Have you gotten tired of your old unhealthy routines and decided it’s time to start a change? Your desire to start living a healthier lifestyle is a great decision. While you have probably seen plenty of fitness programs, apps, and celebrities, have you tried getting started?
It could be overwhelming to try to keep fit, and some people might agree with this. Whether you experience having familiar excuses that pile up or unforeseen life situations that always get in the way, starting and keeping a routine could be intimidating. However, it’s better to start your fitness journey today. Taking care of one’s health and exercising regularly should be today’s top priorities. You could succeed if you just stay positive. A little determination, some guidance, and lots of self-love will eventually get you there.
To help you begin your fitness journey, try to follow these tips.
- Understand Your Purpose
Nothing worthwhile happens by accident. In other words, your purpose or ‘why’ factor should be enough to push you to keep moving forward even as it gets tricky. Although losing weight could be a common goal for many ‘fitspirationists,’ it may not be sufficient enough to retain your lifestyle routine in the long run. Thus, you might feel as if you’re back to square one after spending tough days or weeks trying to keep your faith alive.
Although some motivational tips could help you, inner motivation should be the source of your ‘why.’ But here are 3 tips for motivation to get you started:
- You could serve as a role model for the people you love and care for.
- You could keep up with your kids and grandchildren and do activities and enjoy life with them.
- Chronic diseases and illnesses caused by poor lifestyles could be avoided.
These examples are merely a few. You may write out all personal, more profound reasons why you want to begin a new fitness journey. When you start feeling intimidated by your new fitness adventure, don’t fall back on the excuses that come to mind. Your commitment to your health and well-being would be continually reinforced this way.
- Know What You’ve Signed Up For
When you start your fitness journey, there are certain challenges you’d face. But it’s best not to overthink them as it’s normal for people to experience the same. It’s important, however, to be aware of them to know what you’ve signed up for. This way you could devise strategies to get rid of them. Below are some of the challenges you may encounter:
- There would be times when you won’t feel motivated.
- There would be times when you’d feel stressed and burned out from doing so many things.
- The fatigue would come at some point.
- Eventually, your routines, exercises, meals, and so on would become monotonous.
- Mistakes would be made.
There’s nothing wrong with experiencing these at all. Challenges are bound to happen one way or another. Instead, try to embrace these challenges and accept them as part of your fitness journey.
- Start With Baby Steps
Baby steps are important. Take on only what you can handle at a time. There’d be risks of burnout and feelings of frustration if you push yourself too hard. Instead, make incremental improvements. Make a point of easing into a healthier lifestyle by being kind to your body, mind, and spirit.
A simple first step to take is to start adding movement in small increments, such as walking for a few minutes every morning or during your lunch break. Using your free 15 minutes to move is better than doing nothing. Do not engage in a long-term commitment that leaves ample room for disappointment and broken promises. Try to stay consistent with working out consecutively in a week. You would be more motivated to succeed when your timeline shrinks.
- Do What Works For You
You’d create an unhealthy relationship with working out if you attempt something you don’t enjoy doing. Running 4 miles a day isn’t necessary if you don’t like it. Kickboxing isn’t compulsory if you don’t enjoy it.
There are ways to make your workout fun and easy. Try to discover what kind of classes or workout styles you like before committing. When you love what you do, it’d be easier to commit. You may check out a wide variety of workouts and exercises and feel happy doing what you like and what works for you.
- Create A Schedule
Adapt your schedule to your needs. Fitness doesn’t have to be an hour-long session every day. Instead, consider finding a time frame that works best for you. Try to set your alarm 30 minutes earlier in the morning so you could exercise in your living room before the craziness of your day takes over. If you prefer it at night, perhaps setting aside 30 minutes before dinner for a workout would be a good plan. Also, you can save time by doing the following:
- Prepare a meal schedule on Sunday evenings to give yourself more time during the week.
- To create more time in the morning, set your alarm earlier than usual.
- Walk your dog and work out at the same time.
- Try not to spend too much time watching television. Take a yoga class or work out to destress instead.
Also read: The Best Weight Lifting Books
- Set Goals And Achieve Them
When starting a fitness routine, one of the most important things to do is to set goals for yourself. Planning out a goal could be a way to help you become motivated and achieve your fitness plan easier. Having daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly targets could help you become more motivated to stay on top of your fitness goals.
- Practice Patience
In your desperate times, you may have asked yourself: ‘Can’t I just melt all the extra weight away?’ Putting on pounds seems to happen more rapidly than losing them. The silver lining of the situation, though, is you don’t have to be overwhelmed by the timeline if you view it as a journey.
