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How to Workout and Exercise: 15 Ways to Get Into It

Updated on January 25, 2019
Nalini Marquez profile image

Nalini is on the journey to a healthier and happier life, and writes articles with elements of the mind-body-heart-spirit connection.


Working out takes some motivation. And initiative. And habit. I started on the health journey some years ago but still remember what it was to start and still incorporate some fundamentals to keep on the path.

I sometimes see new faces at the gym and a certain uncertainty in being there, and I remember what it was to start going to the gym as a heavily overweight individual with no experience in exercising. It is a health journey that I am still on but from the journey there are things that we can do to get us going and to keep things going. Below are 15 ways on how to workout or ways to workout and stay motivated.

Workout, workout here we come!

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How to Workout and Exercise: 15 Ways to Get Into It

1. Do what you came to do
2. Start where you are. Keep towards your goals
3. Keep proper form
4. Workout with music
5. Keep breathing and breathe properly
6. Think mind over matter: tell your body to keep going
7. Think positive thoughts/have positive self-talk
8. Pretend
9. Challenge yourself (but know your limits)
10. Move your body and use your body
11. Push now. Rest later
12. Remember your "Why"
13. Workout for the right reasons
14. Keep track of your progress
15. Be consistent

1. Do what you came to do

I put this one as number 1 for how to workout and exercise because it is one of the most important aspects for working out, but also for any endeavor that we have in our lives and that is to do what you came to do.

What I mean by this is: do what you came to do, focus on that, and do what it takes for you to be able to do what you came to do. When you're actively working out or exercising, block out everything and everyone else. Don't focus on others, or what you look like, or who is watching you. Don't think about how fat or inexperienced you are, or what they must be thinking when they see that you're trying, or that you don't know what you're doing. Don't let self-doubt or uncertainty creep in and undermine you and your workout.

The moment you start to think about any of these things, is the moment that you don't do what you came to do.You are there to do your thing. So you do you, and do what you came to do.

2. Start where you are. Keep towards your goals

Number 2 for how to workout and exercise is to start where you are and to keep towards your goals. We all are in different places in our lives, journeys, experiences, and fitness levels.The import thing is to start from wherever we are and to keep going and to keep working towards our goals. It does not matter if you're inexperienced, if it's your first time, if you're coming back from a hiatus, or whatever the case may be; what matters is that you start where you are and that you keep going.

To begin, begin.

— William Wordsworth

3. Keep proper form

Keeping proper form is also important for how to workout and exercise. This pairs closely with starting where you are. It can be easy to get excited and be eager to jump in and to progress, but wherever you are starting and for whatever type of exercise you are doing, it is important to keep proper form and to exercise properly so as to avoid injuries and strains to muscles and other parts of our bodies.

Learning and maintaining proper form for exercises can take time but it makes the difference for being able to workout, getting the most from your workout, and taking care of your body. Do some research on proper form for the exercises you will be doing, ask someone who looks approachable and non-intimidating, and/or start slowly and access your body's feedback on the exercise(s) you are doing and modify accordingly.

4. Workout with music

There is a something about working out with music that makes working out so much easier and it is much more motivating. When I hear the music pumping, I follow the rhythm of the music. The music is intense, I am intense. The music has an upbeat, I have an up beat. The music keeps going, I keep going.

5. Keep breathing and breathe properly

This one is so important for workouts and exercise. If you keep breathing and keep steady oxygen going, your body will keep going and keep breathing. The moment you stop having a steady processing of oxygen, the moment your body starts having problems working out. I also find that breathing in and out through the nose makes a difference in endurance, form, getting the most from working out, and in feeling less fatigued during workouts.

When you are tired, when you feel you cannot keep going, remember to inhale and exhale and repeat. Do this throughout your life but also throughout your workout, and remember to breathe in and out through your nose!

6. Think mind over matter: tell your body to keep going

Your mind is one powerful organ. It is the house of all major body processes. It is
the master. In short, your mind rocks. Your body will keep going as long as long as your mind tells it to keep going. The moment your mind so much as thinks that it is ok to stop your body will quit and your legs (or whatever body part you are working) will probably be the first to give out. If you do not believe this try it. Your workout will be doomed and it will take a lot of work both mental and physical to get you back into your groove to finish your workout.

Think mind over matter!

7. Think positive thoughts/have positive self-talk

You would be surprised how many thoughts go through our minds in a day and thoughts going through our mind while we workout are no exception.

