Where to Start.

With the amount of information there is online about working out it is no wonder most people find themselves confused or unsure where to start. My advice, start simple.

1. Goal setting. It is the most integral part. It is what determines whether you’ll succeed or fail yet is often skipped. It is easy to get caught up in the excitement of beginning a new workout regime and just go for it (by all means when you get that feeling DO go for it). But when that initial feeling leaves what is it will drive you to keep working out? Will it be for your health? Or a way to handle stress? Or maybe you work out because one day you want to enter a fitness competition or race. Once you decide on a goal, write it down. Put it on a piece of paper or maybe two or three pieces of paper and place them somewhere you’ll notice every day (beside your bed, in the bathroom, on your door, or perhaps somewhere more private). This step is also crucial because if you don’t write it down you are, one, more likely to forget why it is you started going to the gym and two, the piece of paper almost acts as a contract from you to you and helps to hold yourself accountable.
Tips for Goal writing:

– Make them as specific as you can, instead of “I want to be healthier” what aspect of health do you want to focus on first? Maybe “I want to lower my blood pressure” is a good place to start or “Run my first 5km run”.

– Are you goals measurable? It should be something you can measure whether that’s a certain weight you want to be able to lift or amount of time you spend in a day being active.
– Make your goals attainable and realistic. If you are just starting your health journey making your first goal “to run a marathon” might not be the best start, instead start small, “run my first 5km” and then after you’ve accomplished that maybe your next goal can be “run 10km”. if you start too big, too soon it will only cause frustration and a sense of disappointment and/or failure with yourself.

– Timely – make sure to put a time as to when you would like to achieve this goal that way you are pushed harder to accomplish it. For example, “I would like to go from lifting 5lbs dumbbells doing bicep curls for 3 sets of 8 reps to 10lbs for 3 sets of 8 reps by this day next month.
2. Planning. GREAT, so you have a goal in mind, now it is time to figure out a way to achieve that goal by planning. This is where doing a little home research might come in handy (Of course, if you need help I am ALWAYS here and would be more than happy to help you design an exercise plan just shoot me an email or message on Facebook!). This step is hard to generalize as it is very dependent on what your goal is. But having said that you’ll probably want to plan backwards from the date you’ve set as your target to achieve your goal from the day you plan to start. Then figure out which days will be for training or exercising and which days will be rest.

Once your schedule is set, it is time to prepare what you will be doing each exercise day. This can look as broad or detailed as you prefer. If you’re someone who likes to make up workouts as you go perhaps just assigning days for cardio and strength training are enough. For those of you whom prefer more detail now is a good time to get some ideas written down for strength training routines (I suggest looking on Pinterest or even google there are LOTS of good ones) and cardio day activities (such as running, biking, swimming, or even skipping) – don’t be afraid to ask me for help – I LOVE giving out workouts.

3. Buy yourself a cute new outfit or some new shoes or pull together some gym attire that’s been buried in your closet. When you feel good about yourself you will be more likely to do your workout and enjoy it (it’s all about eliminating the small barriers – like not being able to find matching socks at 6am and thus missing a run).

4. Make rewards for yourself that aren’t food. Track the days that you do follow your plan without punishing yourself on the days you don’t and set some target numbers to attain. For example, if you plan on working out 3 days a week after you’ve gone to the gym 9 times you get to pick a reward. This will not only motivate you to go to the gym but also keep you going.

Reward Examples:
– A relaxing bubble bath with candles, music and a cold glass of water (in a wine class of course)
– A homemade Face mask
– Trying a new exercise class or activity
– Buying a new sports bra
– Making a motivation wall
– Planning a new exercise routine
– Enjoying a night out dancing with friends

5. Prepare yourself for failure. It happens, be ready and accepting. Do not punish yourself further by being disappointed in your failures use them as a way to learn and grow. Use the failures as motivation to keep going.

6. Don’t wait for the next day or better yet Monday to come, go out there and crush those goals today!

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