The New Year is coming, and with it are new years resolutions. Many people choose to get fitter and start working out, which is awesome. It means that you have consciously made the decision to make yourself healthier.
But what if you have never worked out before? How do you even start? And why do people seem to quit after a few months?
This article will give you some handy tips on how to start working out and how to keep working out so that you feel successful and achieve your goals.
You can’t make a cake without a decent recipe. You can have all the raw ingredients, but if you don’t follow the recipe then you’re likely to have a big mess when you try and mix the ingredients then (if you get this far), bake it. The same is true when working out, if you don’t have the recipe, then it’s just not going to work.
People who make plans around working out are much more likely (over three times as likely) to stick to it than people who don’t.
Your goal plan has to be SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and needs a time frame). Otherwise its much less likely you’ll actually follow it. So, if you’re looking to lose weight, your goal could be:
S: lose 10lbs of weight
M: generally this is easy, just use some scales (but try and keep using the same scales at the same time of day, as weight can fluctuate during the day)
A: so, in the long term, you may want to lose stones and stones of weight, but you need to set yourself a goal that is achievable in the short term, otherwise it’ll affect your motivation as the end goal will be so far away. Small, bitesize goals are much more effective.
R: This one you need to be really honest with yourself. If the smallest you have ever been is a size 14, and your goal is to be a size 10, is that even possible with your body? It may very well be, but, like above, it needs to be a bitesize goal.
T: give it a timeline (lose 10lbs of weight in three months, for example), and the timeline should be in line with all of the other principles (SMART).
If you are unsure about how to make SMART goals and plans, speak to a gym instructor who will be more than happy to help you (and shouldn’t charge you either!)
Don’t make drastic changes too quickly
It has been well studied and proven that people who make massive lifestyle changes (whether it be, in this context, working out or diet changing, or both), are much less likely to stick to it when compared with people who make small, incremental changes. So, that is the key. Make small, incremental changes to your lifestyle. Rome wasn’t built in a day, be patient, which leads us nicely into tip 3.
Society over the last 10 years has turned very much into the I want it, I want it now culture, which just wont do when it comes to working out. Fitness, weight loss, gaining strength, whatever it may be takes a lot of time, please do not be impatient with it. Your body is an amazing machine, it will change, eventually.
One thing that people see when they start working out is that in the first few weeks, they see pretty quick changes, which is awesome. After this first few weeks period (is usually up to 6 weeks), the speed of the changes start to slow down. This is OK! This is completely normal, but people assume that working out isn’t working so they give up. This really is the most important time to keep going!
Try and find a training buddy
Making yourself accountable to somebody else is a great way to keep the motivation levels up. This could be training with a friend, going to a group exercise class or hiring a personal trainer. People who train with other people both work harder when they do train and are less likely to give up.
Do something you enjoy
Don’t like running? Think cross training is boring? Then why do it? There are heaps and heaps of different ways of working out and not everything is for everybody’s taste. So dip your toe in, give everything you go to (and afford) a try, you may be surprised with what you enjoy and what you don’t. You’re way more likely to stick to something if you enjoy it! (and don’t worry about not getting the results you want, at first, anything will work and its more important that you stick to something rather than do something you don’t enjoy than something you hate and then quit).
Trying new things can be super scary, but remember, even the massive bodybuilder or the super slim gym bunny was new at some point.
You wont regret it, and if you stick to the above points, you are more likely to stick at it and enjoy working out, which means that you’ll want to do more of it.
We are all on different points on the road to the same destination. Enjoy your journey and you’ll reap the benefits.