We’re congratulating you because you have made the right choice to start your fitness journey.
Admitting that you need to take full responsibility of your health can sometimes be difficult for some people. Often times it is much easier to turn a blind eye on what our bodies are telling us and just continue on living as if nothing is happening.
In most situations, we are often forced to make lifestyle choices because our bodies have already cried out for help for so long. For example, if you have been indulging in sweet treats for some time now, your body would most typically gain extra weight and in some cases, you might even develop diabetes.
Such health scares can jolt us back to reality and make the right decision to start living a healthy and active life.
So, with that being said, we would like to welcome you to our beginner’s guide to working out.
How to Begin
Now how do you move from point A to point B?
People are most often stuck in point A, that they never really begin until laziness sets in and “getting healthy” becomes another resolution for next New Year’s Eve.
We’ve come up with ways to help you get going:
In today’s age of technology and speedy internet research, becoming aware of the benefits of exercising on a regular basis is basically a click away.
Some of the benefits include:
● Weight loss
● Toned muscles
● Stress buster
● Improved mood and sleep quality
These are just a few of the many benefits of regular exercise. When we see what we can gain (rather than what we risk), it becomes a motivational factor.
Before engaging in any physical activity, it is wise to have yourself checked by your health practitioner first. If you have any underlying conditions that might affect you or your health, knowing it now is much better than knowing about it later on. Plus, you get to adjust your fitness regimen accordingly.
Knowing how much exercise you need to start things off will help you gauge your “starting point”; knowing so will help you track your progress (more on this later).
Generally, you would need:
● 150 minutes of moderate cardio activity a week, or 75 minutes of intense cardio. You can do a combination of both.
● At least 2 days of strength training a week. These exercises basically work out major muscles groups.
● Amp it up by adding 300 minutes of cardio a week, or 150 minutes of intense cardio.
While the numbers look intimidating, don’t be fooled by it. Exercises, especially cardio, can be broken down into sessions throughout the week as long as you do at least 10 minutes of it to reap its benefits.
Be Realistic with Your Goals
While there is nothing wrong with striving to look like one of Baywatch’s ensembles of fit lifeguards, learn to realise that your body will be experiencing changes and forcing it to perform more than it can do will just leave you disappointed.
Start off small, then work your way up to bigger, harder health goals. This way, you are not pressured by a goal that could possibly rob the joy of your fitness journey from you.
With that being said, make lifestyle changes one at a time. Doing a sudden 180 might throw you off guard and leave you feeling overwhelmed by it all.
For example, once you have enrolled at a gym, start by going twice a week. The day before heading to the gym, prep your gym clothes and other items already. That way, when you wake up and see these things all laid out, you’re motivated to leave the house and go.
By setting the bar low and making subtle changes, you are setting yourself up to lifestyle modifications that can last a lifetime. You are more likely to stick to these small habits rather than commit to huge ones.
Get a Trainer
By hiring a trainer, you not only have an expert on fitness but also a cheerleader and motivational speaker.
Trainers do more than just assist you while you work out at the gym. They aim to help you reach your fitness goals in a realistic and doable fashion. Depending on the background of the fitness trainer you intend to hire, they may even give you nutritional tips to help improve your current diet.
At this point, you would need all the expert advice you can get to help you achieve a healthy lifestyle and a fit and toned body.
Start Tracking Your Progress
Once you have begun working out, it is important to begin tracking how far you have come from your starting point.
Begin by listing down your weight. You can go as far as also including clothes size.
If you are comfortable with it, take a mirror selfie. Use clothes that really show your body, like a pair of swimming trunks or bikini. Take a front view and sideways view of yourself. After a month, take another set of selfies using the same clothes and posing the same way. You are most likely to see key differences in your body already.
Remember that you are not doing this to shame yourself or your body. Many feel wrongly judged (often by themselves) about the way they look. It is important to detach any negative connotation you may have about your wonderful body and focus on the goal at hand — to be healthy!
Be Ready for Setbacks
No matter how much you want to work out and get healthy, you will experience some sort of setback. It could be a bout of sickness or your energy levels just doesn’t support the amount of activity you intend to do on a particular day.
As you go through these lulls, treat them as learning experiences. How can you avoid feeling less enthusiastic about hitting the gym? How can you motivate yourself to exercise when you feel lazy? You know yourself better than anyone, and by pinpointing key behavioural changes that could aid your fitness journey, you can overcome any setback that may pop up along the way.
Think of Yourself, Always
It is admirable to think that we do what we do because of our loved ones. The same can be said about exercising — we can feel motivated to start a fitness regimen because we want to be healthier for our children, or perhaps we want to look good for our spouse.
These reasons are certainly acceptable, but let’s be honest here: sometimes reasons like these aren’t enough to keep things going.
Once you focus on yourself alone, you start off on a more solid ground. This personal reason should be enough to prevent you from quitting.
The Bottom Line
Your fitness journey should be about yourself and your goals. When you are aware of what your body can do, you can set goals that are realistic.
It is easy to get caught up in your journey when you are comparing your experience to others. By acknowledging that your body is unique and works in its own pace, you will find that exercising is a rewarding and fulfilling part of everyday life.