First, you should do A Fitness Assessment to determine your starting point and decide what your short term and long term goals are. You can do this one your own, or a personal trainer can do this for you, and sometime for free!
Know where you are starting will give you a better idea of where you want to be in the future. I recommend evaluating your progress and goals every 4-6 weeks.
Secondly, set goals. Not just any goal, but realistic goals. Set long term and short term goals. This will keep you focused and on track to getting to your ultimate goal. A long-term goal may be a weight loss of 40 lbs, a muscle gain of 10 lbs, working for a Triathlon. A short-term goal would be to lose 1 pound a week and 4 pounds a month. It may be to increase your lifting load by 25% in the next 2 months or to do a 5k in 2 months. Plan the progression to the long and short term goals. Set the monthly goal, both for your body and your life. Such as increasing cardio to 4 x week, increasing weight strength or eliminating soda. Set the weekly goal. Such as going to gym 4 days a week, doing cardio for 30 min., decreasing soda intake and increasing water intake.
Next, start small and don’t try everything at once. Don’t think that you have to be at the same level as everyone around you. Exercise is a continuum. A little is better than none. Worry about what you are doing today, not what you are doing next month. Don’t expect results overnight. Do expect to take small steps every day.
I would also recommend keeping a journal can also help you get and stay on track. A journal keeps you aware of what you are doing and eating. Track your progress and note your accomplishments. Write it down, EVERYDAY. Exercise, what you did and How long. Nutrition, what you ate, How much of it you ate, the Calories of what you ate and How you felt after.
Finding a Role Model is very inspiring and can help you stay focused. You are like those you surround yourself with, so if you are around people who don’t eat right and don’t exercise chances are you won’t either. Talk and workout with people who are committed to working out and nutrition. Find people who are driven and can help you stay motivated and positive along the way. Peer pressure can be positive! Using the Buddy System is a form of using Peer Pressure in a positive way! Find a spouse, friend or a co-worker that wants the same results as you – to change your lifestyle. Workout together, keep each other motivated and check on each other. There is nothing worse than telling your friend you are not meeting them at the gym, you feel like you have let someone else down and sometimes that feels worse than letting ourselves down.
Don’t forget to psych Yourself Out. Do you need to be distracted when you workout? Listening to music, reading a book or magazine, watching TV. Talking to a friend can make a long cardio workout short and can be very therapeutic.
Do you need to concentrate when you workout? Know what muscle you are working and note how your body feels. Once you have concentrated on the area you are working, that area gets worked much harder and with more precision.
Now, you can Get Rid of The Excuses!
Don’t TRY to go the gym – GO.
But I don’t have time. If you don’t have time now, you body won’t have time later. Stop being lazy – if you want it, go get it!!!
But I don’t like exercise. Most people don’t like exercise because they don’t know how to do it, they lack the knowledge. Read, study and understand!
I have tried and failed before. You didn’t try hard enough and you didn’t have the right knowledge or you would never fail. Remember to Stay motivated and keep your goals in mind. Keep it Fun and find exercises you like and stick with them, or exercise with someone. Taking a class is never boring. Take walks at night or at lunch. Play outside with your kids. Ride the bike (in and out of gym). Try a variety of activities before you find the ones that you really enjoy and want to do long-term.
Get knowledge, Get motivated, Get results, Get fit and Get healthy!
Lastly, make this a Priority in your life. “If your exercise plans and goals are at the bottom of your priority list, you will never reach them. Period. You have to believe that this is important enough to make it happen. Take a serious look at your words, desires and behavior. Do you always talk about wanting to get active, but never actually do anything about it? If so, you are only fooling yourself and continuing the cycle of helplessness. Get honest with yourself about what you really want and how much you are willing to work to make it happen. You’ll be surprised how easy it falls into place once you put your energy into action rather than excuses.” Elizabeth Quinn, writer of Getting Started and Sticking with Exercise.
Dr Tonya Ingalls, D.C.
Categories : How to Workout