Some people may give up so soon after starting a new fitness routine because they don’t see immediate results. But it’s best to never give up on a slow and steady approach. Try to celebrate the small victories instead. Here are examples:
- Your clothing fits looser, yet you haven’t seen any change in the weighing scale so far. Still, this is clearly making progress toward your goal. Try to pay more attention to the changes your body is going through instead of obsessing over arbitrary numbers like your weight and waistline measurements.
- You finally have better sleep and a more vibrant mood. When this happens, embrace it as a beautiful side effect of regular exercise.
- It’s a joy to feel endorphin glow every day. Appreciate the joy of a great workout and the life-enhancing effects of sweat.
- The energy that comes with having more energy could help you show up with more positivity in your life.
In other words, it’s best to refrain from obsessing over numbers the next time you’re tempted to do so. The reason—nothing great ever happens overnight. Patience, consistency, and willpower are all necessary for your fitness journey.
- Be Physically And Mentally Active
Take a break from your smartphone and computer all day, and quit being a couch potato. Instead, go out and be active.
When you’re walking to lunch or errands or on your way to work, try to be aware of the world around you. What scents do you detect? Are you able to see anything? Are there any patterns or colors that catch your eye? How are you feeling or thinking at that moment?
You could embrace the moment you’re outside, enjoy observing the people around you, and maybe smile at your colleagues or even strangers. These are all better actions than just looking at your phone while you walk to grab some lunch. Also, you could decide to forgo riding the elevator, and take the stairs instead. A little sweat and making your muscles move would make you feel refreshed and happier.
- Check Your Diet
It’s believed that poor nutrition can’t be outtrained. This rule may apply to everyone. Defeating poor food choices might work for a while, but when life intervenes and your marathon workouts stop working, you’d probably feel defeated.
Try to make better food choices now so you could get off to a good start. The good news is when you exercise regularly, you’d naturally start eating healthier food in general as who would want to ruin a hard sweat session with, say, a scoop of ice cream? You’d complement your exercise routine with a healthier diet. No matter what diet you’ve found working effectively for you and your body, try to go for it and maintain it.
- Utilize Tools During Days When Motivation Is Down
Expect your fitness journey to be filled with setbacks. If you lose motivation to work out, try a different training style. It’d be more exciting if you try something new. You might’ve already fallen in love with your usual workout routine, but you still need to practice discipline if you want to keep moving toward your goals.
Planning ahead could prevent you from losing motivation quickly. You may also get inspired by some motivational quotes as they could remind you why you want to succeed. Consider preparing a great workout playlist, too, and listen to your favorite workout songs to get you in the zone to start your workout. Whatever tool you think will push your drive, try to utilize it. The key here is to boost your motivation on days when you feel lazy.
- Try A Class
Trying out a class you like may be a great way to begin an exercise routine. You could attend classes like yoga, high-intensity interval training, Pilates, Zumba, and dance classes, for instance. You’d get fit while still having fun in your classes. And once you decide you loved your first experience doing these exercises, you’d be able to start doing them as part of your workout routine. Don’t shy away from trying as many free classes as you can, and check out available classes near you.
- Take A Rest
The importance of rest in training can’t be overstated, and it’s crucial to schedule rest days as carefully as you do workouts. Consider a rest day of at least one full day per week when you follow a workout regimen. This would help you stay motivated after you begin your training.
Even when you aren’t working out, try to stay active. That’s why it’s been coined ‘active recovery.’ Keep in mind that rest days are just as important as workouts. It’s during these days when you grow your muscles and recover. On your rest days, while starting a fitness regimen, try to remember the following:
- Make sure to drink lots of water so your muscles would be flushed of lactic acid.
- Make sure you get enough sleep as gains happen at that time.
- Even if you have sore muscles, get up and move.
- While you may be resting from a workout, don’t rest your diet and continue to be mindful of what you eat. Stay away from unhealthy food as much as possible.
- Build On Your Strength
With so many online resources suggesting different training exercises, it could be confusing sometimes. Reps, sets, rest time, linear, and nonlinear are all too often the subject of arguments. As long as you’re gradually increasing your workload, you’d be alright.
It’s difficult to get stronger or gain muscle without progressive overload. Muscles need to be challenged to grow, strengthen, or be maintained. Repeating the same action wouldn’t result in a change.
This could be done in a number of ways:
- Intensity: Next time you train, lift more weight.
- Volume: Increase the number of repetitions, sets, or exercises.
- Frequency: Increase the number of training sessions, which must be more than the previous week.
- Tension: The repetition of exercises should be increased in duration, for example, planking longer than the week before.
Keep in mind that you’re on your way to achieving your goals. Try to reward yourself with things other than food when you reach mini-milestones. Keeping your motivation and drive-up could be easier when you break down a long-term goal into shorter periods. You might also want to tell your friends and family about your plans so they could support you and cheer you on.