1. Read up.
Researching and reading up on your new fitness routine doesn’t have to be boring. In fact, it should excite you to hit the ground running. Research can include looking at fitness photos on Instagram, reading tips and advice from expert trainers, and talking to friends who have tried similar workouts. Learning some of the ropes ahead of time will acquaint you with any special gear or clothing you might need. Reading up can also help you set realistic short-term goals for yourself, making your long-term goals more reachable. There are beginner and intermediate modifications for almost activity type, so don’t feel like you have to be a pro on your first day.
2. Remember that no one is watching you.
When you’re new to something, it’s so easy to feel like all eyes are on you. Especially if your new workout is something that involves sequences or coordination (like barre, Zumba, or yoga), you can feel like you’re out of sync with the regulars, and therefore, like you stand out. Here’s the good news: everyone is watching themselves, not you! Even if you’re working out in front of a mirror, there’s an unspoken rule in the fitness community that you focus on yourself, not comparing yourself to those around you. Everyone, including you, is doing their own best.
4. Combine a new workout with a new experience.
Often, the best way to spark a new fitness obsession is to go all in. It can be easy to let your reservations keep you on the sidelines, but at some point you have to say yes to giving it a try. Workshops, vacations, and fitness retreats are a great way to immerse yourself in a new activity. The positive, supportive, and relaxing vibe of a retreat can foster a lifelong love affair with your new activity or routine, and you’ll be surrounded by both fitness professionals who are knowledgeable and new friends who are enthusiastic about learning alongside you.
Gemma Leghorn is a writer, editor and outdoor fitness devotee. She loves running, hiking, snowshoeing, and yoga.
Six months ago, MMA was something I hardly even knew existed. I assumed every type of fighting was the same and was confident that I myself would never attempt any kind of training that was built on combat. Me? A fighter? No thanks.
Three months ago, MMA was a sport I was starting to hear people talk about, mostly associated with Ronda Rousey and Holly Holm, to be honest. But I still felt confident that MMA would never be anything more to me than just a Pay Per View special that I watched with my boyfriend and his friends.
One month ago, MMA finally poked its head up into my life. I got the chance to e-interview Xavier Pagan, a trainer at the UFC Gym in the Financial District. Our goal: to "de-mystify" MMA, so that I could learn (and then share with others) what the technique is really all about.
Read on to hear why MMA (Mixed Martial Arts) is an awesome way to work out - regardless of how you usually train - and why it's not as scary as you may think.