By Jamie Greubel Poser, Olympic Bobsled Bronze Medalist | May 03, 2016, 6:19 p.m. (ET)


Jamie Greubel Poser is a U.S. bobsled pilot who won bronze at the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games, as well as 17 world cup medals, including seven this season. Following the Games, she married German bobsledder Christian Poser. Greubel Poser is taking Team USA fans behind the scenes into the life of an elite bobsledder.

Not everyone has their sights set on being an elite athlete, but you don’t need to be one in order to happily live a healthy and active lifestyle. Staying active not only benefits your health and body head to toe, but also so many other parts of your life such as sleep, nutrition, mental health, mood and confidence. It can even introduce you to your closest friends (or in my case, my husband!).

People often ask me about how I’ve stayed inspired to keep training for so many years, and how they can get motivated to get in shape. So here are some ideas and tips to getting started, sticking with it, and enjoying being active!

My teammate Kristi Koplin and I in Colorado after completing a hill sprint workout.
1. Set Goals

I’ve found that setting goals (realistic goals) helps by giving you a constant reminder of what you are working towards. There are countless ways to set fitness goals for yourself, but I believe setting long-term and short-term goals will help keep you on track and less likely to fizzle out. A long-term goal can be something like a specific date or event, while short-term goals can be daily or weekly measurements that will keep you on the path to success. Once you have accomplished your goals, be proud of your accomplishment and come up with something new for the next one!

Tips: Write down your goals and record your exercises each week to watch your progress. Seeing the work you put in is a great confirmation that you can and are accomplishing your goals! Fitness trackers, such as Fitbit, are an easy and fun way to track your activity and you can even compete with friends or family who have them, too!

2. Find The Right Activities

Some people already have goals or ideas in mind, while others may not be sure or don’t have anything specific they would like to train for. Always remember that it is never too late to try something new or set a new goal in life! Something you may have never considered could quickly become your next passion or hobby — from weight training, to CrossFit, mountain biking or, who knows, maybe even bobsled.

Me and Lauren Gibbswith my family. We are all trying skeleton for the first time together.

To get started, figure out if being active is something you would like to do on your own or something you would like to do with other people. Some people like to have their own space, others like to sweat and train as a group. Whatever works for you (or do a little of each). Brainstorm and research possible ideas and talk to other people about how they get active. Get out there, try some new things and find out what you like to do.

Tips: Try to involve the things you are already passionate about, like the outdoors or the people you enjoy being around. Your decision to get active can positively influence those around you!

*Try a class! This can be a great introduction to a new activity, or an easy way to see if you like it.

*CrossFit can be a fun way to train if you like exercising with a group of people.

3. Stick With It

How do you stick to your plan once you have started? I think exercise can actually be a lot of fun when you share it! Whether it is in a small group or with a partner, teamwork can help you to stay committed to your goals. Together you can hold each other accountable to showing up each time, push each other through workouts and challenge each other to be your best. Even elite athletes use training partners for motivation, support and accountability. Working with a coach or trainer can also be a great idea for people who are not sure how to get started or train. Coaches can also guide you during each workout or they can help set up a plan of exercises for you to do on your own. If you feel like you’re starting to slip because you’re bored with the routine, shake it up. There are plenty of different things to try.

My husband Christian and I hiking the 1980 and 1932 bobsled tracks in Lake Placid.

Tips: Even people who enjoy or only have time to work out alone can still connect with others by sharing training logs, personal bests or other information online or in person with a group of friends.

*Train with a partner, or even your kids!

*Start a Facebook group challenge with your friends.

*Start a team at your workplace.

4. Make A Routine

Being healthy is a lifestyle. Building exercise and physical activity into your busy week can be hard at first, but it is an important step in making it part of your routine. Soon it will feel like it has always been a part of your week, just like your favorite TV show. Eating healthy, getting enough sleep and recovering from a long week are also important. The better your treat your body, the better you will feel.

Tips: Planning ahead with your meals can help you stick to a healthier diet. When we are unprepared, we tend to eat whatever is the most convenient or the easiest to make. Prepare and plan for meals when you have some free time, and it will save you time and hunger pains when you are busy and hungry. Having healthy snacks around will also allow you to skip the candy bars and junk food.

*Look up “meal prep” online for all of you planners out there.

*Eating healthy can be a challenge, and as we all know, life happens. Give yourself a “cheat meal” each week. Don’t go overboard; it has to work into your life. Make smart choices, but don’t make yourself crazy over it. If you don’t feel good about doing it, you won’t stick to it.

Me holding a map found while geocaching near Lake Placid.

5. Have Fun

Remember: Being active should be fun! Whatever you enjoy: feeling good, having some time to yourself, feeling accomplished, bringing friends together, completing a challenge — exercise can help you do that! And it definitely does not even need to take place in a gym. Get outside, explore, and make it an outing for your friends or family.

Tips:

* Geocaching is a great way to get outside, explore new or local areas and find hidden treasures, all while being active. Hike, bike, walk or ski to name a few.

*Meet Up is a great app that allows you to find local groups that meet up to share similar interests. Go hiking, stand up paddle boarding, do yoga each week or try something new! You can even create your own meet up.

*Music: Create a playlist of your favorite music and rock out during your workout!

In today’s world, we are fortunate that there are so many fun, creative and wonderful ways to exercise. Don’t be afraid to get out there and try something new. Involve the people in your lives, or get out there and meet some new friends! Be proud of yourself for working towards your goals. I’m absolutely positive you’ll love being active and feeling good about yourself and your life, once you settle in.