Starting a fitness regime can be daunting if you’re new to working out. Where do you start? How do you find out what you need? Do you need to hire a personal trainer and spend all your time working out? The questions are often endless, and every source says something different.
As an online health and fitness coach, I get a tonne of questions all the time – especially about how to stick to a health and fitness program if you’ve never done so before. Here are the top four that usually come my way.
How do I choose an exercise I’ll enjoy?
This is always a great question. First, think about activities you do enjoy. Do you like going for walks? Start taking a little time at lunch or after dinner to take a walk. Gradually increase the length of time, and eventually, try running. Loved dance as a kid? Sign up for a dance class or two. If you have a studio nearby that lets you try different types of dance, give it a go. I discovered I’m terrible, but I still love ballet. And it’s an excellent workout. Was there a sport you loved when you were young? Look for an adult league nearby, and start back at it.
I’m afraid I’m not going to know how to stick to a program. How do I stick to my goals?
Starting is hard. So first of all, acknowledging and celebrating the fact you took a step to beginning the journey is important. Secondly, I’ve always found it important to visually remind myself in some way of both my upcoming workouts, as well as my progress. A big chart on the fridge where I can cross off my workouts. Scheduling my workouts in my calendar, and sticking to them like appointments with myself has helped. I even pay myself to work out. A dollar per workout. And I put that money towards new workout clothing or gear. Motivation that’s visual tends to help most people stay focused.
I’m not seeing results, and I’m getting discouraged. What should I do?
Fitness is a journey. And sometimes, after a certain amount of time, your most gets used to a routine. Once that happens, it’s pretty common to plateau – either in fitness gains or in weight loss. That can be discouraging, but it’s also a sign that it’s time to switch up your exercise regime. If you’ve been focused on strictly cardio, add some resistance training. Or try a completely new activity or program. That will often kick-start your seeing results again. When you start your journey, also consider taking your measurements and some photos. And take them every month or so. Sometimes, you don’t see the progress until you see it by looking back over those stats and pics.
I’m finding it easier to stick to a health and fitness program during the week, but weekends are really hard. How can I make it easier to stay motivated on the weekend?
Weekends can be tough. It’s often when we’re getting together with friends, running the kids around to activities, and doing all the things we didn’t get done around the house during the week. The advice is the same as for weekdays. Schedule your workouts around those times, or incorporate the family. Go for a hike, run around the playground. Go skating or skiing in the winter. Making fitness a family affair can help with motivation anytime, not just on weekends. I used to go for my runs when my kids were in martial arts classes on Saturdays. It was either that, or sit there for an hour on my butt waiting for them.
Of course, I’m always asked a tonne more questions, particularly around what Beachbody on Demand is, how to eat better, and how to recover from a slump, but these are usually the most common. Let me know… what questions do you have? Maybe they’ll appear in a future post?