Congratulations! You have decided to start working out. Excellent idea! We all have been there: starting something new is never easy. But with the right approach and a positive mind set you can make changes in your life and inspire others to do so. Below are few tips for newbies!
Identify your goals. What is it that you want to accomplish? Shedding a few pounds before the wedding? Training for a 5k? Becoming stronger/leaner/faster? There is always a reason why we start to work out in the first place. Health concerns can be a reason or simply a needed change of a lifestyle. Hopefully the desire to achieve a specific goal will help you to foster a healthy, balanced lifestyle for years to come. Monitoring your progress is important so write things down to see what works and what does not.
Pick a sport/fitness regimen that you get excited about. It is important to start something you will be able to stick with for a while( I am not saying long term because I believe in variety as every routine will eventually get stale and boring!). It can be running, dancing, swimming or martial arts. If you are unsure- give all of it a try! Too many novices get a gym membership as the first step of a new workout plan but there are so many other ways to have a productive workout and positive experience! In warmer months make great outdoors your playground as there are hundreds of exercises that do not require any equipment.
Join the group (not necessarily a gym)- social aspect of working out cannot be underestimated especially when you are just starting. There are running clinics and small boot camps for people of different fitness levels out there. Instantly you will be surrounded by like-minded individuals with similar goals. A lot of friendships are forged that way! You won’t find motivation and support working out in your living room in front of TV! Achieving goals together is a priceless experience. Living on the coast in Sydney gave me a new perspective on group work outs. It helps to see working out as a social activity as oppose to a daily chore. So if you are feeling confident why not to start your own fitness/running group in your area?
Re-think your diet. Start a food diary! I know, most of us simply don’t have time to record all meals on a daily basis but I suggest doing it just for a week or two. You will be amazed what findings can come out of it! For instance I discovered that I was eating very little protein and way too many carbs and sugar. There are amazing tools available online. I personally like www.sparkpeople.com for its user friendly interface and large library of foods to choose from. Once you identify what nutrition you are lacking or eating in excess you can plan your menu around it.
Let your family/peers know about your fitness goals and intentions. Again, encouragement is essential for a long term commitment. Make your friends and family members aware about your goals and share your progress as you move forward. Maybe someone will decide to join you along the way! Nothing but good can come out of your “bragging”!
Don’t forget Results take time and commitment: think positive and be patient!