Let's face it. Starting an exercise program can be difficult, especially if you've been off the grid for a while.
Perhaps you had an injury or an illness that made exercising difficult or impossible. Or maybe work and life stress made getting to the gym unrealistic. Maybe you took a longer break than planned or just lost your motivation. Or perhaps you just don't know what to do or how to get started.
Whatever the reason might be, today is a new day and a new opportunity to get started. So check out the following tips and guidelines for getting back in shape or taking your current fitness up a few notches. And if you want some hands-on support, Fitness NYC can help you find a great Personal Trainer.
1. Pace Yourself. Start slow and gradually increase the frequency, length, complexity and intensity of your workouts. Less is more at the beginning. Going too hard too fast can lead to injury, burnout, frustration and poor outcomes. So while it is great that you are excited to get in shape, go easy on yourself and be patient. As they say, slow and steady wins the race.
2. Have Some Fun. Exercise can be enjoyable. It doesn't have to be forced activities that you don't want to do. In reality, doing things that you enjoy will help you stay consistent and motivated. If you can't stand being on the elliptical machine or stair-master, then don't. You have plenty of other options. Go hiking, join a fun beginner exercise class, find a friend to go to the gym with. There are plenty of options. So yes, push yourself to try new things and no, not all of it will be a blast. But find things that you truly enjoy.
3. Set Goals. Decide what you want to accomplish and be specific about when you want to accomplish them by. Set SMART goals - Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Timely. The more closely you employ this concept, the better you'll feel throughout the process. And it will help you hold yourself accountable and achieve greater success.
4. Don't Go It Alone. It can be hard to stay committed, consistent, accountable and motivated if you're trying to do it all by yourself. So consider hiring a personal trainer, recruiting an exercise partner, joining an exercise group or taking fitness classes. Whichever route you choose, chances are that joining forces with someone other than yourself will help you be successful.
5. Consistency is Key. You don't have to be in the gym or pounding the pavement every day. But it's vital to be consistent from week to week in order to build momentum, stay motivated and see results. So even if it is just a few workouts per week or short workouts at home if you don't have time for a full workout, a little bit can go a long way on many levels.
6. Variety: While it is important to build momentum through a linear progression of some of the same workouts and exercises, it is also important to mix it up over time. Maybe variety is not as important in the first few months, but it can be extremely valuable over the mid-term and long-term. Avoiding boredom, complacency and plateau is essential for staying on track and seeing real results. With that said, too much variety in general and especially in the early stages can make things more challenging. So it is a careful balance to keep things interesting while at the same time staying focused on specific goals if you have them.