There’s more to ‘getting fit’ than you can imagine.
If you’re really serious about starting a fitness program here’s 10 good tips that will help you on your way:
1. Set goals
Working towards your fitness goals will help to motivate you and keep you from slacking off.
Just make sure your goals will push you, but are also achievable.
Then reward yourself with a treat when you achieve them.
Write your goals down and stick them on your fridge or on the mirror so that you are constantly reminded by them.
For example, you might have a goal of losing 4 pounds before your summer vacation.
Write down the date of your vacation and then formulate a fitness plan of how you are going to achieve it.
2. Incorporate Fitness into All Aspects of Your Life
I think this is one of the most overlooked aspect of all advice I hear about health and fitness.
Don’t look at fitness as a 2 or 3 one hour sessions in the gym each week.
Sure a gym has many advantages and will focus your mind much more, but so will ‘thinking fit’ as part of your life.
For example, if you work in a building, take the stairs and not the lift. In fact any opportunity when you can take the stairs and not a lift or escalator is preferable.
Cycle to work if you are able. Walk (fast) wherever you can, rather than take the car or bus.
Take every opportunity to be involved in fun and active situations, be it with the dog, your children or your partner.
You get the idea.
All these little changes to your life will have a big impact on your overall fitness.
3. Be Flexible
No matter what fitness plans you’ve made there will be times when you’ll miss a session.
That’s just life.
Don’t beat yourself up about it, just try and put in a little extra in your next session or fit in a couple of mini-sessions when you can.
If you miss a gym time, go for a jog instead or do some static exercises in your home.
4. Be Patient
Your body doesn’t like to change, and will respond to your new fitness lifestyle by immediately storing fat.
It might take a few weeks to train your body into a new way of processing food.
So from the outside it may look like you’ve not done much at all, as your insides go through lots of changes.
After the initial period you will notice your fitness levels steadily rising and your body shape gradually altering.
The hardest part is most certainly the first few weeks where there’s not an awful lot to show for your efforts.
But once you gather momentum through consistent training, you will start to see significant improvements.
5. Hang Out with Like Minded People
It is much easier to stay motivated when you have a social network around you that also want to get fit.
You could try and encourage your friends and/or your partner to keep fit with you.
You will be more likely to follow a healthy lifestyle and achieve your fitness goals with this support and encouragement.
Don’t worry if you find yourself on your own.
Quite often gyms will have fitness classes you can join.
This is a great way to meet new people and enrich your circle of fitness friends.
You can also find likeminded folk on health and fitness forums online.
This is a good place to go for information, advice and encouragement.
6. Eat Healthy and Correctly
If you are already eating a healthy, balanced diet then you shouldn’t need to make many adjustments to get the required nutrients your body now requires.
Unless you are training for some high endurance sport or wanting to pack on as much muscle mass as possible, a regular, balanced diet of fruit, vegetables, protein and essential fatty acids is all you need to aim for.
7. Make it Fun!
Getting fit doesn’t have to be dreading going to the gym 3 times a week, pounding the treadmill.
You should try and incorporate as many physical activities that you enjoy.
So if you prefer swimming or rollerblading, do that.
Just as long as they are activities that get your pulse rate up and exert you to some extent.
Exercise programs that don’t excite you are going to be very hard to stick to in the long run.
8. Don’t Overdo it
Start off your fitness program that is very undemanding and fairly easy to do.
Once you’ve tested the waters for a couple of weeks you can start adding longer workout times and heavier weights.
Too much, too soon can lead to all sorts of injuries, fatigue and lack of motivation.
This scenario is quite common with beginners and can be the biggest contributor to giving up.
9. Get Professional Help
A personal trainer is not within everyone’s budget and really not necessary.
If you can afford it, then a personal trainer can help you achieve your goals and provide motivation along the way.
However, there’s nothing wrong with asking a trainer for help and advice with your goals.
Most personal trainers in gyms will be more than happy to advice you and suggest some routines specific to your needs.
If you are over 60 or have any medical conditions, always speak to your doctor before starting any fitness program.
The chances are it will be fine, but a quick chat will give you peace of mind.
10. Start Now!
Don’t wait until the New Year, or the start of next month, or at the next full moon to start getting fit!
Procrastination will only make things worse, and the longer you delay, the more of those initial, excited feeling will start to wear off.
Do some very light exercise immediately, and then you can sit down and plan what you really want to achieve.
This way, the momentum will be with you right from the get-go!