Many of us realize the importance of daily physical activity. Some of the benefits of physical activity include controlling weight, reducing risk of diseases such as cardiovascular disease, strengthen bones and muscles, and many others! As we can see, physical activity plays an important role in keeping us healthy.
This begs the question, why do some people still not fit physical activity into their daily routine? Well, it takes time, it often implies change, it can be seen as a burden, and some individuals are just unsure of where to start. These 6 tips will make your exercise efforts a success!
1. Dress for Success
Getting active starts before you even get to the gym, tennis court, ice rink, or wherever your exercise destination is. It starts at home when you are pondering what you should wear for the occasion. While considering footwear, you should find comfortable shoes with laces so they can be tied tight enough to remain on your feet while exercising.
You should also dress comfortably. Choose clothing that fits your activity and the weather if you are going outdoors. Avoid clothing that is baggy or restricting. Baggy clothing could get caught in a machine or cause you to tip and fall, which could lead to potential injury.
On the other hand, restricting clothing will prevent you from working through your full range of motion, which can also lead to potential injury. To sum everything up, you should find clothes that match your activity, that are comfortable, and that fit just right!
2. Make Time
When getting active for the first time, it is best to start out slowly. Therefore, you will not need to dedicate a lot of time to activity. Over time, you should aim to build up to at least 30 minutes of exercise on most days of the week.
It is also important to be flexible! If you miss your usual exercise time, try at a different time or on a different day. Life happens, we get busy, but do not get discouraged to the point that you quit completely. Get back on track as soon as possible.
Remember, we want long-term success so we have to make physical activity a part of our normal daily routine. Start slowly, build intensity over time, remain consistent, and do not get discouraged!
3. Set Reasonable Expectations
In anything that we do, we should always set a goal or goals. Goals give us a long-term vision and short-term motivation. They keep us focused and help us to organize our time and resources. They are also a good indicator of whether or not we are achieving what we set out to achieve by getting physically active.
When setting a goal, I like to set a SMART goal. Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-bound. Each of us knows what we are capable of achieving. We should set a goal that will challenge us but is still possible to achieve in a given amount of time.
Let’s look at an example of a non-SMART goal compared to a SMART goal. A non-SMART goal could sound like this…”I am going to start exercising.” Taking this same statement, let’s turn it into a SMART goal…”I am going to start exercising on January 1st, 2017 and lose 10 lbs by March 15th, 2017!”
Remember to be as specific as possible when setting goals! Have a goal, track your progress, make changes when necessary, and continue to work hard toward achieving your goal. Once your goal has been met, raise the bar and set a new goal!
4. Make It Fun
This one is extremely important when it comes to long-term success of physical activity. Often times, we have the misconception that physical activity has to be jogging or weight lifting. ABSOLUTELY NOT!
Physical activity can be a magnitude of things, almost anything other than lounging around on the couch. Biking, hiking, walking….the list goes on and on! Find what activities that you enjoy the most and do them!
Forcing yourself to do something that you do not enjoy will not lead to the long-term success that we are trying to create. Try new things, decide what ones that you like the best, and HAVE FUN! By doing this, you are much more likely to stick with it over time.
5. Hire a Personal Trainer
Why hire a personal trainer? Well, they provide accountability and motivation, they have expertise in the area of health and wellness, and they ensure that you are achieving your goal in a healthy manner as to reduce the risk of injury!
Trainers also take some of the thinking out of getting physically active. All you have to do is show up and be ready to exercise. Any quality trainer should have these qualities. Whether your goal is to lose weight, gain muscle, or just to become healthier, you should be confident that they can create a program that will enable you to get there!
By having that assurance, you and your trainer will work hand in hand toward achieving your goals. What are you waiting for? Check out what I have to offer as a personal trainer!
6. Celebrate Little Successes
Change can be scary. Especially a change that will eventually become a new “norm” for you. One way to cope with the transition from one way of life to the next is to celebrate those little successes! Celebrate the fact that you went from completely sedentary to getting 30 minutes of physical activity in twice this week! Eventually, you will want to work up to 30 minutes on most days of the week but twice a week is PROGRESS!
As aforementioned, successfully making this lifestyle change will take time. By celebrating little successes you will feel good about what you are doing and are more likely to stick with it.
One word of cation: try to refrain from celebrating by rewarding yourself with food. This typically leads to a pattern of unhealthy eating which will not bring you closer to your goal of living a healthier lifestyle.
7. Ask Questions
As you begin your fitness journey, you may have questions. For 99.9% of beginner, you will have questions. Instead of being discouraged, ask! There is always someone who is more than willing to help. How can you be successful if you don’t know what you are doing? After awhile, you will be the person answering the questions of those who are in the same shoes that you were once in!
If you are still a little timid and have questions, contact me! I can answer your questions and get you on the right track toward achieving your fitness goals! So what are you waiting for..? GET STARTED TODAY!