Spring is almost here!!! Better get out the running shoes, workout gear, yoga mats, or whatever it takes to get you in the exercise mode...if you haven’t already. I hope you haven’t developed a “winter spread”…but if you have…no worries. It is NEVER too late to begin an exercise program that will whip you into shape for those sleeveless tops and shorts you want to wear in the coming weeks.
WHAT IS YOUR FITNESS GOAL?
Before you decide on an exercise program, you need to make sure that you know exactly what your fitness goal is. Are you exercising to lose weight, to stay in shape, or…are you already fit and want to make your fitness training harder? Without answering this question, you will not be able to find the workout routine that will suit your personal needs best.
The one reason why so many people quit on their exercise program is because they are choosing the wrong one. It is important to make sure that you do your homework and find the best workout program that you will actually put into practice. Workouts can be fun, if you are selecting the right one for you. When you find a program that works with your schedule and fits your personal needs, you will enjoy and look forward to exercising.
CHOOSE AN EXERCISE THAT YOU LIKE
We are genetically designed to be active. Getting healthy and getting your body moving isn’t as hard as you might think. Find an activity that makes you happy, and do it all of the time. Many people make the mistake of thinking they need to join a gym for their exercise program. No Way! You can do all sorts of exercises like swimming, running, walking or even cycling away from the gym…at home and in your neighborhood. Try choosing the one exercise that you love doing and start with that.
Do you like to jog? Great, do that. Do you like to lift weights or kickbox? Go for it! Maybe you like yoga or pilates…you can join classes or dvd them at home. Dodgeball, Ultimate Frisbee, rock climbing…whatever! If you don’t like to exercise and be active and move, then you will have to keep trying activities that you do enjoy participating in that will motivate you and keep you interested. Find something that excites you and trips your trigger. Hey, I LOVE to dance. So I get in the living room, bluetooth my wonderful, high powered headphones, start my playlist going on “Pandora” and get my “jiggy” on! It makes me happy, joyous, and I get a great cardio with a little muscle building.
Do NOT overdo it and hurt yourself. Make sure that you ease into your workout. Remember…Rome wasn’t built in a day. If you haven’t exercised in a while or you have never worked out, this is really important. Get informed on any exercise or workout program you are not familiar with or haven’t done before. The one thing that is most important to any workout you choose…Enjoy Yourself! Sure you may grunt and groan at first and want to give up…but don’t!!! You are making new habits and setting new goals…so stick to them!
IDENTIFY YOUR ENEMY
If you have started an exercise program in the past and failed, it is important to know WHY. Did you give up when you saw little or no change in your body right away? Did you get sick and give up? Did you go on vacation, get off your schedule and say “why bother?” Or…maybe you just got bored with your workout and decided the effort wasn’t worth it. Educate yourself on the hurdles and kryptonite that caused you to fail at getting in shape before, and work on avoiding those pitfalls and finding new ways to deal with them.
FIND A WORKOUT BUDDY
There are going to be days when you want to slack off, sleep in and even skip your workout. Find a workout buddy, hopefully someone who is at a similar level of fitness as you are, and be accountable to each other. He or she can help motivate you on days when you are dragging and vice versa. You can be a support system for each other and encourage one another to reach your goals.
CLEAN UP YOUR DIET
This is huge…80% of your success in your workout goals will depend on your diet. Think the “80/20” rule…80% diet/20% exercise. You cannot outrun your fork, and you cannot out-train a bad diet. Whether it is eating less calories per day, cutting out sodas, eating more vegetables, or skipping that dessert…small changes can make a huge difference. You probably shouldn’t try to make too many changes at once, however. Your stomach might flip out and you may go back to some old eating habits and “fall off the wagon”.
YOUR NEW SPRING EXERCISE PLAN:
- Set the goals you want to establish. Post them on your wall.
- Determine why you have failed in the past and how you can avoid it in the future.
- Start cleaning up your diet in whatever method works best for you.
- Pick an activity that makes you happy, and do it…a lot.
Exercising regularly will help you to strengthen your heart, build muscle, lose weight, lower blood pressure, prevent depression, and increase endurance and/or flexibility. As an added benefit, regular exercise can change the brain in ways that protect memory and thinking skills. So many reasons to begin your exercise program NOW!
Important thing is to GET STARTED! BE CONSISTENT! ENJOY WHAT YOU ARE DOING!