If you’ve just decided to get in shape, there’ll be a million different options in front of you, each with their own benefits. You may even be filled with a level of excitement about transforming your health and physique, chomping at the bit to get started.
That’s brilliant – at this point enthusiasm is more important than anything. It’ll serve as the motivation to get yourself into the gym and working hard.
Here are a few tips to get your fitness regime off to a flying start…
Filled with enthusiasm, there’s a good chance you’ll want to come flying out of the blocks, using every piece of kit in the gym and training harder than you thought possible.
Whilst this may sound good in theory, in practice it’s not a brilliant idea. Chances are, you’ll absolute exhaust yourself. You’ll be stiff and sore for days and days and energy levels will take a while to restore.
Start sensibly, perhaps book a few sessions with a personal trainer to set you off on the right path, then work until you’re tired, but not wiped out. You can always do more, but at the start don’t try to be a hero. The idea is to improve you, not kill you!
When it comes to training, having goals to aim for is nearly always the best way to go. If you don’t have a target to aim for, you can wander around the gym training in a haphazard way, not really getting anywhere fast. Your training would lack focus and as a result would be more difficult to stick to.
Have a think about what you’d like to achieve – is it weight loss? If so, how much? Would you like to complete a running event? If so, how far and in what time would you like to do it in? Do you have a strength target in mind?
A little time deciding an aim will mean a long time with a point to your training.
Keep it local
One mistake I see people make when they start exercising is they pick a facility that isn’t sustainable. Here’s what I mean by that….
Imagine there are two gyms – one of them is amazing. It’s really clean, it has all of the kit you’ll ever need and more, it’s reasonably priced. BUT… it’s the other side of town, getting there will take forever and there’s always traffic.
The other is decent – the kit isn’t as amazing and it’s not as nice, but it’s really convenient. It’s just down the road from home/work and there’s no traffic most of the time.
Which one would you pick?
I’d always suggest you go for the local one. The decent gym you’ll go to is a much better option than the amazing gym you won’t go to. Remove the reasons for you to not train and you’ll turn up a lot more often.
Value your recovery
When you first start exercising, you’ll be putting your body through a lot of stresses and strains that it’s not used to. It needs time to recover, so at first try to exercise no more than 4 days per week.
Over time your work capacity will increase and you’ll be able to cope with a lot more movement, but in the short term at least, you’ve got to allow for recovery. If you have access to a sauna, that’s an amazing piece of kit for recovery – a couple of saunas per week will help you out a lot.
By the way – recovery isn’t an excuse to be lazy and eat a lot of junk food or drink lots of beer, it’s a chance to give your body the rest it needs, that’s all! You should still eat healthily!
Listen to your body
This one is key – there’ll be days when you feel great and can do more. If that’s the case, go for it. As long as you feel like you have the energy, doing a little extra exercise is a good thing. Just make sure you listen to your body.
If you feel tired, you need to cut back a little. Get more sleep, eat more protein, drink more water. You don’t win any gold medals for beating your body up, it just doesn’t work like that.
Listen to your body before, during and after your workout. If an exercise feels painful, give it a miss. Ask an instructor if there’s an alternative or better still, seek some treatment. Just be sensible and remember the first rule of exercise – do no harm!
How To Get Your Fitness Regime Off to a Flying Start: Concluded
Starting an exercise regime is one of the most physically and mentally rewarding things you can do. Just make sure you start properly and stick to a schedule that will see exercise become a lifestyle, not a trend.