How To Start A Health And Fitness Routine
Why wait until the New Year to embark on a healthier life style? It makes way more sense to start as soon as you can clear some time and make a commitment. Every day you wait is a day lost on your transformational journey. Thinking about it unfortunately doesn’t get it done, getting started does. So, why not jumpstart it now? Don’t think of it as a bitter pill you have to take, but rather a progressively pleasing re-energizing of your body, mind and spirit. A positive outlook goes a long way. If you started now think about how far ahead of the game your progress will be by the time the New Year comes.
Before Day One
To give yourself the best chance of success you need to address a few things first.
1. Clear time in your schedule (at least 30 minutes 3 times a week) book it and commit to it.
2. Write down a short term goal say 5 lbs of weight loss or ability to walk 2 flights of stairs without getting out of breath. You can also create a long term goal. Post it somewhere you’ll see it like on the refrigerator.
3. Make a Workout plan. If you have a gym membership you can do that (suggestion – go straight there after work). If you don’t have a gym membership or a set up at home I suggest you start with walking. For the first week or two start with a progressively more challenging walk (if you are a runner you can start with short interval training) or a jog. Week 3 on we will add some resistance exercise, about 10 minutes’ worth to start. Here are 4 exercises to start with.
A. Knee push-ups (lie on floor chest down bring hands even to the sides of your chest. With knees bent push yourself off the ground until arms are straight then lower. That’s one. If you can do straight leg push-ups do that.
B. Sit squats – place a dining room chair in an open space. Sit on the chair while making sure your feet are directly under your knees with the feet flat. Now stand up straight and with control sit back down. That’s one.
C. Towel Pull – grab a bath size towel sit on the floor with your legs straight out in front of you. Wrap the towel around your feet while holding on to each end of the towel. With your chest up and back straight pull on the towel against the resistance of your legs. Pull for 5 seconds then relax. That’s one.
D. Plank – On the floor face down raise your torso off the ground while holding your weight on both forearms and your toes. Hold for 10 seconds then lower yourself. That’s one.
4. Go to the market and pick up fruit, veggies, healthy fats and leaner proteins. Avoid processed foods and foods clearly high in calories.
5. Get a small notebook you can use to Journal your workouts and foods. Keep it basic and general. The less complicated and long the less likely you’ll be to do it.
We want this lifestyle change to be an easy transition. We are going with a less is more attitude. Over reach and you’re likely to fall off. I’m starting you off easy for a reason; I want this to be as doable as possible. In reality the beginning of this plan is to get you used to the structure of commitment and making you accountable. You can add days and or duration once this schedule is easy to keep. For some this start may seem too easy. In your case if you have the gym access you could use that just don’t over commit on time, frequency or difficulty. You can and should add time and intensity as you go. Just remember we’re trying to build consistency first. Hiring a trainer if within your means is another great choice.
Okay, you have a goal written down, you have a game plan of what to do and now you know the mind set we want to foster. It’s time to begin. The first 2 weeks are just walks or jogs to precondition you to the exercise as well as the schedule. Week 3 we add a little difficulty with the above mentioned exercises added in. Start with I set (about 1-2 reps less than you can actually do) for the first week. The following week do as many as you can do in one set of each. The next week we go up to 2 sets of each exercise done in a circuit (so 2 circuits). Finally we get to 3 circuits that’s about 20 minutes of resistance exercise in addition to the 30 minutes of walking or jogging.
If you started out with 2 days try adding a third day. Now that your schedule is stable you can consider joining a gym or buying some equipment to broaden your exercise options. At this point it would be money well spent because you now have a consistency. There are also many body weight exercises you can learn and incorporate into your routine.
The most important variable isn’t having access to a great gym or top equipment; it’s in fostering the right mind set a sort of reprogramming yourself to make fitness a part of who you are.