Tip #1: stop shaming people for making the gym a priority heading into 2020. 

New Year, new you...am I right? Same here.

As we buckle up for another trip around the sun, you might notice people flooding your timeline with all their resolutions for the year 2020. For a lot of those people, their new years resolution might be to join a gym and get in shape. For others, like myself, it's to be kinder to people or recycle more. Whatever your resolution might be, know that you have my full support and I believe you can accomplish anything you set your mind to.

I've been going to the gym regularly since May 2019 and I'm proud to say that I've lost over 10 pounds. My main goal was to look great for my wedding in April, but I don't see myself stopping anytime soon. Once the gym became part of my routine, I was committed. Don't get me wrong, making it a routine takes a lot of work, but the payoff has been worth it. With that being said, I have some tips and tricks for those of you that are hitting the gym for the first time in 2020.

I'd like to get started first with a tip for everyone else - whether you're already a member of a gym or you're an acquaintance of someone who's getting involved.

Tip #1 - SUPPORT THEM. I've seen SO MANY negative memes and people mocking others for making the gym a resolution for the new year. Some are talking about how it never works out and others are talking about how crowded their gym is going to be for the next several weeks. We should really be encouraging these people to take control of their health instead of mocking them for it. For some it might not work out, but someone's life is going to change this year because of it.

Now we can move on to my real tips.

Please note, I'm not a medical professional but only a mediocre fit girl (sometimes) that wants to share the things that have worked well for me.

The real Tip #1: Give yourself time. This is so, so important. I was so discouraged after going to the gym 5 days a week for several months and hardly seeing the number on the scale change. Don't get discouraged. It takes time.

Tip #2: Along with taking time is consistency. Making the decision to get up and get into the gym regularly is what's going to get your results. Take days off, have a cheat meal, I am ALL FOR THAT, but make your fitness routine consistent. When you're consistent, things start changing.

Tip #3: Allow rest days. Trust me, I know it's tempting to start going crazy once you see your body changing. You don't want to give up, so you keep going hard back to back to back. Your body is capable of pretty amazing things, but it also needs rest and recovery. Allow yourself time to grow and heal. It will make you stronger and prevent injury when you give your body time to rest.

My favorite way to recover is to soak in an Epsom salt bath. The salt helps relax muscles and it's a good way to mentally rest as well.

Tip #4: STRETCH. I've learned the importance of stretching during my time at Orangetheory Fitness. Each workout is followed with a stretch block and the benefits are endless. Your body deserves a good stretch after working hard and it helps prevent injury.

I've come a long way since I first began stretching, but I know it can be tough when your body hates bending. I suggest using some stretch blocks to help you get into effective positions without overdoing it.

Tip #5: Drink plenty of water. Along with rest, stretching, and recovery, your body needs water. It needs even more water than normal after working hard, so nourish that. If you water yourself, you'll grow.

This cute little water bottle has time markers on it to help you remember to hydrate.

Tip #6: Invest in a good pair of shoes. Whether you're weightlifting or hitting the treadmill for cardio, having a good pair of shoes is essential to having a good workout. I've tried a few different pairs throughout the years, but here are my two favorites:

These Nike Metcons are flat on the bottom, which make them great for weightlifting.

And these Brooks are my favorite running shoes of all time. I've probably ran 500 miles in mine and they've never lost shape. I'm in need of a new pair, but I just can't let them go.

Tip #7: EAT. Crash dieting and starving yourself might get the pounds off initially, but being more mindful and eating healthier overall is a consistent way to keep the pounds off. For me, I never looked at eating better as a "diet". It was just more a lifestyle change that I've gotten used to and now I don't even think to buy junk food when I hit the store.

If you're anything like me, being a mom + working out + cooking healthy is a full-time job in itself. I love my crock pot and have found several healthier options I can make during the day to save me some time and energy at dinner time. You can also sub other meats out for healthier options.

Whatever your resolution may be, you can do if you set your mind to it. Consistency is key no matter what you decide to do, so make up your mind and stick to it!

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