One of the most important things you can do for yourself is make a commitment to your health and fitness. The benefits of regular exercise and healthy eating have been well documented and include: weight control, better mood, and more energy. In addition, proper diet and exercise has been proven to prevent or manage a wide range of health conditions and diseases.
The biggest obstacle most people have to overcome when beginning a health and fitness program is they are merely interested in getting in better shape or losing weight - not committed. People who are merely interested in achieving a goal will do whatever is convenient to achieve that goal. Men and women who are committed to their health, fitness and weight loss goals will do whatever it takes to achieve such goals.
Unless you are totally committed to your health and fitness goals you will lose focus and train inconsistently – which inevitably leads to poor results. Decide that you are committed to a healthier lifestyle and discipline yourself to act accordingly. Here are 5 quick tips on getting started and sticking with a new workout routine:
1.) START STRONG – BUT NOT TOO STRONG: Most people who fail to stick with new health and fitness goals fall into one of two traps: they either fail to get off to a good start by training consistently or they completely overdo it and quit due to injury or burnout. While it is critical to train consistently when starting a new fitness regimen, don’t overdo it by overtraining – especially if you have been physically inactive for a while.
2.) GET SOME COACHING: Without proper instruction, it’s fairly easy to establish bad habits or injure yourself when doing any type of physical training. If you don’t have a fitness background, consider a couple sessions with a personal trainer or join a group class to learn the basics. Avoid jumping into hardcore training without first learning about proper form, necessary equipment, and safe training strategies for beginners. Staying injury free and keeping workouts manageable will lead to longevity.
3.) DON’T CATCH “EXCUSE-ITIS”: You simply cannot expect to gain any measurable results if you constantly make excuses for yourself. Many people are quick to point out that they simply “don’t have the time” to exercise. According to A.C. Nielsen and a Harris Interactive pole, the average American watches 4 hours of TV each day and spends 13 hours on the Internet each week. This means most people have the equivalent of a full time job (41 hours a week) watching TV and playing on the Internet! If the average person cut their TV and Internet usage by 10% they would have 4 free hours to get some much needed exercise.
4.) PICK A WORKOUT YOU ENJOY: What is the best workout? The absolute best workout routine is the one you stick with! If you absolutely hate treadmills and weights, you probably aren’t going to stick with your gym membership. If you have no rhythm and hate dancing, a dance fitness class certainly isn’t the best choice for you. Getting and staying in shape is hard work. However, finding a workout program that is challenging AND enjoyable is the key to sticking with it.
5.) MAKE HEALTH & FITNESS A LIFESTYLE: Many of the weight loss plans, fitness gadgets and workout programs seen on TV have a built-in flaw: they are meant to be a short term solution to a long term problem. Several of these offerings are not suitable for long-term use based on the intensity of the training and/or ongoing need to follow an unrealistic diet of prepared food or ultra-low calorie fare. In order to maintain your health and fitness, regular exercise and proper diet must be embraced as a lifestyle. You cannot get ripped in 90 days or lose 20 pounds on a meal plan, then fall back into your old eating and lifestyle habits. Making a commitment to a manageable exercise routine and a consistently healthy diet will ensure that any gains you make are long term and sustainable.