“I need to get in shape before I start…”


Holiday music is everywhere this time of year. It’s also the time of year when people start to dust off New Year’s resolutions or create them from scratch. And many of them no doubt will be about getting in shape. To borrow a line from Nat King Cole’s “The Christmas Song,” he sings, “Although, it’s been said many times, many ways, Merry Christmas to you.”

In the fitness world, that line makes me think about a phrase people say many times, many ways. “I need to get into better shape before I start (insert any physical activity).” There’s a good chance you’ve heard people say that before or even said it yourself. Well, how many of those same people “get in shape” and then join the activity they want to do? Almost none. This happens because most people don’t know how to get in shape or how to keep the motivation when things get hard.

The truth is, you don’t need to be in shape before you start working out. Honestly, when it’s put that way it sounds pretty silly. I’ve said the same thing myself and you know what happened? I never did the marathon or started the martial arts class. What we need to think about is doing these activities to get in shape. There’s no reason to feel shame going into an activity not already in shape or feeling out of shape. If a business makes you feel bad for the shape you’re in or not being able to keep up, you’re not at the right place. The reason we do these physical activities is to get/stay fit.

If you’ve tried the gym and haven’t succeeded, do yourself a favor and go somewhere where someone qualified can help you. At Wisconsin Martial Arts and Fitness Center-East we incorporate conditioning into all of our classes. It is so important to get your heart rate up daily. Short duration, high intensity exercise is the key to better health and fitness.

After all, if we don’t have our health, we don’t have anything.