We’ve all been told from a very young age that exercise is important to our overall health and well-being. Unfortunately, busy lives and schedules can greatly inhibit one’s ability to work out and stay fit. If you are out of shape or just not used to exercising, you may not know where to start. Personal trainers are always great but they can also be costly and hard to fit into a schedule. The below tips are meant to serve as a starting point for you in your fitness journey. Before beginning any fitness regimen, be sure to talk to your doctor about your goals and plans.
- To start, assess your fitness level. These numbers will serve as a starting point and help you to keep track of your progress as you continue your exercise regimen and fitness journey. Most doctors and trainers recommend checking your stats weekly. Some key things to check are:
- Your pulse before and after you walk. It is generally recommend walking about 1 mile for the best comparison.
- How long does it take you to walk that mile? Keep a brisk pace but don’t jog.
- Take your waist measurement by measuring around your bare abdomen just above your hipbone.
- Your body mass index. Your doctor or a personal trainer can assist you with calculating this. If you are unable to receive help there, you can find some great guides online.
- Take your weight. Write down your starting weight and continue to measure each week even if weight loss isn’t your ultimate goal.
The next step is to design your fitness plan. Perhaps the most important part of deciding your goal is to make sure that you are not being unrealistic. It will take time for your body to make progress and grow. Encouraging this transformation to happen too quickly can cause injury and illness. Go at your own pace and increase your workouts when you feel that your body is telling you it is okay or when you are able to measure improvement.
- What are your overall goals? Do you just want to be in better shape or are you out to lose weight or build muscle? Be sure to eat a proper diet that will compliment your goal.
- Create a routine. It is generally recommended that adults should aim for at least 2.5 hours of moderate-intensity activity a week. Adding at least 2 days of strength training is also recommended.
- Find creative ways to build activity into your everyday life. If you sit at a desk all day, try walking while eating your lunch or try a standing desk. There are also many pieces of exercise equipment available that are easy to use while sitting and working.
- Keep it fun! Don’t allow yourself to get burned out. Try various exercises and find the one that is most fun for you to do. Look up recommendations of similar exercises to create a workout that you will look forward to.
- Allow time to recover. Far too often people jump into an exercise routine too intensely. While it is always true to take time to recover between workouts, it is especially important in the beginning.
- Write it down. Whether it is on paper or on a calendar, having your workouts planned and written down will dramatically help to keep you motivated. Write down your starting information and update it weekly to give you motivation to keep going.
It may be hard at first and you may want to quit in the middle of a tough workout. It is so important to remember that your body will begin to strengthen and your regimens will continue to become easier and easier. If you have a bad day or week and don’t make the progress you want, remember to not get discouraged. Being steady and dedicated will help you reach your overall fitness goal. For further help and tips on incorporating fitness into your life, visit your doctor, a personal trainer, or do research to determine the best options for you.