You know that feeling you get when you find a cool, new recipe then realize you have only one ingredient on hand, none of the fancy and weird gadgets needed or the two-hour time frame it takes to make it? The same feelings can be felt when starting an fitness program or any type of physical activity. But don’t be intimidated by sweat, increased heart rate, the release of endorphins and fat loss. These are all the things you should look forward to when wanting to begin a fitness journey!
I know the thought of an exercise program can be scary but don’t let it overwhelm or intimidate you. Just like starting a healthy eating lifestyle the best way to approach your fitness journey is with baby steps.
Here are some great steps to follow to get your fitness journey started!
First off, figure out how many calories you need to eat.
Knowing how many calories to consume is important when adding an exercise program to your daily routine. Here is a simple method you can use to determine how many calories your body needs. You can also talk to your doctor or fitness professional to figure out the appropriate caloric intake for you. Also, downloading and using a fitness tracker app such at MyFitnessPal also can help in figuring out the correct calorie amount. MyFitnessPal app, as well as many others, can also show you the nutritional content in the foods you’re eating to let you know if you’re over indulging or not eating enough.
Always take a good five to eight minutes to loosen your joints and muscles before starting an exercise program. Whether you’re working out at home to a workout program or headed to the gym, take the time to stretch. If you’re new to the whole work-out scene, you will be surprised how sore your under-used muscles can get, and trust me, you will want to be able to walk and sit the next day! And don’t forget to stretch after your workout too!
Make your Move.
If you’re not headed to the gym, or using an at-home workout program, take your workout to the pavement. Start with a 30min brisk walk to get your blood flowing and your heart rate pumping! If you’re up for a challenge, try investing in a step tracker device, like a Fitbit, to count your daily steps! Walking 10,000 steps a day typically burns an extra 2000-3500 calories each week, and did you know that one pound of body fat equals 3500 calories? Depending on your body weight and workout intensity you could lose a pound per week simply by taking an extra 10,000 steps per day!
I cannot stress this enough. Drink lots of water! When adding a fitness regime to your daily routine, you need to replenish the electrolytes lost during a workout. Being dehydrated can make you sorer and cause leg and body cramps so do yourself a favor and drink up! And try to steer clear or sugar laden sports drinks claiming to replenish electrolytes. All they do is pack on unwanted calories.
Find a Friend.
Having a workout buddy can really help in staying motivated! Also, exercising with a friend is a great way to challenge each other and work harder. There are also online support groups to join that help motivate and inspire each other. And, having someone to be accountable to is a great way to stay on track and achieve your fitness goals!
Purge the Pantry.
This process can be the hardest part of starting a healthy lifestyle and fitness journey, but it has to be done! Eliminating the processed junk food and those foods that trigger overindulging will only aid in your success. Donate any unused food to family or friends or food banks and replenish with wholegrain, natural foods. Having these unhealthy food temptations stare at you every time you open the pantry, or the fridge is hurting you more than you think.
Don’t get Discouraged.
It is OK if can’t walk the entire 30min or finish a work-out video. Taking it slow and steady is better than not at all, right? There are many home exercises you can do in the comfort of your favorite chair; feel free to add a set of super light dumbbells
(2-3lbs max). But don’t worry if you don’t have weights, using your own body as resistance is just as good.
Here are a few moves you can try at home: Click HERE to read & see the demonstration of the movements.
Bent over arm lift
Seated Hip Thrust
Bulgarian Split Squat
Squat Calf Raise
It’s easy to get excited about starting something new like a fitness program and having the enthusiasm to give it your all may seem like a good idea, but this is when injuries can occur or even that dreaded burn-out feeling. Start out slow and listen to your body and before you know it, you will go crazy if you miss a work-out session!