Often, the hardest part of getting fit is getting started. Even if you have the motivation, knowing what you need to do can be a sticking point.
The internet has an overwhelming volume of information, filled with acronyms and terminology that often adds even more confusion into the mix, further preventing people from starting.
1. Find Your Spark
The most important question to ask yourself is “What do I enjoy?” Walking? Dancing? Cycling? Participating in activities that you enjoy, means you are much more likely to continue with them and thus reap the physical and mental rewards of being active long term.
2. Be Realistic
Decide when in your week you can commit to exercise. Be specific and be realistic. Many people burn out in the first month because they over-commit to an unsustainable exercise regime.
Be realistic. Pick 2 occasions during the week that you can commit to and then make them part of your weekly routine. This is time for you. You deserve it, and you owe it to yourself.
3. Friend or Solo
At this point, decide if you would benefit from exercising with a friend for extra motivation, mutual support, and mutual accountability. Pick wisely though.
You might find it works best with someone of a similar standard who is also motivated. If you have to do all the motivating, it might become more of a chore than an enjoyable experience.
Deciding on a goal is important. What are you hoping to achieve? Is it weight loss, increasing your stamina, improving your cardiovascular fitness, or just wanting to “feel’ healthier and have more energy to join in with life?
Decided on your goal? Write it down. People that write down their goals are more likely to complete them than those who don’t. Go on. Write it down now…yes, now…I can wait for you…
Well done ‘ you’ve just taken your first step.
Your Goal Will Determine Your Fitness Plan
When you first get started with fitness, your goal might be quite general. Perhaps you just want to feel your fitness and overall health improvement. Brilliant! This gives you plenty of options and opportunity for trying a variety of activities.
Return to your “spark” list. Plan 2 activities for the following week. If it involves going to a class, then get searching for a class at a time and place that works for you. The council leisure centers have 100s of classes and are often pay-as-you-go which has the bonus of giving you the flexibility to try a variety of classes to see which works best for you.
Your goal might be very specific. In which case you will need a specific fitness plan to follow.
For example, if you want to be able to run a marathon, then you will need to have a running plan that builds up mileage and includes cross-training to strengthen the supporting muscles. Want to build muscle and look “buff’? Then your plan will need to include weight training.
The more specific your plan, the more effective it will be. Don’t fall into the trap of just popping to the gym and making it up as you go along. You need to know what mass to use, how many repetitions, how many sets and, equally importantly, how much recovery time between sets. Those factors are not a “one size fits all,” and you might need help with that part.
At this point, you might benefit from talking to fitness professionals about the optimum methods for you. Most Personal Trainers love talking about fitness, so grab one and start picking their brains. If you are not a member of a gym with easy access to lots of PTs, then pop over to the internet and have a Google.
Find several reputable PTs, subscribe to their free website blogs & then simply start asking them a few questions on their social media channels to help you get started.
Like me, many PTs offer online training with bespoke training plans, so help is out there no matter where you live.
Now go out, try something new and start having fun with your fitness.
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