With the new year here, many of us are gearing up to lose weight, get in shape and clean up our lifestyles. Welcome to the resolutions club! It’s time to make it happen – and we believe you can do it. Just think of all the benefits the new you will enjoy: improved strength, better sleep, more energy, a healthier body and increased confidence. Let these bonuses keep you motived as the weeks go on.
If starting a new fitness routine is one of your goals, there are some things you should know before embarking on this journey. Prepare before beginning for better chances of sticking with a program. Here are my 10 best tips for success:
1. Do your research.
Take time to research all fitness possibilities. Remember, you aren’t confined to classic exercises like cardio machines or weight lifting. There are so many options for working out today that you might even surprise yourself with something you didn’t realize you’d enjoy.
Visit several gyms, yoga studios, boxing clubs, cross fit studios, personal training studios, dance studios, even ninja training centers, and see what each has to offer and if they fit your budget. Also, take advantage of any free trials or free classes they may offer before signing up. Find a fitness workout you think you’ll truly enjoy and you’ll stick with it.
2. Set attainable goals.
Think about the goal you want to achieve, and be realistic with a time frame for reaching it. Are you looking to achieve overall better health, weight loss, muscle gain, better flexibility, running a race or competing in a competition? Whatever it is, set short term and long term goals to getting there.
3. Make a plan.
Every good fitness routine begins with proper planning. Decide how many days a week you can manage and what time of day works best with your schedule (mornings, lunchtime or evenings?). Also think about what workouts you want to do on these days – for example, you may take a yoga class on Monday, spin class on Wednesday and do weight training on Friday. Now put your plan in writing on a calendar that’s visible.
4. Get a physical.
It’s extremely important to get checked out by your healthcare provider before starting a new fitness routine. You want to make sure you have a clean bill of health to prevent any injuries. Having a physical can help you to optimize your workouts. If you work with a personal trainer, the information will be helpful to them, as well, so they can understand any limitations you may have.
5. Meet with a certified personal trainer.
Many people don’t know how to start a fitness routine or where to begin. If you feel like you’re a little lost, seek out a certified” personal trainer (and make sure they have credentials). A reputable trainer will often offer a free consultation where you can discuss with them your goals, plan, physical abilty and what type of workout you may enjoy. With this information, they’ll be able to put together a fun workout to get you off to a great start.
6. Commit to being consistent.
Staying committed to a new fitness routine can be challenging in the beginning. Before you even start, make a promise to yourself that you will stay committed and not give up after a week or two. Remember, it can take anywhere from 3 weeks to 2 months to form a new habit. You can do it! Stick to your short term goals, and with each milestone reached you’ll feel accomplished and motivated to continue.
7. Start out slow.
Developing a good routine takes time. If your goal involves working out every day, that’s great – but ease yourself into it. Pushing yourself too hard in the beginning can lead to burnout quickly, or even injury. Starting with a lighter schedule and building onto it each week may be a safer route to take.
8. Keep balance.
Don’t become so consumed with your new fitness routine that you give up other hobbies or social activities with friends and family. A healthy mind and spirit is just as important as a healthy body. Be sure to schedule time for other activities that you enjoy during the week.
9. Get the essentials.
Buying all of the essentials for your new workouts can be fun and will jump start your motivation. Here are some things to get you started:
- Proper workout shoes and socks
- Workout clothing
- Fitness watch/fitness tracker
- Gym bag
- Reusable water bottle
- Preworkout drinks; post-workout protein powder
10. Have fun!
Don’t forget to have fun! Begin your new fitness routine knowing that you are going to love feeling healthy, fit and having more energy than before.