No matter what part of the year it might be, there’s never a bad time to start your fitness journey. Still, it’s wise to gather a few simple tips to help you build that healthier lifestyle as efficiently as possible. To start, you won’t have to look any further than the tips that the Mayo Clinic has to offer on this topic.
According to the Mayo Clinic, you should understand your current fitness level before you start a new fitness program of any kind. That helps when building a plan that suits your needs. Prepare the gear you’ll need to get started. Then comes the toughest part: getting started! Don’t forget to always measure your progress as you go to help you stay on the right track.
One of the most important things to remember is that everyone’s fitness journey is unique and different from one another. So in this article, we’re going to take a closer look at those ideas mentioned earlier and expand on them. That way, you can see how you’ll be able to adjust them to suit your unique conditions.
Let’s get started!
No matter what your fitness journey might look like, you should always have a clear sense of where you’re starting. There are two main reasons for this.
Firstly, you want to make sure that it’s safe for you to start improving your fitness. Certain medical conditions might require you to eat or exercise in a certain way to stay safe. That’s why you should consult your physician before you begin a new fitness journey.
Besides that, understanding where you are right now fitness-wise is also important for measurement purposes. Suppose you have a clear idea of how fit (or unfit) you were when you first started. Then, any progress you make from that point forward becomes much easier to measure accurately.
But what kinds of things should you measure when checking your current fitness level? Well, they include things like:
Once you know these starting details, measuring your progress becomes much easier. You can learn how to measure these things yourself or you could even get your physician’s help to do so.
Everything starts with a plan, even your health and fitness. Sure, plans change all the time; as they should, whenever there are improvements to be made. However, you still need a basic plan to start with so that you can keep your efforts consistent.
Any fitness plan will depend on your personal goals. Are you trying to lose weight? Build muscle? Run a marathon? Or are you just interested in improving your overall health?
When you know what your goal is, you can then identify your priorities and plan around it.
Here are two pieces of good news. Firstly, you don’t need a complicated plan, especially when you’re just starting out. Remember: the simpler your fitness plan, the easier it’ll be to stick to it!
Secondly, these days there are a virtually unlimited number of ready-made fitness plans online. Some of them are for sale, but there are plenty of free plans that you can adopt as well.
Start with a basic plan that’s tailored to your goal, and you can build from there!
Next, you’ll want to make sure that you prepare any gear or equipment that you’ll need. That can mean everything from your workout clothes and shoes to the food containers that you’ll use for preparing meals in advance.
As mentioned previously, the best thing that you can do when starting this new journey is to keep it simple and straightforward. That certainly applies to your gear and equipment as well!
You don’t need to spend money on brand new workout clothes, exercise machines, or expensive ingredients. Just like with your fitness plan, it’s always best to start with the basics and whatever you might already have, and gradually build from there.
Here’s a bonus tip for this point. If you plan on going for a walk or run first thing in the morning, place your shoes, socks, and workout clothes right next to your bed. That way, as soon as your alarm goes off you can get ready to exercise even before any laziness or doubt creeps in.
Some people might take this even further. There are those who wear their workout clothes to bed so they can get moving the moment they wake up in the morning!
Sure, that might sound extreme to some people. But if it helps and it works, then why not?
Now, it’s time to get started. That’s easier said than done for many people, so don’t be too hard on yourself if this is where you’re struggling.
The fact of the matter is that starting a fitness journey means making significant changes. Those include changes to your daily routine and your habits, the kind of things that you’ve already been doing automatically for all this while. Psychologically, this can be quite unsettling at first.
On top of that, there is a physical element to these changes as well. As you start eating differently and exercising more than before, your muscles, joints, and the rest of your body will also be put under a lot of new stress. They’ll need some time to adjust to the new demands that you’re placing on them.
Always remember to be kind to yourself as you go through these changes. It takes quite a bit of time before your new fitness journey becomes a natural part of your daily routine.
Ask anyone who has been through a similar journey towards fitness and they’ll tell you that consistency is the key. There’s a popular saying that goes, “It gets easier every day. But that’s the hard part, you have to do it every day!”.
As your mind adjusts to your new routines and your body gets more conditioned, every day along your fitness journey becomes much easier to manage. After a certain point, the only thing you need to worry about is how you’ll continue to challenge yourself to new heights.
Once you’ve started your fitness journey, you must also be sure to track your progress. How you do that will depend on what your goals might be.
For instance, if you’re trying to lose weight, then your scale weight and body fat percentage should be two things that you track. Both of them are important, because your scale weight will fluctuate day to day, and that might end up discouraging you. However, including your body fat percentage as part of your progress measurements will give you a much more complete picture.
Suppose your goals are performance related, like running a mile at a certain pace. Well, then your measurements should be aimed at keeping track of that instead.
Measuring your progress is a double-edged sword. Good progress can motivate you, and setbacks and discourage you. Still, it’s necessary to keep track of where you’re at in your fitness journey, so that you can make the necessary adjustments and keep yourself moving towards your fitness goals!