What’s the hardest fitness move of all? Forget about complicated cardio combinations, heavy weights, and endurance races. For a lot of us, the hardest move is the first one — getting started.
If you’re a beginner and looking to take that first step, we brought in the expert: fitness influencer, trainer on The Biggest Loser, and American Gladiator Jen Widerstrom. She created Get Moving and Start Losing, a program for beginners and those with a lot of weight to lose. Available only on BODi, her program focuses on low-impact moves so anyone can do it. And you’ll make progress from the first day, ensuring you stick with it.
Here, she shares her top five tips for success when you’re getting started with fitness.
1. Keep an Open Mind
Don’t make assumptions about how a fitness program is going to go and whether you’ll be able to perform (or not perform) when doing it.
“You don’t know what you don’t know,” Widerstrom says. “Overthinking can paralyze your ability to get started.”
Before abandoning a program because you think it’s too hard, take a moment to question that assumption. When you face up to a fear and identify it, that’s a powerful step toward getting past it. That’s when you get to the good stuff, Widerstrom believes.
“Show up and let your experience come into its own form,” she says. “You’ll be shocked to see what can happen in your life when you let it.”
2. Set Realistic Goals for Yourself
Even if you have big visions of what you want to achieve — and make no mistake, having large goals is important — you should also have smaller and more realistic goals, Widerstrom suggests.
That goal could be pressing “play” on day one of a new program or doing two or three classes per week. That’s much easier to maintain as a series of goals instead of telling yourself you’ll work out every day, no matter what, for example.
“When you’re realistic with your goal setting, you’re more likely to stay invested and consistent with them,” she says. “Outlandish goals get depersonalized and therefore deactivate your motivation.”
Have clear, firm goal posts, she adds. That way, you’ll be able to celebrate every single one of those wins.
3. Let Someone Else Plan Your Workouts
There is so much information available online about fitness. While you could put together your own workout program, why not let the experts handle that part for you and focus on showing up and giving it all you’ve got?
With a program like Widerstrom’s Get Moving and Start Losing, you have the benefit of a beginner-focused program put together by an expert. The program progresses in a meaningful way, taking the guesswork out of your workouts. You don’t have to wonder if you’re doing the right thing, says Widerstrom.
“You know what to expect not only from the program, but also from your coach, and that allows you to see the landscape of where you’re going so there are no surprises,” she says. “Elements like these increase your accountability while reducing misplaced fear and confusion.”
4. Modify Moves as Needed
Beginners have a tendency to think they need to do everything exactly as described — or they’ve failed the program. But Widerstrom says part of the adventure of doing workouts is taking ownership of your experience.
“I always joke that the only person they should listen to more than me is their body,” she says. “Feel empowered to shorten sets, reps, and range of motion where needed so you can honor where you are each day and progress forward with a positive mindset.”
5. Be Curious
With a new workout journey, particularly if you haven’t been on one before, it can feel like you have to grit your teeth and dig deep as you’re starting. Take a different approach, suggests Widerstrom, by being curious instead.
“Give yourself a chance to see who you are and you will have a front-row seat on the strength and capability that’s been within you all along,” she says. “I promise you this, there’s nothing more motivating than proof of your own progress and personal pride.”