1. Get involved with a fitness program that will best suit you. This means you should get involved with a workout regimen that fits your personality to some extent. It needs to be something that you can see yourself doing without quitting instantly. Do keep in mind that you do need to get out of your comfort zone and try different things, but if it’s too extreme, you then stand a great change of stopping.
2. Set realistic targets. The program should be practical and must not give you false hopes. It is important to be aware of the road blocks that may be encountered in your venture to becoming fit. This will be a big help in deciding what steps to take to combat those challenges. Most importantly, this requires for you to be honest with yourself in admitting the causes of previous downfalls. Having this area in control will provide you with a clearer path in deciding what action/s are necessary.
3. Figure out what your goals are. Are you looking to lose weight, gain weight, tone up, improve speed or agility in a sport…? Whatever it is, you MUST know it advance what it is that you are trying to achieve. Then figure out how much knowledge you have in that area. If you have physical ailments, limitations, or injuries, that require attention, you should definitely speak to your doctor first for his recommendation. He will either say no, or yes with some safety guidelines. If you’re able to get involved with a program, you then need to connect it around your lifestyle, your work, home life, family life, social life and more, as these aspects can distract you from your goals. It’s easy to stop working out yet it’s so hard to get into it. It’s for this reason that you need to get ready mentally and tell yourself this is not only important, but it’s your health on the line.
4. You’ve decided to workout and you’ve begun the new journey. What are some basic things you should know in order to start exercising? For one thing, you must warm up first. You should not stretch before your warmup. That’s like putting a rubber band in a freezer, then you take it out and try to stretch it. You will not get far with that. You must always heat up your muscles, ligaments, and tendon first (5 min recommended), which decreases the chance of injury from over-stretching. Be systematic about how you arrange your workouts. On your first workout, a basic one set of 12-15 repetitions will suffice. You can perform anywhere between 8-10 exercise at one set each. This will be a good way to say hello to those sleeping muscles. You don’t need to take the reps to muscle failure. I would recommend stopping 3-4 reps before failure (point where you are unable to finish or continue a set). Your muscles will react to it even if it feels semi easy. It will be a nice and safe way to get started. Towards your second or third workout second session, you can do 1-3 sets per exercise and see how your body responds to it. Based on those observations, you can then decide on the modifications you need to make.
Your muscles should be working harder over time. Repeating the same sets of exercises and same weights without getting your muscles to work harder will not give satisfactory results. Muscles tend to react early on in a program, then the progression rate tends to slow down during the later phases. This happens because the working muscles know what to expect, they are used to it, and are not as stress in accomplishing the required tasks. Exercise variety will be key here, because it confuses the muscles. Intensity is another factor. As the saying goes “what you put in is what you get out.”
Another important thing you can or should do is to keep actual record of each workout. Some people don’t have that type of mindset, yet it can be an amazingly powerful motivator. Record keeping is great because it shows you where you were fitness wise when you first started. You can then compare the data a month later to see how much you’ve improved. You should definitely see results if you were following a good workout plan. Once you start to see or feel the results, you will feel more motivated to continue and push even harder.
5. Perform exercises consisting of 8 to 10 reps for strength and muscle atrophy. You can even do 10 -15 reps per set. This means longer duration of work, which equals higher volume of work output that also works on your muscle endurance. Once you go beyond 15 reps, it tends to become more aerobic than anaerobic. It all depends on your specific goals. Also consider doing exercises that involves more than one muscle group as that requires more work to complete it, and in turns burns more calories.
6. If your goal is to lose weight, then you should definitely include lots of cardio in your routine. You can even try boot camp, H.I.I.T, cross-fit and other very demanding workout styles. You can do 30min to an hour per cardio session. The shorter you make the time the harder you have to push yourself to make up for it. You can even do 15 to 20 minutes worth and get the same results or even more than the person doing one hour. You do this by doing intervals of a workout. You must push yourself to the max, then dramatically slow down the pace for a few seconds, and repeat the same process or mix it up by using a different cardio exercise/frequency. The number of exercise or rounds you perform depends on your fitness level, how much time you have, and so on. Studies even show that these short cardio interval routines can really shock your system, and you burn more calories at rest than if you were to do a one hour routine, at a moderate to moderately challenging pace.
7. Lastly, try working out with a partner or participation in a group style workout. These are fun and extremely motivational. It allows you to put push yourself while secretly being a little competitive with your partner or the group. Keep in mind that the session must involve more work and less talking. A little competition is great for the mind and body when it comes to fitness training, yet you must do so safely. Group or partner training is extremely popular as it add an extra boost to your workout, thus giving you better results.
At the end of the day your results depends on you. If it’s important to you, you will do it. We don’t always need a vacation as motivation to get started. It doesn’t need to be about getting into that special outfit. It’s your health, your well being. Your actions or lack of can either make you or break you, it’s your decision. The things that you must remember is that exercising can have an amazing impact on your family life, relationship, confidence level and much more. Having said that, I truly hope you make the smart decision of making your health and fitness a priority.