We all have our own unique motivations for living a healthy lifestyle. When it comes to exercise, there are many ways people become active, like sports or training with a friend. There is no wrong way to get started being physically active. I had a fairly unique beginning which grew to much more over time.
As a young child, I played sports like baseball and hockey; I never saw that as exercise, and I never trained outside of those sports. I quit playing sports while I was still young and remained inactive for several years. I put on weight and was quite out of shape. (The required one mile run in gym class soon became my nemesis) What lead to my return to being physically active was actually more accidental than intentional.
I was recently asked what inspired me to make exercise a priority in my own life. Honestly, I could not remember how I started being active on a regular basis, but after a day of dwelling on that question, the answer came back to me. In eighth grade, I was a huge sports fan and would watch ESPN as much as I could, especially in the morning before school. ESPN was channel 25, and ESPN 2 was channel 27. I would flip back and forth between the two channels to watch as much sports coverage as possible. As I flipped between ESPN and ESPN 2, I would often see a flash of a bright, beautiful beach that caught my attention. It was channel 26, and I eventually decided to stop and see exactly what it was.
Channel 26 was Lifetime, “Television for Women.” It was Denise Austin’s morning workout show. Whether I stopped for the beautiful beach or the pretty woman, I can’t really seem to remember. I watched it in little bits during ESPN commercials and I began to say to myself, “I can do this.” So I did. I started slowly doing body weight exercises in my bedroom before school. This was the beginning of my regular exercise routine. To this day, some of my favorite core exercises are ones I learned from her shows. After following along in my room for a few episodes, I started to feel stronger and began to look more toned. Probably not how most teenage boys start a regular exercise regimen.
So why share this funny tidbit about my life with you? There is a very important lesson to be learned from this story. As I stated, the beginning of my regular exercise routine was different than many other teenage boys my age. That is exactly the point of this story. There is not a wrong way to get started with your exercise routine as long as it is done safely. Whatever type of exercise you start with is OK, there are so many types of exercise and ways to get started. Whatever way you decide to start can lead to more success down the line. You just have to get started.
CHES, ACE Health Coach, AFPA Nutrition & Wellness Consultant