There is so much to know when you’re first starting out on a new fitness routine. But before you begin, there are 10 basic rules you should follow...
1. What You Want
Do you want to lose weight? Build muscle? Get healthier?
You need to know exactly what you want to accomplish with your workout plan. Having your goals down on paper will help guide you when you do get started.
2. Start Slow
If you want to stay consistent with your program, you should start slowly. Try training a couple of times a week, for at least 30 minutes. Not only does this help you establish a routine, but it also gives your body a chance to recover.
3. Find a Support Network
Do you have friends who work out with a particular trainer or attend certain workouts (whether in-person or online)? Is there a local program with people who have the same goals as you? Finding people who will support you on your quest for better health can motivate you to stick with your plan.
4. Do Something You Like
There is nothing worse than doing an exercise you hate. It’s one of the easiest ways to ruin a good workout. Choosing activities you like to do could go a long way to helping you stick with your workout plan.
5. Accept Setbacks
Setbacks are going to happen. But you can’t let them stop you from the goals you’ve set in place. You need to keep going forward—and be persistent. There is a lot you can learn from setbacks that can drive and motivate you to keep going. People who succeed in achieving their fitness goals all have one thing in common...they learned to be comfortable with discomfort. This is where true growth happens.
6. Don’t Skip the Warmup (or Cooldown)
Although they may seem insignificant, never skip your warm-up or cooldown. Warming up prevents injuries, and the cooldown is ideal for lowering your heart rate, improving your flexibility, and starting the recovery process. Spend adequate time for these two phases of your workout. If you have a stressful schedule, warming up and cooling down are very important to allow you to get into the right headspace to accomplish the task at hand!
7. No Comparing To Others
Everyone is on their own fitness journey, and you can’t expect to be where everyone else is. Comparing yourself to others could also tank your motivation by creating negative self-talk. Instead of comparing, use them as motivation to get better and keep pushing forward. We all have to work hard to achieve our fitness goals, don't assume others have it "easy" because we all start somewhere.
8. Don’t Expect Results Immediately
You won’t see results right away. It takes time, persistence, and dedication. Give it time, and the results will come. When working towards long-term goals, it's important to set some milestones along the way so that you can create small wins to help you stay motivated!
9. Leave Your Excuses At The Door
There are plenty of things that could distract you from your goals. But you can’t let excuses ruin your progress. Packing your gym bag the night before and prepping your meals on the weekends are great ways to eliminate excuses. Learning to recognize where and when you might be getting in your own way is also key to long-term success. Be open to learning and trying new things instead of thinking of excuses for why a new approach won't work for you.
10. Be Grateful
You’re healthy…you’re making changes…or you lost a couple of pounds. Celebrate the small things, and be grateful that you made another workout…or took a small step forward. Be grateful for your health, your abilities, and the opportunity you have to make lasting change.
You may not know where to start on your fitness journey. But following these 10 tips will get you going in the right direction.
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