Whether you’re coming back from some time off at the gym or you’re getting started for the first time, you’re making a great choice for your health. Not only will you enjoy positive side effects like more energy, better quality of sleep and an improved mental state, you’ll also grow or maintain muscle mass and reduce your risk of chronic disease. The only catch? Finding the determination and discipline so that you’ll stick to your routine for the long haul. Here are a few simple tips when you begin a new fitness program.
Start with a Plan
Beginning your new fitness program with a plan is a good way to establish goals and steps to accomplish those goals. Try to be specific in your goals. Instead of something general like, “I want to lose weight and get fit,” opt for something like, “I want to do ten full push ups in a row without stopping.” If your goal is to run a 10k, you could begin by creating a plan that includes shorter runs so that you build up to your bigger run. Once you accomplish that, you can set a new goal. Setting mini goals is a good way to keep you motivated along a broader path to improved fitness.
Build Your Workouts into Your Schedule
Part of your plan should be incorporating your workouts into your weekly schedule. Put your workouts on your calendar as you would other appointments. This is a good way to start making fitness a habit, which is key to long-term success.
Find a Training Partner
Working out with a friend, a personal trainer or in a group can be an important to maintain accountability and keep you motivated. If you go the personal trainer route, you’ll benefit from his or her experience and expertise. You’ll be more likely to reach your goals safely and more efficiently, too.
Take it Slow
When you’re starting or getting back into the fitness groove, don’t kill yourself on your first day. Start slowly and work your way up to heavier weights and longer sessions. Remember too that warm ups and cool downs should always be included in your workouts, and make sure you’re listening to your body’s cues. Be aware of your limits, and attentive to any pain or discomfort you’re feeling as you train. This is another area where a certified personal trainer can help.
Many personal trainer are happy to work with you just long enough to help you learn the basics so that you feel comfortable in the gym and help you build a plan. If you’d like to learn more about working with a personal trainer for the short or long term, we’re happy to help.
And one last tip – remember to stay hydrated in the gym (and in our high-desert climate, out of it too!).