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Just Start Exercising!Earlier this week, I shared the one lesson that motivated me to change my life.

” The more muscle you have, the more calories you burn. ”

This one piece of knowledge moved me from the living room sofa to an elliptical that had been collecting dust in my son’s old bedroom. After about a month, I realized I wasn’t going to die from working out each day, so I tried a workout video. This really got me moving and pushing and sweating to the point where I started to notice physical changes.

After about 3 months, I realized that I didn’t feel self-conscious about my body so much anymore. I noticed that my body was changing, and that if Jillian Michaels could wear a tank bra in her videos, I certainly could in my spare room/now called “the fitness room”. This freed me up to feel more flexible and comfortable while exercising.

At first it felt awkward, deciding to work out when my husband was watching television after his work day. But I got over it and realized the old saying was true…”No matter how slow you go, you’re still lapping everybody on the couch.” After a month or two more, my husband joined in. Yes, I said my husband joined in. And so it began. Fitness became the way of life in our home. And it has been ever since.

That was 3 years ago. Since then, I’ve set many goals for myself and reached almost all of them. Some of them simple, like, “I want to feel proud of my arms instead of wearing 3/4 sleeves all the time.” Wow. That was a pretty specific goal, but it was reachable and could be done using many different methods.

Next, I wanted to lose 15 pounds before a trip to the Caribbean that was 8 months off. That was doable too and I did it. I felt great on my trip, and even though my brother-in-law said “ewww” when I suggested that I was wearing a bikini on that beach no matter what anyone thought (yes, I know, it was a pretty jerk thing to say), I did wear a bikini on that beach and looked and felt great doing it!  And no, I didn’t care what he thought…or anyone else for that matter. It only matters what I think about me, and what you think about you.

It’s important to celebrate these milestones and celebrate ourselves, not giving one bit of it to someone else to tear down. Savor your hard work, your sweat, your discipline, and the care you give yourself. Soak it in and be proud of it!

I moved from method to method at first to find what I would enjoy most. It was important to find the type of workout method that fit me and motivated me to push myself and feel really good when doing it. I settled on bodyweight circuits and strength training. While we do have a nice full set of dumbbells up to 50 lbs, I find that for my body type and the goals I set, I don’t generally use them, but can if I want to switch things up.

Before you begin, check with your doctor or health professional to see if an exercise program is a safe choice for you at this time. Once you feel it’s safe to get started, check out some of the workout resources below. These are all ones I’ve used and I have found all of them challenging and useful on my path to fitness. I hope you will too.

Jillian Michaels of Biggest Loser Fame offers a 3 level video that will kick your butt, but the lowest level shouldn’t scare you off. It offers just enough challenge to make you sweat and feel good about what you’ve done. Plus, the workout with the warm-up and cool-down included is less than a half hour. You can fit a half hour into your day, right?

You can get the video here to get started (affiliate link)…

Another great resource is ZuzkaLight.com. Zuzka offers premium content, but has a TON of free resources on her site as well. Pages and pages of workouts that she has designed and offers on video that range from beginner to advanced are available for free.

Zuzka inspired me to feel confident in developing my own workouts, and I do change them up about once every 2 or 3 months, creating a couple at a time that work different parts of the body so I can switch it up a couple of times a week.

The BEST part about Zuzka’s workouts, however, are that she often offers shorter videos with sample demonstrations of each exercise and you can then move on and do them yourself. OR, she offers a full video of her doing the workout- sweaty and out of breath so you can see this really fit woman getting out of breath and working along with you. It’s ugly and difficult sometimes and it makes you feel totally normal!

Most of her free videos are back in the archives a bit since she’s begun offering premium videos, but there are a ton of free ones there. I do not get any kick back for mentioning this, I just really like her workouts and how hard she works with you.

So there you have it…a couple of resources to get you started. From time to time, I’ll share other resources that have been successful for me and I’ll give you a fair rundown on the experience I’ve had with each of them. There have been many over the last 3 years!

I hope you find these resources helpful or at the very least, they get you thinking about finding a good exercise fit for your life.

Don’t forget- the more muscle you have, the more calories your body burns daily! So, let’s get started making some muscle!

Thanks for reading and good luck this week. If you want to be sure to catch all of our posts, take a minute to connect with us. And as always, share any thoughts on this topic in the comment section. Your contribution is appreciated and important!