So you've made a New Year's resolution to get into shape, and you're more determined than ever to improve your fitness level. Now here's where the rubber meets the road: Are you ready to make a plan and follow through with it? If you're not quite sure where or how you should begin, don't sweat it--below are some simple tips to help you get started off on the right foot.
1. Set realistic goals.
Whether you're checking out the latest exercise infomercial or scanning Instagram for the top #fitness posts, no doubt you'll see a parade of enthusiastic workout buffs who are in ridiculously good shape. This can bring a heavy dose of inspiration, to the point where you want to devise an ultra-demanding workout plan in order to jump-start your fitness efforts.
The only problem is that these types of plans are hardly ever sustainable over the long term, especially if you're just starting out on your fitness journey. It's much better to pace yourself by taking small, incremental steps at first, and then building up to the point where you can take on a more challenging workout schedule over time.
The most effective fitness programs are those in which you can apply consistent, steady effort that gradually increases over time, instead of jumping into dramatically intense or over-the-top workout regimens right off the bat. For example, you might want to start off by committing to just 20-30 minutes of physical exercise per day, or maybe working out three or four times a week. In addition, keep your weight loss goals realistic, aiming to lose no more than two pounds per week, as this is widely recognized as a healthy pace for shedding pounds.
2. Develop your workout plan around what interests you.
It's hard to stay motivated to do something that you simply don't like to do. For example, if you despise jogging, it would make no sense to try and make that type of exercise the core of your workout plan. Finding a workout or a style of exercise that interests you will make a huge difference in how excited and motivated you'll be to continue doing it.
Five Seasons offers several different types of exercise classes and programs, from yoga and Pilates to aerobics and spinning, so you can definitely find a style of workout that will mesh well your personality and preferences.
3. Treat your workouts like can't-miss appointments.
If a billionaire told you that they have a $1 million dollar check waiting for if you would just meet them tomorrow morning at 7:00 a.m., would you forget that appointment? Would you be late? Chances are, you would move heaven and earth to be there on time. You need to approach your commitment to your workouts with that same mentality, because after all, a person's greatest wealth is their health.
4. Give attention to your eating habits.
A healthy, fit body starts in the kitchen, not the gym. If you're regularly loading up your body with a bunch of carb-heavy, high-sugar, calorie-laden foods, you're basically short-circuiting your fitness efforts, and it will be that much harder to get into shape.
This doesn't mean that you have to go cold turkey, but rather start limiting your indulgences and stepping up your healthy food choices. For example, if you're a huge fan of soft drinks, try reducing your intake to only one a day, and then replace the rest with bottled water. Try visiting the fast food restaurants only once a week, and keep some fresh fruits or vegetables (e.g., apples, oranges, bananas, baby carrots, etc.) on hand for for those between-meal snack cravings.
5. Consider hiring a personal trainer.
One of the best ways to turn your desire to get into shape into an actionable plan is to hire a personal trainer. The professional trainers at Five Seasons Family Sports Club have the knowledge and expertise to help you craft a tailor-made workout plan that will move you further toward your fitness goals.
This New Year can be your year to get into shape. Keep the above tips in mind to help you take sound, effective steps that will produce a greater level of progress in your fitness journey.