is both a physical and mental journey. But what works for one person may have the opposite effect on someone else. Although nutrition is the key to weight loss, fitness also plays an important role in getting lean, as well as in building strength, muscle, and confidence. We’ve rounded up helpful fitness tips from 12 women who lost weight while gaining more energy, more joy, and better overall health. If you’re on your own weight-loss journey, these fitness tips could help you reach your goals.
1 Gym Memberships Aren’t a Must!
Tina Adams gained weight from not being active enough. So she started working out five to six days a week and wants you to know that a gym membership isn’t necessary! You can do all your workouts at home in your living room, and you only need to devote 30 to 35 minutes to see results. She recommends doing a mix of HIIT (high intensity interval training) and strength training, using videos on YouTube on the FitnessBlender channel (it has tons of full-length videos for free). While you’re there, check out our YouTube channel.
2 Write Down Workouts on the Calendar
If you’re afraid or ashamed to go to a gym to work out, Adrienne Walter recommends starting out with home workouts. Once you start losing weight and building your confidence, find a fitness class you love. Adrienne did Zumba three to four days a week.
Another tip? She wrote her workouts on a calendar on her wall so she could cross off each day she worked out. “It made me feel accomplished and reminded me if I was falling behind,” she said. Now, Adrienne said her workout schedule is “like a buffet line at a mall food court” with how much variety she implements. “I hardly ever do the same workout two days in a row, and I love it that way.” It prevents her from getting bored, so be sure to mix up your workouts.
3 Find Ways to Stay Accountable
When she began her fitness journey, Kayla Mills knew she needed accountability from group fitness classes to keep her motivated. So she bought a month of unlimited HIIT-style bootcamp classes from Groupon.
After a few months of seeing progress and building stamina, she was able to start working out on her own. “I watched countless YouTube videos and used the moves I had learned at boot camp as a base while trying out new fitness classes to keep things interesting,” Kayla said.
4 Walking Can Be Enough
To lose 100 pounds, Kim Dye didn’t need to do any superintense workouts. She began to walk nearly two miles every day to take her son to school. “About two weeks in, I noticed my clothes were fitting looser, and I decided to step it up,” she said. This progressed to three-mile walks at a trail nearby, then six-mile walks. This is proof that something as simple as walking can make a huge difference.
5 Do Workouts You Love . . . and Use a Tracker
Jen Wagner advises to make your workouts something that you love doing. “I never did something that made me miserable and not want to do it again,” Jen said. She played a lot of tennis — four days a week usually, anywhere from one to three hours at a time. Jen also incorporated yard work once a week and chalked that up as her fifth workout for the week. “There were times I burned more calories doing yard work than I did running for 30 minutes,” Jenny said.
She used all sorts of activities as exercise, including swimming, walking with hand weights, jumping on trampolines with her daughter . . . as long as her Apple Watch showed that she had exercised for at least 30 minutes, that was all she needed. “I haven’t stepped foot inside of a gym even one time on this journey.” It’s amazing how a fitness tracker can motivate you to move more!
6 Beachbody At-Home Workouts Were Key
Jess started her journey in the gym but suggests doing Beachbody workouts at home. “I loved that I didn’t have to leave my house in order to get in a great workout, and it was like working out with a trainer every day without having to pay for one!” Jess said. She’s been doing at-home programs for five years and has completed many programs that combine cardio and weightlifting. She typically works out six days a week, and each workout is around 30 minutes long. It may help to choose a specific time each day to do your home workout so you stay consistent.
7 Find Motivation Around You
Jessica Field suggests finding motivation from an outside source if you’re having a hard time finding it within. She came across Kelsey Wells’s Instagram page and, shortly after, began doing Kelsey’s PWR program, a strength-based training program.
Getting her feet wet with this program not only transformed her body composition, but it also gave her confidence and a sense of empowerment at the gym. “I’m no longer intimidated by all the guys in the weight room, and I look and feel stronger than I ever have,” Jessica said.
8 Get Out of Your Comfort Zone
Allie Lamay believes if your workouts are getting stale, mix things up! She began working out with a gym membership for about four months but was losing motivation and direction. She needed to try something new, and a friend suggested CrossFit. “That’s when things really changed for me,” Allie said.
She was intimidated and nervous to start but says that having a community of like-minded people to push her out of her comfort zone is what really helped her get stronger and build up confidence to challenge herself in every aspect of her life (inside and outside the gym).
If you’re interested in CrossFit, these beginners’ tips can help you mentally prep for the program.
9 Start Off Slow
Lexi Lowther recommends starting an exercise routine in baby steps. “At first I went to a local gym and left within minutes. I then decided I would walk in the evenings. Walking led to cycling, and cycling led to me setting up a home gym.” Lexi added that she tries to work out three to four times a week. “It has taken me months to get to where I am.” Remember this is a fitness journey, so it’ll take time to establish a routine.
10 Put in the Effort, Even If It’s Not Fun All the Time
Jordan Watters has some advice that you may not want to hear. You have to put in the effort in order to see results. She started with cardio and then, six months later, started lifting weights to continue losing fat and toning her muscles.
“I don’t love every second of running, but I’ve never finished a run and not felt accomplished, so I try to incorporate as much as I can while still enjoying it.” So keep in mind that you may not be in the mood to work out, but you know you’ll feel good afterward.
11 Eat Well to Fuel Your Workouts, and Screw the Scale!
Arielle Lorre used the 28-minute BBG workouts she could do at home to transform her body. She said that “the physical activity helped to shift my approach to the way I was eating as well; I needed food to fuel my workouts, and I ended up restricting less.” So her advice is to eat well so you feel energized to work out. She also only lost five pounds, so remember that exercising will make you stronger and will change your body composition, so don’t worry about what the scale says!
Not sure how to fuel your workouts? Here’s a two-week clean-eating plan to guide you.
12 Have Fitness Goals to Keep You Motivated
Before Brooke Strait got pregnant with her first baby, she had been doing CrossFit for three or four months and loved it. When she got back into CrossFit postpartum, her motivation to lose weight wasn’t just to look good — she wanted to get better at CrossFit.
Working out regularly helped, but she found that changing her diet was actually the key to progressing in her workouts. She used Renaissance Periodization (RP), a meal plan that is macro-based. “Now, about three years later and a second baby, I weigh 130 pounds and have hit 18 percent body fat. The templates that Renaissance Periodization provide have been the key to my success body-image-wise, and the success in the gym,” Brooke said.