Know what you want out of the workout. Many times it is weight loss, firming up and getting more endurance. It is not enough to just say you want to lose weight, you must have solid goals. A goal would be to lose 20 lbs in 90 days. This is a good start but it does not include specifics in the plan. You need to add the action plan to get there. One great piece of advice trainers often give is that you should work out early rather than later. It has lots of advantages, you are more energized, it gets your blood flowing. You are starting the day with a sense of achievement.
It is hugely motivational to be able to see your results recorded. Set up a way to track weight, various measurements, performance. This is all tied to your goals and plans. Over time this should give you good results and if not, you can adjust your plans. The best motivation is to see a plan that is working and see and feel results. This leads to habits and self-motivating action. Positive momentum attracts more positive action, the same works negatively. People often give up because they don’t see results, first it takes time, second, have multiple measurements, not just weight. You may have times where you may not be losing weight because you are gaining muscle, this will show in your various measurements.
Start right now, not next week, Monday or tomorrow. Even if it’s just walking more or doing a few more physical things during the day, it’s a start. Your workout does not need to just be a specific time period during the day. Take the stairs, offer to carry things for others. Try to be more physical during the day. Little activities add up, plan more little activities during the day, this varies based on your situation but just think about what you can do to be more physical. Small physical activities throughout the day add up and add to your fitness plan.
The gym offers all kinds of equipment and classes but at the same time it can be intimidating. Many gyms offer a women’s area or there is Women’s only gym. Another option is headphones, big ones, these let people know your main goal is to workout, not to talk to people. On the other hand, you may want to be involved, finding a training partner, trading tips, talking about results. Have plans for bad weather, partner cancels, and other obstacles to getting to the workout. So many times it’s raining and it becomes enough to keep you from heading to the gym.
You want to make sure the exercises you are doing fit your goals. Make sure you stretch, notjust sit on the ground and talk, a good stretch should leave your muscles with a slight burn. You want to make sure the exercises you do are not injuring yourself. This can happen right away or over time. Make sure you are doing them properly to get the full range of motion. The longer you have been away from fitness requires the slower start up. Expect mild soreness and stiffness, this is all the more reason for stretching and warm up.
I had a friend who was in his late 30’s. He was slim but had not worked out or been physical since his teen years. He decided to start by running 5 miles. He claims he did, I know he did run a bunch but I can’t verify it was 5 miles. Anyway, his left knee swelled up to about twice its normal size, he could barely walk. It took him months to recover, he did not go to the doctor. I told him I thought it was serious enough but being a guy, he thought he was too tough and smart for that. His fitness plan just did not happen, to this day I don’t think he has ever tried again. It is his lesson that others need to learn from. Start by walking a mile or 2, see how that feels the next day. A little soreness is ok, but if you are struggling to walk or barely getting around, you over did it. Work your way up, keep it challenging.
Check around, there are many people that have dormant fitness goals. That is they have a goal but no real plan to get it going. This is common with fitness goals. Ask around, someone is likely to want to start a fitness program with you. If not, you may find someone at the gym. See who is there when you are there, talk to them. Join classes at the gym, these are a support system in itself. They offer structure, schedule and community. This interaction and sense of community with others will help keep you on your fitness path. You will also get feedback and good advice.
When I say this, I think back to the first Rocky movie and him on the steps. The first part of the movie he struggled to make it to the steps, by the end he was sprinting up the steps taking several at a time. Find a non gym or non fitness equipment challenge. Maybe a hiking trail, bike trail or some other challenge. Test yourself on it before you start working out. After working out a month or 2 try it again. This gives you an applied use of your fitness plan. Not just the gym. This will give you benefit of your workouts, you will feel good about your progress.
Plan non work out activities, be more physical during the day. Take the stairs, park a little further away. Don’t ask other to do physical acts for you. Do them yourself. Stretch a little during the day, flexibility is key to mobility. Move around, stay active. Try not to sit for extended times, plan small physical activities throughout the day.
Both must be addressed to meet your fitness goals. I always feel like I am solar powered and that anything I eat seems to just put on weight. Weight loss seems to get harder and harder with age. Good nutrition even if your goal is not weight loss is key to your fitness plan. You can find a specialist in this area or you can find a good book. Most of it is common sense but you still need to learn more. An online calorie counter is a great tool, it will really guide you from some really bad food you may not have thought was bad. A little research and you can find a good work out nutrition plan that can keep you energized yet a good weight control plan.
We will continue to build on this with your feedback. We are building a base of knowledge to help people in planning and dealing with life’s problems, feel free to send your feedback and suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org. Our goal is the improvement in lifestyle through better planning and knowing how to deal with common problems life throws at everyone. Send us any new subjects you want us to address and we will address it if there is enough interest.
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