If you’ve been toying with the idea of starting a fitness journey (or fighting against the battle to put it off until the New Year, again) we can promise it’s worth making the change ASAP.
How do we know? Sunny’s team of trainers are living out their dream fitness lifestyles and elevating themselves in the process. So often, we see influencers or watch fitness instructors on camera in awe—admiring what they have and writing off that same experience for ourselves.
In reality, influencers and instructors aren’t drinking some magic potion, they just have the courage to continue pouring into themselves and say ‘yes’ to their goals even when they don’t feel like it.
How to break through and harness their unshakeable motivation? Below, is what your favorite Sunny trainers wish they knew before starting their journey, and how they keep the fire ignited day after day.
What is a Fitness Journey?
When you think of a fitness journey, weight loss transformations likely come to mind. While weight loss can be a part of your fitness story, it doesn’t have to be. The best part about a fitness journey is that it’s unique to you. Your goals, motivation, routine, pace, and diet will likely vary from your neighbor, and that’s totally normal. So, before you judge or copy others, seek to understand your goals first. Any solid fitness journey begins with you as the core intention.
How to Start a Fitness Journey
The first step is to determine your goals. Maybe your goal is to lose or gain weight, gain muscle or strength, build endurance, increase athleticism, boost health, or be more active in your community. It’s highly likely you’ll have a few goals at once, and that’s fine. The more motivation you have behind you, the more momentum will carry you through your journey.
Once you have your goals, decide how you aim to achieve them. This is the tough part. Often at the beginning of a journey, we don’t know what will or won’t work. Nailing down the details like how many days to work out, or how to work out can feel more challenging than showing up for your first workout. It’s okay not to know at first.
Since each journey is unique, you have the space to constantly reiterate and adjust your routine based on your needs. So, just start somewhere. It can be as simple as adding 10 minutes of movement to your day. 10 minutes might not sound like a lot, but the most change you’ll see is when you shift from doing nothing to doing something.
Take notes of what you like and don’t like along the way. What makes you feel good? What makes you happy? What results did you see after adding a certain element into your routine for one month, two months, three? Start tuning into your body, and you’ll slowly find your sweet spot.
And remember, fitness is a journey. Don’t expect to feel like you’ve ever arrived. Your Sunny instructors may seem like they’ve already crossed the finish line, but they’ll be the first to tell you they’re on their own journey like you. Day in and day out they’re making decisions to put their fitness and health first, too.
What You Should Know Before Starting a Fitness Journey
With decades of experience combined, your Sunny trainers have the juiciest secrets to success. Here’s what they’ve learned over the years.
Form Is Important
In workout after workout on the SunnyFit app, you’ll hear Sunny instructors cueing you up to practice proper form. We don’t mind sounding like a broken record because we know how essential good form is for the longevity and success of your fitness routine.
“Proper form helps make your workout more efficient and more effective, you’ll feel better and stronger,” says Sunny trainer Alexa Lambarri. “If you work at a computer or have a baby it’s going to reinforce that posture throughout the day.”
Alexa’s recommendation for achieving proper postural alignment? Line up your ears, shoulders, hips, knees, and ankles in one line from top to bottom. Use that perfect line as a structural check-in during full-body moves like squats, deadlifts, and rows.
Consistency is Key
One workout is great, but realistically you aren’t going to see any tangible results unless it’s part of a consistent workout schedule. The great part about fitness is that you don’t have to be perfect. If you miss a workout, no biggie. But if you’re consistently missing workouts, your motivation, willpower, and progress will take a hit.
“Consistency is key,” says Sunny trainer Dominique Waninger. “It doesn’t mean you always have to be as intense as when you first started…it means you have to move your body.”
For Dom, consistency means even when she falls off, she gets back up and remains consistent. And she asks the same from her Sunny fam. When you have a hard time getting back up—which you will from time to time—she recommends switching it up. Slow it down and try yoga. Speed it up and try HIIT. Hop on the bike. Go on a run. Keep your mental health positive and find new ways to keep moving and stay motivated.
The More Pros You Have The More Motivated You’ll Be
For Sunny Trainer James King, focusing on the ‘pros’ of his routine is what helps him show up. “Often, we focus only on body composition. I fell into that trap,” says James. “When you only have one reason for living a healthy lifestyle, the cons outweigh the pros…and before you know it, you’re eating a pack of Oreos.”
Your new lifestyle won’t be faced without resistance. Sometimes it might mean losing sleep, missing a fun night out, or saying no to that sleeve of Oreos. The more reasons you have driving you towards your goals, the more likely you’ll choose your goals over the many temptations that will lure you away from the healthy choice. “Write all the pros for living a healthy lifestyle and watch your motivation skyrocket,” he says.
Don’t Leave Your Mental Grit At Home
When starting any fitness journey, it’s easy to think it will be all rainbows and butterflies. “It’s a big lifestyle change, but nobody told me how hard it would be,” says Sunny Trainer Wendie Weldon.
If you have specific goals, you’re going to need to bring some mental toughness to help you stick to it. “My dad always told me the battle is won in your head first,” she says. “A huge change takes time. Know it’s a slow process. If you stick with it things will start shifting, and you will reach your goals.”
If you’re looking to build your mental fiber, Wendie has some incredible mental health classes on the SunnyFit app. Each class only takes 5 to 10 minutes and helps you dig deeper into your purpose and reset your mindset for the day.
Don’t Skip Your Warmup
The warmup is the easiest (and worst) part of your workout to skip. When you were young and limber, you might have been able to squeeze by without doing a warmup, but as our bodies age, they take more time to get up to speed. Warming up will reduce your risk of injury, and will ensure your fitness journey isn’t cut short.
“It’s so important to get that warmup in to prepare your body for movement,” says Sunny trainer Brittany Noelle. She likes to prepare for her workout by doing dynamic stretching, foam rolling, and exercises specific to the workout she’s about to perform.
Don’t Be Afraid to Lift Heavy Weights
“I promise you’re not going to bulk up,” says Sunny trainer Dana Simonelli. Women particularly resist starting a regimented strength routine out of the specific fear of packing on too much muscle, but Dana explains that it’s impossible to add muscle bulk without eating a ton of calories, and training hard to do so. No one gains muscle by accident.
“You can get your heart rate up just as high as doing cardio if you’re lifting heavy weights,” says Sunny trainer Dana Simonelli. Strength training can help burn calories, boost your metabolism, and increase your lean muscle mass (which naturally burns more calories at rest). So get lifting!
Cardio Is Valuable
So often, there are haters on one side or the others. Some evangelize weightlifting and villainize strength training, and vice-versa. The fact is packed amazing benefits for your health. When strength training and cardio are used in tandem you can elevate your lifestyle, athleticism, and health.
“When I was bodybuilding. they would always say you don’t need to do cardio to lose weight. Which is true, you don’t need to do cardio to lose weight, but you do need to do cardio to live a healthy lifestyle,” says James. “Cardio has mental health benefits, it impacts our mood, it reduces depression, it makes us happy.”
Don’t miss out. Get out there and go on a run, ride your bike, and tear it up on the basketball court. And as James puts it: “don’t forget to have some fun.”
How to Track Your Fitness Journey?
There are many ways to track your fitness progress, but the easiest way is with the SunnyFit app.
On the app, you have the option to set goals, and then choose from workouts with your favorite Sunny instructors or track a workout in free mode where you can track any activity, anywhere.
The app tracks all your workouts on a calendar, so you can see how consistent you are (and where you may need to pick up the slack).
Download the SunnyFit app today and see how easy it is to get started on your fitness journey today!