“Fitness is a journey, not a destination; you must continue for the rest of your life.”
Kenneth H. Cooper
Are you just starting out on your fitness journey? Or maybe you are a seasoned pro but need a bit of motivation to get back into the swing of things? Either way, walking into a gym or a fitness class, whether it is for the first time in your life or for the first time in a long while, it can be a daunting experience. Fear not, however, as here, we share seven tips to motivate you and get you going on your journey to fitness and help you feel stronger, both physically and mentally. You will not only look great in your clothes but feel superb as well. Ready? Let’s go!
- Have pride in yourself
Before heading into the gym, remember that the most important fitness driving force is confidence and belief. Whether you are lifting 100 pounds or 1 pound, you should be proud to have turned up at the gym in the first place. Do not be intimidated or embarrassed to ask for help from others.
It is important to bear in mind that every single person in that gym was a newbie at one point. No one ever turned up knowing exactly what to do. These first few workouts, no matter how easy they are in terms of physical strength, are often the most mentally demanding. Don that sportswear, be proud, stay confident and have trust that your gym abilities and fitness skills will grow over time.
- Don’t forget the importance of strength training
Newbies often gravitate to the treadmills and stationary bikes because these machines are easy for all ages and fitness abilities. However, it is important that you do not get caught in a cardio rut -try to add a couple of days of strength training into your weekly fitness regime, If you still don’t feel ready to get stuck into the weight room, remember that bodyweight exercises can be just as beneficial in building strength.
- Train hard
If you are not sweating at the end of your workout, you may not be working yourself quite hard enough. Try to reach the “out of breath” stage at least once during your routine by adding in some high-intensity exercises such as sprinting, star jumps, burpees, or squat jumps.
- Ask for help
Instead of steering away from routines or equipment that you are not familiar with, ask a gym instructor or fellow gym-goer for some help. You can also use resources such as YouTube and workout videos for tips on technique and form. Another good idea is to work with a certified fitness trainer to help you get acquainted with the layout of the gym and devise a workout plan tailored especially for you.
- Eat well
Working out will not yield the results that you want if your diet is not as great as it could be. Replace unhealthy foods with healthier alternatives and try to reduce the sugar and saturated fats in your diet. A good place to start is to follow the recommendations to fill at least half of your plate with fruit and vegetables and aim to eat at least five portions of fruit and veg every day.
It is also a smart idea to prepare before (and after) every workout with high-protein snacks such as nuts.
- Be realistic
Losing weight, gaining strength, boosting your stamina, and increasing your flexibility are all long-term goals, so do not expect to achieve ultimate strength in just one week. Make sure that you are realistic about the goals that you set yourself. For example, see if you can add a few more pounds to your shoulder press, or if you can trim a few seconds off the mile within a month, and gradually increase it as you get stronger, faster and fitter.
- Rest, recuperate and repeat
Even the most seasoned gym bunny recognizes the importance of rest after strenuous workouts. Try to sleep for eight hours every night, have at least one rest day a week, and always walk to the gym ready and refreshed to repeat another decent workout. Once you get into a rhythm, in no time can you move from your “beginner” status to athlete?
By putting these seven tips into practice, you will be hitting those fitness goals before you know it.