The Young Professional’s Guide to Being Fit-Ish

April 3, 2017

I bought the cute workout clothes. That’s enough, right?

It’s happening. A lot of things are happening. Approaching the one-year anniversary of my first full-time job, my body is changing. While my weight has been consistent, the proportioning of it has not. My muscles are weak, I stay tired, and internal processes aren’t working as they should at 23. All the numbers say I’m fairly healthy – I have a ridiculously low blood pressure all the time, like 106/62 low. Am I even alive?

Frankly, I just don’t feel good. Some of it is mental, emotional – but who doesn’t experience this in a world fraught with overwhelming media? I’m disappointed in my body. I’m not talking about numbers on a scale, pants sizes, or even the overall aesthetic. I’m frustrated with my body’s inability to endure. I am physically weak, and I have to joke that I wouldn’t run from a fire because I CAN’T. I mean, I can, but it’s not pretty. I have no stamina and no ability to recover from muscle soreness when I actually am active. Moreover, I cringe when my friends want to go hiking or bike riding because, frankly, that sounds like my physical hell.

Being frustrated really serves no purpose unless you make a change. So here I am, really trying. Dripping smelly sweat trying. I’ve made some important commitments to myself to make strides toward actual lifestyle changes that allow me to be fit-ish. So for all the other professionals riding my bus of complaints, it’s time to get off.

“I don’t have time.”

Trust me, I know busy. Full time job, part time author-blogger-photographer-fundraiser-volunteer-tutor-freelance web developer-girlfriend-dog mom…should I continue? We are all busy. A coworker reminded me that it’s infinitely easier to take preventative measures for your health than it is to repair damage done. Make the time – even if it’s 20 minutes a day. Heck, multitask your Netflix show with sit-ups, jog in place while dinner is in the oven, you HAVE time.

“I don’t have extra money.”

I didn’t need new workout clothes, I just thought they’d motivate me to get started. (I did snag 4 BRAND NEW pairs of Nike Pro shorts on Poshmark for just $30!) I also couldn’t really fathom spending upwards of $40/month to join 1 of 2 tiny gyms in my small town. Thankfully, I have a living room with a little open space, so that’s where I started. Start with the space you already pay for or go outside if your climate/city permits!

“I don’t have equipment.”

So far, I’ve used zero equipment. I am a gym N O O B. I’m honestly embarrassed to join a gym because I wouldn’t know where to start past the treadmill and spin bike. I know nothing about weights, presses, or any of those fancy other machines with 15 arms. I know it doesn’t work for everyone, and depends on your goals, but doing workouts that purely use my own body weight for resistance have been a great place to start.

“I don’t want to, but I need to.”

Finding motivation is unique for everyone. IMO, nothing is more motivating than a doctor’s concern for your future health and mobility. Don’t let some aspect of declining health serve as your stimulus to consider your personal fitness.

After pulling together a variety of tips and routines from the interwebs, I determined the following set to be most effective for getting started. I got really sick of seeing sets titled “The BEST workout for X problem area”.  I love all of my body, and want to consider its wellness entirely. HIIT (High intensity interval training) really seemed to cover my bases in working a variety of muscles, being time saving, and requiring no equipment. This set was a tad ambitious considering my most regular exercise was walking my dog or through the grocery store, and the soreness I felt was TOO real. I mean, laughing was a challenge on Day 2. Here we are on Day 7, however, and I’m still going strong and actually feel amazing. Use this list as a starting point for you – I modified it to avoid placing any pressure on my hands because of a pinched nerve in my wrist.

What are your favorite moves for high intensity intervals?

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  • Reply Skylar Wooden April 19, 2017 at 8:36 pm

    This is exactly how I feel, Sarah. I am coming up on two years at my desk job and have recently realized how bad I feel and how much my body has changed. I have been working out for the past few months ever since I noticed. I’ve had all of these thoughts a million times. Thanks for the motivation!

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