The topic of body positivity has been gaining immense momentum, and the importance of maintaining a healthy body is well known. It is not just about losing/gaining some kilos, it’s also about actually feeling confident about your body and yourself overall. It’s about knowing that you are fit from within, and loving the person you see staring back at you when you look in the mirror.
Do you want to start your fitness journey to see actual results? It doesn’t matter if you are a beginner. It is definitely possible to achieve all your fitness goals if you are dedicated and you follow the best methods. I have to admit that I haven’t been consistent at all over the past few months, but I’m beginning to regain discipline, and have planned my fitness goals for the year. So here are five of my best tips on how to begin your fitness journey.
Tip #1: Know your fitness level and start small
Everyone is different, and we all have different fitness levels. Therefore, before going ahead with your fitness journey, you need to at least have some basic idea regarding how much your body can take. Monitor your pulse rate and how long it takes to walk a certain distance, how flexible you are, learn your body mass index, etc. Taking such steps will not only allow you to create a suitable fitness regime and give you a very good idea of exactly where you are starting, but will ultimately allow you to measure your progress.
If you are a beginner, it is always suggested to start with low intensity training. Also, try to add some activities into your daily routine, which will make it easier to work out. It is essential to start small so that your body can adjust, preventing overexertion. Take the time to learn the proper movements of your exercises before increasing intensity. A common reason people tend to fail at reaching their fitness goals is “burnout”- starting with such high intensity, the body does not have time to adjust nor recover as needed, thus making it harder to continue with a consistent routine.
Tip # 2: Figure out your fitness goals
Why are you starting your fitness journey? Is it to lose/gain weight, to prepare for an event, fighting any disease? Having clear goals is very essential when you are going about your fitness journey, because they will help you understand what you are working towards. To help you with this, you can get a poster board to create a vision about what you want to achieve (I find this very effective). Add pictures to it to motivate yourself. Even easier, find fitness inspirations on platforms such as Instagram and Pinterest, and add them to your digital board. It’s also important to set realistic goals; don’t expect drastic results in a short period of time. Have set, measurable goals that you wish to achieve by a certain time.
Tip #3: Create/Choose an appropriate fitness program for yourself
Once you know your goals, you can design a convenient and balanced routine for yourself. Even a small amount of physical activity can be very helpful. If your aim is to create a simple workout routine, try to include a variety of activities, so that you do not get bored easily. Be creative. If you would like a more challenging and guided form of routine, research and find a workout challenge/program you would like to join. There are so many fitness trainers and workout programs online, you just have to find one that suits your needs, and will provide you with the guidance you need to meet your goals. I like to have a structured workout routine, and while I could take the time and plan my workouts and meals, I like the ease and precision that comes with obtaining a fitness program that includes both my workout schedule and meal plan, from a certified trainer. There are also many free workout challenges online. My point is, ensure that you have a planned fitness routine (one that works best for you), as you’re most likely to remain consistent when you have one.
Tip #4 : Create a proper meal plan
Eating a healthy, balanced diet is even more important than exercising regularly. As I elaborated in my previous meal planning post, our bodies need proper fuel to perform optimally, and your diet will be a leading factor in the outcome of your fitness journey. Whether your goal is to maintain, gain or lose weight, if you aren’t eating the amount of calories, nor balancing your macro intake, the chances of obtaining pleasurable results are very slim. If you will not be seeking professional guidance, such as from a nutritionist, take your time and research about the types of food you should be incorporating in your diet based on your goals, and also ensure that you learn about calories and macros. A diet doesn’t have to be super strict or inflexible; you can still enjoy the foods you like, as long as you ensure that you’re meeting or staying within your caloric requirements and incorporating proper meals.
Read my previous post for tips on proper meal planning here: Top 6 Meal Planning Tip to Target Your Fitness Goals
Tip #5: Include enough rest & recovery time
Our bodies need time to recover after any intense session of training. So, get enough rest, and listen to what your body is trying to tell you. This will help your muscles go back to their optimal state, allowing you to perform your workouts well. If you neglect resting and properly recovering between workouts, not only will you be unable to perform at your best, but this could cause fatigue and even serious injuries. If you feel like you’re too tired or your body hasn’t recovered from a previous session, don’t feel guilty for missing a session or two to take the time needed to rest. Trust me, you will get back to your workout routine feeling stronger and giving it your best.
Starting your fitness journey can seem like a daunting task at first, but if you are dedicated and you know what you are working towards, it can be really rewarding in the long run. Always monitor your progress during your journey and it will help you stay motivated. A good way to do this is by taking progress pictures.
We all start somewhere. No matter how unsure you feel now about your capabilities in achieving your fitness goals, you will get there with your dedication and hard work. Start your journey now.