Everyone starts the new year with a bang of motivation. Whether you have family, financial or fitness goals, we all feel this sense of urgency to be the best version of us. Here are some tips to help you set the best fitness goal for you!
Step one: consider your health history. Do you have heart problems, breathing problems, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, diabetes, or are you on meds for any of the above. These problems DO NOT make working out impossible. This just means you will really learn how to understand your body. Create goals with these health conditions in perspective, and know when your condition is too much (ie. when to take a break and grab some water instead of pushing through).
Step two: workout history. Do you walk regularly? Maybe you haven’t been to a gym since high school? Or maybe you’ve been consistent at the gym already and are just looking to amp it up. Be realistic with your body’s current ability. Don’t expect to wake up and run 3 miles every day if you haven’t been active in awhile.
Step three: what is your goal? Do you want to lose weight, gain muscle? Maybe your goal is as simple as you want to make it up the stairs without being out of breath. The goal is easy, but the hard part is digging deeper and finding your WHY. Ya you want to lose 40 lbs, but why. Why not 30 or 50? Maybe the last time you were 40 lbs lighter, you liked the way you felt. You liked the way your favorite jeans fit. You were able to keep up with your kids or grandkids better. Dig until you find your WHY because that is the one thing that will keep you going when the going gets tough. Envision yourself those 40 lbs lighter. How does life look, how do you feel?
Step four: For our bodies to function at their best, your fitness program should have three parts: cardio, strength and nutrition. Maybe you focus on a certain area, but you will not be entirely successful if you ignore the other two pieces of the puzzle. There is no “I’m going to only do cardio until I lose the weight, then I’ll start lifting weights.” That bogus almost never works, and it most definitely is not working your body efficiently.
Step five: look at your schedule. We are all busy people between kids, school, work, hanging out with friends, doctor appointments, and running errands. Find a schedule that will work for you. Maybe Tuesday/ Thursday you go in to work late, so you could squeeze in a workout in the morning. Or maybe Monday and Friday, you have longer lunch breaks. Those are the opportunities to look for. Thursday night already be reserved for bowling, so it’s not realistic to try and get workouts in that night, too.
When starting a new workout plan, I encourage at least two times per week. If you are able to get in a Third day, consider it a bonus. Also, Time is usually an issue. If you can only fit 30 minute workouts into your schedule (like me), then that’s what you do. A lot of newbies think you need to come to the gym five times a week for 1.5 hours. It’s just not realistic to think that works for everybody.
Step six: grab a buddy. This is optional, but will definitely help you achieve your goal. Get advice from a personal trainer. Most gyms offer free sessions, so take advantage of it!! Trainers offer advice, tips, and can help you start off on the right foot. Better yet, buy their time. Whether it’s 3 Months or a year, having that person holding you accountable is priceless. Plus, you’re investing in your body and learning things that will carry you through the rest of your life.
If you’re not a one on one person, group training, fitness classes or even just getting a workout buddy are all ways to help to keep you from skipping the gym.
So there you have it. Your goal, considering your health and workout history and a plan for what days you will make it happen. These things don’t happen overnight, so trust the steady progress. You can, and you will, do this.