The challenges of a fitness journey can be numerous and at times overwhelming. Starting a fitness journey is the best decision you could make, ever! It’s one of those ‘choose yourself’ decisions. Like deciding to invest in real estate; only this time YOU are the investment. Getting fit can be a daunting prospect. Yes at times it will be tough and you will want to give up.. These tips will help you achieve your fitness goals & have you feeling more energetic and confident than ever before!
1. Aches – Challenges of a Fitness Journey
Be prepared to ache. Everywhere.
You do five pushups, the next day your arms, abs, and chest ache. You decide to go jogging, the next day your legs, back, and abs hurt like crazy; climbing out of bed becomes a nightmare. If you do sit-ups/other crunches please, I repeat, please don’t watch comedy or cough for the next couple of days.
All these are typical aches.
Don’t go to hospital claiming you have malaria as I did.
Just push through them, in a day or three they’ll subside. However, there some things you could do to ease the pain:
Massage the aching area
A quick rub can ease inflammation, improve blood flow and reduces muscle tightness.
Cryotherapy (Applying ice to sore muscles)
Applying ice to a sore muscle will reduce the swelling, lower inflammation and reduce pain, ultimately leading to a quicker recovery and repair of the affected muscle.
Bear in mind that DOMS (Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness) can be really bad when you are first starting, but your body will adapt and over the next few weeks you will reach a stage where your muscle soreness is barely noticeable. So stick with it!
Mystery Shin Pain
When I started running, I used to experience this annoying pain in my legs during the exercise session and after whenever I walked. I didn’t know what it was or what was causing it at the time, and my naïve brain jumped to conclusions that I would have to get my legs amputated if it persisted (you can roll your eyes all you want, but the pain I felt was driving me nuts…)
Good news is, that’s also a normal pain especially for new runners. The condition is called Shin splints, soreness of the shin muscles. You can overcome this pain by taking it slow; start with a slow pace and little mileage and gradually increasing both.
The common cause of headaches during a workout is dehydration. If your head is pounding during or after, you should drink water; Safe amounts of water (drinking a lot of water in a short time causes hyponatremia which is a rapid decrease in the level of electrolytes in your body which can be fatal.)
It could also be a sign that you’re overworking your body; cut back a little. You can do it all in one day, the key is consistent small efforts, not one large one that sends you to hospital.
2. Failure – Challenges of a Fitness Journey
Failure.. is a part of success.. if you want to be successful in anything you must embrace failure, it is through failure that we learn and grow the most. The more you fail the quicker you will actually reach your goals. So don’t be afraid to fail, be brave, be powerful. Go after what you want proudly, knowing you are doing what’s best for you. If you do fail, then go again because at the time of your latest failure, you were closer to your goal than ever before and your next big effort will be the next breakthrough.
3. Lack of Motivation – Challenges of a Fitness Journey
People always ask ‘how’: how did you get all that money, how did you lose all that weight, how did you get over your ex? When the more important question is ‘why.’ When your why is really strong, it can get you out of any slump. And trust me slumps will be there in plenty: times when walking just a mile or two becomes hard, or when you have to summon your inner warrior and all the angels to help you through just one lap around the field.
To beat this lack of motivation, I suggest you:
- Dig deep inside you for a why that’s strong enough to withstand anything.
- Find something to lose and link it to your ‘why.’
- Have a support system/accountability partner(s).
- Have a definite desire.
- Write down a fitness goal for the week and month.
4. Fear – Challenges of a Fitness Journey
If you’re like me, you’ll have lots of fears at the beginning. Fear of being the non-fittest person at the gym, fear of ridicule, fear of failure, insecurities about how you’ll look in gym clothes.
Here are some tips on how to get over fear:
- Be kind to yourself, and to others.
- Conquer your fears; don’t run from them, face them head-on.
- Take it moment by moment and don’t overthink things.