something I never had before–incorporating exercise into my routine. Here are a few tips on how you can do it too:
#1: invest in quality sports gear
There is no need to go all out and buy the latest running shoes or equipment, but make sure that your athletic wear, as well as any equipment you are using, are in the very least comfortable and safe enough for long-term use. A pair of ill-fitting running shoes or an itching T-shirt could really ruin our desire to exercise, especially when we first start out, with little progress to keep us motivated. The safety of your equipment is even more crucial; it is key that you do not get injured because a screw on your dumbbell suddenly comes loose or your treadmill is unsteady under your running feet. Invest in quality sports gear so that your workout can proceed without danger or frustration–you will thank yourself later.
#2: switch up your workout routines
Do you ever get tired of eating the same food, or performing the same tasks at work? If you do, congrats–you are perfectly normal. We have a tendency of getting bored with repetitive activity, and working out is no exception. If you follow the same routine every day, not only are you likely to stop looking forward to your workout due to your boredom, the effectiveness of your workout also decreases. Exercising the same muscles, in the same way, will eliminate the challenge of the workout; your muscles would have adapted to the stretch, leaving no opportunity for it to grow stronger. Therefore, instead of sticking rigidly to the same routine, switch them up regularly. Try following a different workout video for everyday of the week, or create a playlist with lots of options to choose from.
#3: do not compare your results with other people
There are many hashtags on Instagram and TikTok preserved for demonstrating the Before and After results of workouts. They are a great source to know which workouts are popular and effective; however, at the same time, they can also be–quite discouraging if your improvements are not as significant as others. When you see an AB line forming on someone else’s body in less than 2 weeks while yours is still nowhere to be seen after a month of hard work, you are prone to question whether your workouts actually make a difference and consider quitting. Stay strong in those moments. Do not abandon all your effort and call it a day. Bear in mind that everyone progresses in different ways and that your bloom just arrives later. You will be rewarded for your persistence–just be patient. Good luck!