How to Stick With Your New Fitness Goals
Take baby steps. Be realistic with yourself. If you have never worked out, do not expect to be able to kill it in one day. For instance, if you have never run before, don’t expect to run a marathon in one day. Being unrealistic with yourself will only force you to give up faster because you will get discouraged. Don’t try to lift a 50 pound dumbbell on day one if you have never lifted one before.
If you have not used the equipment and have no clue how to use it, ask for help. If you are in a commercial gym, ask one of the trainers to help you out. If you are in a gym at home, you could look online or seek people who have more experience with it. Incorrect use could lead to serious injuries.
Track your progress
Track your progress using whatever method suits you best. I am an advocate of using a measuring tape to track your progress or checking how your clothes fit you. I do not really support the use of scales because they are not always accurate especially when you are building muscle and losing inches. You could use the scale if you are only using it as a guide and not getting hung up with it by letting it dictate your mood daily. Also focus on small goals instead of aiming too high. You could focus on losing the first 5 pounds instead of aiming at the full 30 pounds immediately.
Be consistent in what you do. Do not workout today and quit then come back and quit again. Consistency is key to everything. If you do not want to keep starting over then stop quitting.
Sleep is important. It helps decrease stress levels and cortisol which is released during stress. Increased levels of cortisol could lead to weight gain. Sleep also helps increase energy and endurance. You lose energy when you workout, thus sleep is essential.
Always warm up before your workout to stretch your muscles and release oxygen to the muscles. You can do any warm up such as walking for a few minutes, treadmill, stationary bike or any other activity that gradually increases body temperature, heart rate, respiration rate, and blood flow.
This helps in removing muscle waste products like lactic acid thus in turn reducing muscle soreness. It could also provide increased flexibility.
Switch it up
Change your workouts often to prevent workout plateau. Your body is wise so it learns to adjust to routines. Thus it is important to switch it up once in a while, about every 6 to 8 weeks. Try something different or even change the exercise program. Switching it up also keeps it fun by giving you variety.
Write out your daily workout plans so you are prepared each day. Do not go into the gym and then hope to decide what to do. You may end up not working out certain muscles or overworking some. Preparing in advance helps you have a focus and also gives you a plan and goal to work towards.
Seek a Doctor
If you have any health issues, it’s best to seek a doctor first before exercising. This is important to prevent injuries and also to know how much workout you may need so you do not end up overworking yourself or your heart especially if you have a history of heart problems.
Write your why
What is your why? What is your reason to start working out? Write all of these down and have them somewhere. A goal that’s not written isn’t a goal yet. Write it down so you can look at it on days you do not feel like working out.
Talk about it
Tell those close to you about it so they can hold you accountable. They can help you by ensuring you stay on track and workout regularly and also eat right. Better still; find a workout buddy to keep you motivated.
Always reward yourself and not always with food. You can find various ways to reward yourself that do not go against your resolution goals. It gives you something to always look forward to. For example, buy new workout shoes or clothes.
Always take a rest day here and there. There is no need to always workout every single day. Once in a while your body needs some rest to develop the muscles you are trying to grow. Rest also reduces the risk of injuries.
Do not deprive yourself by cutting out things you love from your diet. Eating clean and right is sustainable. It becomes a lifestyle and not a fad diet that you end in a couple of months. Eat the right foods in the right proportions. Plan your meals ahead to prevent eating the wrong things.
Don’t beat yourself up
Remember it’s a process. If you do not workout one day or didn’t eat right one day, do not beat yourself up, tomorrow is another day. Just stay committed and never give up.
Wear the right workout clothes and shoes. This helps to prevent injuries and also ensure you do the workouts properly. Get the right fabric, the right fit and the right size.
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