Like anyone using a workout program she doesn’t want it feel like work. So what are her secrets to having a top body and using workout tips that – just work!
1. Embrace the awkwardness.
When you first start any activity, you’d be lucky if you don’t feel ridiculous. Berry’s taken on a range of exercise modalities, including MMA-style fighting, yoga, martial arts, boxing, strength training, and more—and she admits to feeling like a total beginner for each of them, because that’s exactly what she was.
Feeling that discomfort can also make it all the sweeter when you do start to feel like you’re becoming more proficient, according to Araceli De Leon, an ACE-certified personal trainer and health coach based in Carlsbad, California.
“It takes courage to be the new person and to try something new,” De Leon tells SELF. “During this time, it’s important to break your efforts down into ‘bite-size’ pieces since that keeps your motivation high and your experiences positive.” That’s because trying one new thing, and not too much of it, can make it much easier to gain mastery—which can keep you energized—than attempting an entire movement overhaul, which can feel daunting.
2. Give yourself permission to pivot.
There’s no “right” exercise for everyone—it all comes down to what you enjoy. A few years ago a friend told Berry she had to try running because it’s so amazing. So Berry said she gave it a try. Hated it. Gave it a few more attempts, playing around with different distances, speeds, and locations.
“It was just not for me,” Berry says. “I think there’s a fine line between challenging yourself and forcing yourself, and it’s important to know the difference.”
One solid tip is to start any new activity with the intention of discovering what you really like about it, suggests Kourtney Thomas, CSCS, a personal trainer based in St. Louis. Instead of feeling like you have to do something because it’s good for you, see it as more of an experiment, she tells SELF. You’re just gathering data, taking time to determine whether it seems fun or falls flat, and extending a whole lot of kindness toward yourself along the way.
3. Set more goals, make them achievable, and keep stacking them.
Yes, goal setting is a common tip in the fitness field, but it’s worth repeating because goals actually really work to keep you engaged and enable you to enjoy what you’re doing. (And setting goals you can achieve can be easier than you think too.)
For example, Berry says she is currently working toward her purple belt in jujitsu and that goal helps drive her to keep learning new techniques and put in the practice time.
“Every time I set a new goal, it makes me feel empowered, like I’ve created a new path in a journey,” she says. “Also, when I think about the goals I’ve reached, it makes me feel empowered.”
4. Tease out your fitness “why.”
There are tons of health benefits from exercise, and new studies seem to come out every day about how fitness improves mental health, mobility and flexibility, cognitive function, immune system function, and so much more. But what does it really do for you personally? What’s your “why”? Finding that will be like a pilot light, Berry says.
“For me, I want the best life possible, I want to be around for my children, I want to feel amazing,” Berry says. “When you think of this as a lifestyle, not an activity that you check off your to-do list, you take out the mundane aspect of it. You turn it from a ‘have to do’ into a ‘want to do,’ and that’s a fundamental shift. When you start finding out how good you can feel, it’s impossible for that to be boring.”