How To Start A New Fitness Routine
By Lisa Mason
You’re probably already aware of the many benefits of getting and staying in shape and leading an active lifestyle. Once you’ve made the important decision to begin a new fitness routine, where do you begin? The biggest challenge is not only taking that first step, but committing to the routine and developing an exercise habit that will last a lifetime.
If you’ve never been active or it’s been several years since you’ve been involved in a consistent fitness routine, it’s best to check with your doctor to make sure it’s safe for you to begin. When you’re given the go ahead to embark on one of the best things you can do for your health, here are some tips that will help increase the odds of your success.
Take it slow
It’s important to take things slow in the beginning and go at your own pace. Don’t compare yourself to anyone else, every person is different. By being too aggressive at the start of your program, the odds of injury increase immensely and it will also be harder to maintain motivation each day. Start by taking smaller steps that will lead to a full fitness routine you can handle.
Create a plan choosing both mini-goals and an ultimate goal
Schedule your fitness routine just like you would any appointment. Writing your plan onto paper is often a good motivator, and finding a schedule that works for you is of utmost importance. If you aren’t a morning person, the odds are you will continue to hit the snooze button when that alarm goes off at 5 a.m. Instead, consider a lunch time routine, or schedule your workout after work.
Setting a goal is a great motivator, especially for new exercisers. Make sure you have a realistic long-term goal, but also set mini-goals along the way, whether weekly or monthly. Each time you meet your goal, you’ll get a strong boost of self-confidence which goes a long way in helping you to reach your ultimate goal.
Make exercise a priority
When trying to juggle so many things in our busy lives, a fitness routine can often become a low priority. Remember that by making physical fitness and a healthy lifestyle a priority in your lie, you’ll have more energy and enthusiasm to take care of other people and responsibilities.
Listen to your body and allow recovery time
If you feel pain, have problems breathing, feel dizzy or nauseous – be sure to give your body a break. It’s important to pay attention to the little signs before they turn into major issues. Allow time in between exercise sessions for your body to rest and recover.
If you’re beginning a running program, for example, it’s okay to lift weights or participate in more gentle cross-training activities such as Yoga in between your running workouts, but don’t force your body to perform high intense activities using the same muscles every day.
Don’t give up
If you start to lose motivation, don’t give up. Try adding some variety and mixing things up a little to keep from getting bored. The best fitness routines will include a variety of workouts that will improve your cardiovascular, strength and flexibility. Consistency is a key factor in developing a lifelong exercise habit that will increase your energy and keep you looking and feeling young!