Think positive thoughts while you workout. “I can do this.” “I am strong.” “I am almost there.” Also, have gratitude and say "thank you" to your body, especially when it makes progress, because it is working HARD! Believe it or not, it helps.

8. Pretend

Working out requires that you exert yourself and it is not always easy to do this, especially when you have already been exerting yourself during your workout and you are getting tired.

But you know what can help in the exertion process? Your imagination! Pretend that you are training for the "Hunger Games." Pretend that you are Mulan and you are going to defeat the Huns! Imagine that all the obstacles and challenges that you have encountered are surrounding you and that you're overcoming them. Imagine that you are in a life or death situation that requires you to keep fighting (vs flighting).

Do it!

9. Challenge yourself (but know your limits)

Working out requires that you challenge yourself. If you do not challenge yourself you will not be getting a workout yet if you overexert yourself you could injure yourself and have problems beyond not being able to work out.

Challenge yourself to get the most out of your workout and your body but also listen to your body. It tells you when you need to slow down (but not quit. There is a different between your body saying to slow down and you wanting to quit!).

10. Move your body and use your body

When you are working out, chances are that the part or area of your body that you are working out is getting tired and maybe struggling to keep up. When this happens use other parts of your body to support the part of your body that you are working. This does not mean to do things in poor or incorrect form as this can result in injury; this means that other parts of your body often can help out other parts of your body.

An example of this is when you are exercising on a treadmill or running and your legs start to get tired, moving your arms in a slight swinging motion will help to give your body some momentum in working out and gives the legs a slight push to keep going.

11. Push now. Rest later

Very few people have all day to dedicate to working out and I doubt that even those people workout all day. But while you are working out it is important to remember that if you push hard in your workout you will be able to rest later. There is only so much time that you will be working out for and the workout finishes soon enough. Pushing hard now will merit the rest later and it also will maximize the time you are dedicating to working out.

12. Remember your "Why"

When you feel unmotivated to work out or when you are struggling to keep going, just remember why you are working out and keep that goal in mind. There is a reason, and normally many reasons, why we are working out and why we are exercising.

In the good time, the bad times, and the "why am I here again?" times, remember your "Why."

13. Workout for the right reasons

While it is important to remember your "Why" and to keep your goal in mind, it is important to be working out for the right reasons.

Workout because you want to be healthy. Workout because you want your body to work for you and so you work for your body. Workout because it releases endorphins and revs up your metabolism. Workout because you deserve it. Any other reasons may temporarily motivate you but will not keep you going long enough to stay committed and will eventually not serve as motivators.

10 Good Reasons to Workout

1. Be fit

2. Be healthy

3. Be stronger

4. Be energized

5. Be more confident

6. Be more empowered

7. Make the most of your body

8. Increase stamina and endurance

9. Maintain mind-body-spirit balance

10. Feel more comfortable in your body

14. Keep track of your progress

Keeping track of your progress is a great way to stay motivated to exercise and workout. As we progress or even as we have set backs, it is important to know how things are coming along and it is unrealistic to think that we will remember it all. Plus, having written documentation of some sort for your progress lets you know that you did not change the information and/or that you did not mis-attribute anything. It also helps for staying committed to working out and exercising.

It is neat to look at your own progress report and to see where you started, how you have been progressing, and it keeps you motivated to keep progressing!

4 Benefits of Tracking Your Progress

1. Accountability to yourself

2. Sense of accomplishment

3. See stages and progressions

4. Notice patterns and areas that need improvement

6 Workout Items to Track

1. Healthy eating

2. Starting weight

3. Weekly weight

4. Days that you exercise

5. Exercise type (speed, circuit, target area, etc.)

6. Changes you have noticed in body, energy, endurance, focus, perspective, etc.

15. Be consistent

Last, but definitely not least, for how to workout and exercise: be consistent. After being on this path for some years now, I can say that one of the keys for how to workout and exercise is to be consistent. It really makes a difference.

Something is better than nothing, and it is easier to stay on the path than to take breaks from the path and then try to get back on it. Be consistent and make it a habit. Even better, make it routine so there is less temptation to be inconsistent. When it is part of your routine, it is "part of the background" as they say and then all you have to do is exercise.

Are you ready to workout?

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You can do it!
You can do it! | Source

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2013 Nalini Marquez


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