A beginner’s guide
The health and fitness scene today is larger and more exciting than ever. The innovation in this space has led to the emergence of advanced fitness trackers, new training disciplines, high-tech cardio machines, weight equipment and much more. However, the amazing variety of options has left many feeling overwhelmed when trying to figure out where to start.
Having spent over a decade in the industry we understand both the excitement and confusion when beginning a fitness journey, so we have put together 6 tips that will bring you clarity and help kickstart your journey ASAP!
1. Find your ‘Why’
Every journey starts with a single step, but before that step is a reason why. Your ‘why’ should be meaningful to you, something you connect with internally and free from whatever anyone else thinks. This could be something as small as getting out of bed pain-free, not wanting to feel out of breath when you climb the stairs, wanting to improve your mental health or increasing your strength.
Whatever the reason, connecting with your ‘why’ will serve as the end goal and motivation to get you started, it will also be the push to keep you going.
2. Set SMART Goals
Now that you know your reason ‘why’/the ‘end goal’ it is time to break it down.
SMART goal setting will help you break down your end goal into small actionable steps, create healthy habits and give you a clearer visual path towards victory.
How to set SMART goals:
S - Specific
Be specific with how you describe your goal. For example, if your end goal is to improve your general fitness then breaking it down into a specific goal could be:
‘I want to be able to jog without getting tired’
M - Measurable
Once you have specified your goal the next step is to define how you will measure your progress. So, to make the goal of ‘jogging without getting tired’ measurable you can make the goal:
‘I want to jog for 30 minutes without getting tired’
A - Attainable
Now that you have a measurable goal the next step is to make sure that it is achievable.
‘I want to jog for 30 minutes without getting tired, and I can achieve this by jogging for 5 minutes at a constant pace before slowing my speed or taking breaks. I will increase this by 30-60s over time’
This now gives you a clearer plan as to how you will eventually achieve the 30-minute mark.
R - Relevant
When a goal is relevant it relates directly to you and your lifestyle. In this instance, jogging improves your general fitness, which in turn boosts your health.
T - Time-bound
Setting deadlines for your goal(s) helps to create a sense of urgency and excitement. It will also help you to track your progress more efficiently and make adjustments along the way.
3. Find the right Fitness Routine for you
Now that you have your goal broken down it is time to put in the action. Depending on your current fitness level and awareness there are a few key things to consider.
Do you have any physical ailments or serious mobility issues?
We advise that before starting any exercise routine you have a basic check-up with your physician or address any issues that may be hindering your movement.
Where will you be most comfortable starting your fitness goal?
- Outdoors / local park
- Fitness center / gym
What fitness level and knowledge do you have?
- Beginner – New to exercise
- Beginner with limited knowledge
- Beginner with basic understanding
- Beginner to intermediate
Once you have identified the above it will be easier to identify which of the following categories of exercise style you will fall into:
1. Personal Training (Online or in-person)
Work 1-2-1 with a qualified personal trainer who will be able to create a personalized training plan specific to your goals. They will also be able to guide you on the basics of nutrition and which exercises will be best for you to start with.
2. Group Class
This type of training is usually a specific style like Bootcamp, HIIT, circuit, cardio or strength training. The experience is not personalized but you share the same or very similar goals to other participants of the class.
This is a more budget-friendly option and also allows you to find an accountability partner as well as share encouragement with other people.
3. On your own
If you have a basic understanding of movement and feel confident creating or following a workout guide then this is a fantastic and flexible option. You are able to set your own pace, adapt to your circumstances and operate on your own schedule.
It is very important that if you follow a plan found online you get it from a reputable source (someone who is qualified and trained to give fitness advice and exercise programming).
4. Commit to a schedule
Once you have found the fitness routine that will best suit your needs it is time to commit to a set schedule. We always advise that you start small and adjust as you make progress.
Set aside 30-60mins over 2-3 days in the week that you can commit to exercising. Plan your schedule around your current day-to-day activities.
- Do you have more time in the morning, afternoon or evening?
- What days in the week are most manageable for you?
Once you develop the habit of consistency, keep monitoring your progress and make exercise adjustments accordingly.
5. Get Started
There is no perfect way to start other than taking action. Remember every journey starts with a single step and with every step you get to discover more about yourself. Your fitness level, tightnesses, weaknesses, strengths and so much more.
A nice tip we like to share is that you create a post-workout journal. You can write down how you feel after the workout, any significant moments or surprises as well as what you are looking forward to in the next session. Tracking your journey like this is a great way to stay connected, motivated and consistent.
6. Avoid Comparison
There is no competition when it comes to improving your health and going back to basics is sometimes the best way forward. There is so much information out there and what works for someone else may not work for you. Controlling what you see, follow and let in is key. Your body will always give you the feedback you need, so please make sure to listen to it and remember, your journey should be exciting and make you feel fantastic.
Time to let your fitness journey begin...
Mike and Viv aka MrandMrsMuscle
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