Is your New Years’ resolution “Getting Fit“ or “Losing weight”? You’re not alone. Many people see the new year as new opportunity to set personal goals, and, as a time of healthy change. Swap old habits, for healthier, new ones. Gyms are packed, the world over. Starting a new exercise regime can be daunting.
Even the word ‘regime’ implies a military discipline, that you may feel, you lack. Giving up snacking is a good first step ! Are you overweight? There are many challenges when it comes to getting fit, but, there are some tried and tested methods that will help you to achieve your goal. Yes, you can!
1. Start Small
One of the most intimidating things about getting fit is – starting. Whether it’s a walk around the block or twenty minutes on the stationary bike at the gym, it all counts.
Yes, you may be intimidated by the uber-fit gym goers, the very athletic runners you may see speed by, and be overtaken by power walkers but it really doesn’t matter. A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. Step forth. Begin. That’s the hardest one.
2. Hydrate Hydrate Hydrate
Even mild exertion will cause you to sweat, and for your body temperature to rise, especially if you’re very unfit. It’s important to drink plenty of fluids, especially when you’re starting out.
Relative to your level of fitness, later, you may not need as much, but, if you’re beginning you must keep well hydrated. Buy a water bottle today. Always take water with you. Never exercise without access to water.
3. Listen To Your Body
Dizzy? Out of Breath? There’s a reason there are cautionary labels printed on a lot of exercise equipment, in gyms.
Exercising to a level past your fitness level can be very dangerous. It can put a strain on your heart, as well as, other muscles. Trying to force your body to do more than it can is not a good idea, at all, especially when you’re starting.
4. Join a Class
Whether you’re trying Yoga or a Zumba class, do let the teacher know that you are new, or, a beginner. Classes aren’t always categorized as advanced, or beginners.
The teacher will advise you, more closely, during the class, of what you – personally – may be expected to achieve, say, compared to some of the more regular students.
5. Muscle Rubs, Heat Packs, Ice Gels
Depending on your level of fitness, starting exercising may cause you to strain your muscles or injure yourself. It’s a good idea to make sure you have home remedy solutions on hand, for those extra pains and aches.
That hot shower, or post workout stretch, don’t take care of. Starting exercising will improve your fitness, and your body will get stronger, but, initially, there may be some stiffness too.
6. What Exercise Should You Do?
What exercise do you enjoy? Do you know? Maybe you like swimming, or enjoy lifting weights, or would like to try different machines? The important thing to remember is that, when you start, whatever you choose, you need to think of your cardio (heart) fitness, as well as your strength.
Yes, you may be a strong guy, but you need abdominal strength and a healthy heart, to lift weights. Yoga, for example, doesn’t look very challenging, but, you need core strength, flexibility, and stamina to hold those Zen-like poses.
7. Personal Trainer
If your budget allows you, then being assessed, and trained, by a professional, can really help you. You can have your BMI (Body Mass Index) measured – percentages of muscle and fat, according to your age, gender and height – and fitness assessed.
A trainer can work out an exercise program for you, and help support and motivate you.
8. Make It A Habit
You’ve had a long day at the office and you just can’t face going to the gym. You’d rather be home, with a large glass of wine. You decide to skip your training session. For the first few weeks, especially, you need to be diligent.
It takes time to build up new habits, and new routines. A shorter workout is better than none. Try not to skip, and aim for a set number of days, per week.
9. Solo Warrior or Gym Buddy
For some people, an exercise partner is a great way to get in shape. It means that exercise can be a more social time, and, you can motivate each other. Bailing on your workout means bailing on your friend, something you should be less likely to do.
Other people prefer to work out on their own. See what works best for you. You might like doing yoga with Jen, but, prefer swimming on your own.
10. Balance Your Energy Needs
While you may want to lose weight, and exercise more, to get in shape, you may find that you actually need to eat more! (Yes, you will still lose weight!) By exercising more, your body will need more fuel/ energy. You will suffer from fatigue, and be very tired if you don’t eat enough before you exercise.
Your energy needs, need to be balanced, for your body to get stronger, and, fitter. Just like staying hydrated, your body needs energy, to function. Don’t skip meals, especially before a workout.