Most people want to begin enhancing their fitness but do not know where to begin. There are too many diets, too many workout plans, and too many trainers trying to get your attention and it can become overwhelming. When it comes to fitness, there are 3 main keys that I tell everyone to think about before jumping onto a routine, signing with a trainer, or choosing a diet. Take it 1 step at a time, prioritize long term solutions, and participate in things you enjoy. Once you consider these 3 things, the ocean of information out there turns into a small lake that you can begin to fish in and choose what you want to do. Fitness isn’t always going to be easy, so we need to take the proper steps to keep it in your life for the long term and remove some of your roadblocks.
1 Step at a Time
When beginning any lifestyle change, we need to be sure that we aren’t overwhelming ourselves with many different changes at one time. Humans are creatures of habit, and change is always hard. If you want to start a new exercise routine, start small. Start with an amount you know you can complete and work your way up over times. Instead of jumping straight to training 5 days per week, start with 2 or 3. Once you have that under control, add a day or two. You are looking for balance between your current life and your fitness goals. If you are starting a diet, start with something easy that you know you can stick to. If you know you love carbs, why would you jump straight to keto when you know it’s going to be incredibly hard to stick with. Choose something that only changes your lifestyle a small amount, and you will begin to see results. You can always increase the intensity of your diet later if necessary.
Prioritize Long Term Solutions
No quick fixes. No 30-day makeovers. Fast results rarely last. If you go into fitness with the thought of making quick and easy work of it, understand that that is rarely how it goes. Prioritize long term goals and work backwards. If your goal is to lose 80 pounds, lets make that an 8-month goal. Then we can focus on losing 10 pounds per month, or 2.5 pounds per week. If your goal is to run a marathon and you haven’t run in 5 years, you’re going to have to understand that it will take several months of training to make that happen. If you try to rush your results, you can often find yourself burnt out, or injured, or both.
Participate in Things you Enjoy
This is probably the most important thing we need to consider. There are so many avenues of fitness available to us and each one is great, if it suits your lifestyle or your goals. If you want to lose weight but hate running, don’t run. Choose a different mode of exercise. We have options. If you want to become more flexible but hate yoga, we have plenty of other options to add flexibility besides yoga. If we force ourselves to do exercise we don’t enjoy, we have a greater chance of losing interest in fitness all together. Choose a diet you can see yourself eating for the next 10 years, choose a fitness routine you feel you would enjoy for the next 10 years. Choosing to do the things you enjoy will promote long lasting results far above doing the things you dislike.
Before starting a new routine, put some thought in it. It could save you time. And as far as fitness goes, it could save your life.
BS Exercise Science