Becoming Fit and Strong

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Written by Lauren Delaney

Do you need help making being fit as part of a lifestyle commitment. Join author Lauren Delaney as she shares “Becoming Fit and Strong.

Written by Lauren Delaney

As I drove up to the gym this morning, I could not help but notice that there have been more and more people in attendance. There are less and less cardio equipment options and the classes are jam packed. Of course, it occurred to me that the weather is getting warmer and with the summer around the corner the fear of sleeveless tops and swimsuit attire can motivate everyone a little bit. However, I believe that if you want to be fit and strong it is a year round pursuit. Often times, people jump in with vim and vigor only to have it dissipate come the first Memorial Day BBQ. After all they have put in their time exercising and it becomes less of a priority as work gets busy or social obligations increase.

Two dumbell weights isolated on white with soft shadow.Looking well cannot be the only motivator that you count on. What motivates me is to be strong and feel good. I want to be up for trying a new activity like Stand Up Paddle Boarding and not worry if I will be capable. I want to try ice skating again next winter and not worry I will get too tired or not be able to balance myself. Here are a few tips that I recommend if you are looking to start a fitness routine. It’s good to start small and build up gradually. Trying to do too much at once will result in burnout. Getting fit is a marathon not a sprint! It is not overnight, but if you make the commitment to yourself you will reap the rewards.

Below are my top ten tips to get started with a routine:

  • Make the commitment to yourself. I believe that women often feel guilty with taking the time they need for themselves. However, it’s crucial we take care of ourselves for our health and mental well-being.
  • Join a gym. It is possible to workout at home; however, if you can afford the cost a gym is very helpful. It puts up in an environment of other like-minded people and gets us away from the distractions at home.
  • Seek out a trainer. Most gyms provide at least one free session as part of an initial membership. Take advantage of this option so you can at least get comfortable and learn how to use the various machines. A trainer is great if you can afford it and want a little more guidance as you are starting out.
  • Set up a schedule and stick to it. What works best for you? Some people love to work out in the morning and others prefer an after work or evening routine. Can you work out on the weekends or are you often traveling or busy with family. Find at least three days that work best for you. You can add more as you get more accustomed to it.
  • Be flexible. You will get sick or have late nights at work that derail your workouts. Don’t fret. Simply shrug it out and adjust accordingly.
  • Buy some cute clothes. It may sound silly, but we are more likely to want to work out if we have a cute outfit to do it in…it just helps.
  • Enlist a friend. A workout buddy holds us accountable and makes the time exercising go by quickly
  • Don’t get discouraged. Give yourself credit for reaching small goals. If you continue to plug away you will get where you want to be.
  • Try something new. Do not follow the same routine week in and week out. You will get bored and so will your body. After 3-4 weeks you need to mix it up. Try a new class like spinning or yoga.
  • Embrace being active. Find little opportunities during the day where you can do a little extra. Park your car a little further, take the stairs, do a few stretches while you watch TV or enlist your husband in a walk after dinner. It all adds up!

Working out with a busy schedule is not easy. Like anything else though if it is truly important we will find the time. Most of all remember the positive commitment you are making to yourself and try to search out exercise you truly enjoy. If it’s fun — it’s much easier to want to do it!

Identity Magazine is all about empowering women to get all A’s in the game of life — Accept. Appreciate. Achieve.TM Every contributor and expert answer the Identity 5 questions in keeping with our theme. As a team, we hope to inspire and motivate ourselves and inspire you to get all A’s.

What have you accepted in your life that took time, physically or mentally?
Patience – and I am still working on it!

What do you appreciate about yourself and within your life?
Accepting that not being perfect is ok.

What is one of your most rewarding achievements in life? What goals do you still have?
A successful career in marketing. I would love to own my own company eventually.

What is your not-so-perfect way? What imperfections and quirks create your Identity?
I tend to be obsessive and a perfectionist, but I’ve learned to let things unfold a little more as I’m getting older.

How would you complete the phrase “I Love My…?
I love my determination and resourcefulness. It’s come to my rescue many times!

About the author

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Lauren Delaney

Lauren has a bachelor's degree in English Literature from Fairleigh Dickinson University and is currently employed at Century 21 Real Estate as a Marketing Manager. Lauren "discovered" working out about two years ago after she was injured in a car accident. After seeking medical care, she was told she would never feel better until she started exercising and strengthening her body. Not exactly the athletic type,
Lauren started with some baby steps, and found she truly enjoyed getting stronger and "feeling the burn" as they mention in those gym commercials. A love of exercise led to better eating, lots of learning about nutrition, and the rest as they say is history. Hardly! It has only been two years and there is still a lot out there to absorb. So much so that Lauren started a blog to share her thoughts and adventures. The Bikini Experiment is dedicated to the journey of enjoying the fit life...because, yes, it can be fun. In her spare time, Lauren enjoys movies, shopping, celebrity gossip, reading and traveling.

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