Since the pandemic, there have been many setbacks for people who were very active in the gym. Some were in there every day and possibly taking the weekends off. Others went 7 days a week. When things seemed to be taking a positive turn, many decided to get back into the gym and try and build up their immune system and work on getting healthy.

While being consistent has paid off for many of us, as I have lost over 40 pounds since the pandemic started, and I am still working to lose even more. Many that I know of have stopped going to the gym and some people don't realize is that this also causes depression to set in as well. I have learned that a rigorous workout routine can help shield the depression and work for keeping a positive light. Sure, it is a process, but like anything, it takes time to see change. Yet, if you stick with it, it can work out.

Here are 5 steps that I have personally done to help with my journey and I recommend them to many of you if you are getting started again back in the gym or even for the first time.

Explore your options: If you are going to just do a little walking around the neighborhood, then take those baby steps and make it happen. If you want to get a bicycle then that could be a great choice as well. If you want to join a gym then check out some of your area gyms and ask questions about their facilities and see about getting a trial membership to see what works for you.

Set Obtainable Goals: We are all wanting to drop the pandemic or holiday weight as soon as we can. But in order to be successful and stick to it. You need to set goals that you can stick to and if you fall off a little. It won't be hard to get back on it. If you have ten. twenty or even one hundred pounds to lose, it is best to pace yourself and take small but meaningful strides to get there. This leads me to the next tip.

Find a partner or trainer wot work out with: I have been working out by myself for the past six months and while I initially started off with a trainer, my schedule got in the way and I had to find a routine that worked for me. If you are just getting back started, you should consider finding a friend to work out with. You may come across a group of friends. Or you may just want to find a trainer. Many times you can get started off on the right track and reach a plateau on your weight loss journey. When this happens, you have to change it up some and a trainer is usually the person who can get you going in the right direction.

Look at the way your clothes fit and not the scale: I know that this may be hard to accept, but if you are overly consumed with the scale, more than likely, you will drive yourself insane. There could be numerous reasons why the numbers on the scale are not in your favor. It could be water weight, bloating or sometimes you may be working out too much. The latter is truly a thing and should be considered on your journey. But pull out that sweater or jeans from a year ago. I am willing to be bet you that there is a little room there. That is what you should be focused on when working out. You could be adding muscle to the body and while the scale may look the same, you are losing fat and building muscle. Guess what, the end goal is still going in the right direction and you are succeeding.

Don't Give Up: When you are working out, sometimes life hits you in the face. We all have those moments where we want to quit. Sometimes you may need to take a step back and reevaluate some things. But regardless of what happens, do not give up. Take as many times as you need to deal with what you have going on. Just remember, Rome wasn't built in a day, and it may take longer than you want, but being consistent is what will create the best results. To go along with this, watch how much stress you allow on yourself. I know people personally who work out often and can't lose any weight. Most of the time this is due to hidden stress or things that they are worried about. Too much stress will prevent you from reaching the optimum health goals you want to get to.

One final thing when it comes to working on a new you. Make sure your food intake is right and start looking at the things you buy in the store. The things that you eat can really attribute to an unhealthy lifestyle as well. Here's to a new year that is coming and the new year that has been inside you all of your life. Good Luck on your journey. Don't stop what you are doing,  continue what you are doing and watch the results happen.

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