Fitness: The Basics to Get You Started And Keep You Going!
Many people would like to be fit, yet they don’t know where to begin. As with embarking on any new project, it’s a good idea to have a plan from the outset. In this article we will review the steps you need to get started on a solid fitness program and move forward into a lifetime of fitness.
1. Evaluate your current condition. See your doctor for a physical, and get a printout of your weight and general overall condition. Discuss fitness goals with your doctor. Take some time to review your current eating habits and make plans for appropriate adjustments. Work toward a way of eating that consists of whole foods: fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains and lean protein sources.
2. Set realistic goals. If you are already in excellent health, then pumping up your muscles and becoming a competitive weightlifter is a realistic goal. If you’re a couch potato, this is not a realistic goal; however, losing 10 pounds in a month and building a little muscle is! Set short-term realistic goals that you can reasonably attain in a specific period of time so that you can enjoy frequent success. When you have attained one goal you can happily move on to the next.
3. Monitor your progress by keeping a calendar or journal. Record your weight and measurements no more frequently than once a week. Do so at the same time of day and on the same day of the week. In this way you will get consistent and realistic results. The human body gains and loses as much as two or three pounds of water weight daily, so checking weight and measurements daily is neither necessary nor accurate.
4. Design a varied workout program that includes stretching, strength training and aerobic training. Do a little stretching before both strength training and aerobics. Alternate strength training and aerobic training from one day to the next. This will give your muscles a chance to fully recover between workouts and deliver better results in the long run.
5. Never overwork or exhaust your muscles. Be sure to get plenty of rest every night, and alternate your workouts from one day to the next. This will prevent muscle exhaustion and prevent your muscles from becoming too efficient at doing the same exercises over and over. If you wish, you can take one day a week off from exercise, or simply do an extended series of stretches such as half an hour or one hour of yoga, swimming, Pilates or simply a quiet stroll. These activities will add variety and relaxation to your fitness routine.
By following a moderate program of exercise with realistic goals, you will find yourself moving forward in fitness bit by bit. The best thing about an incremental form of fitness training is that it becomes habitual. When you move forward by small steps, each step becomes firmly ingrained in your lifestyle. With this method, you will be very unlikely to backslide into old habits because your new habits will truly be a part of you.