So you want to get in shape. That’s fantastic news! By clicking on this blog, you’ve already completed the first step in your fitness journey: deciding to make a change.
If you’re a fitness newbie intimidated by gyms, fitness regimens, and lifestyle changes, you are not alone. Even Olympic athletes had to start from somewhere, and no matter how out-of-shape you are, it can only get better from here.
DEFINING YOUR FITNESS LEVEL AND GOALS
Before you commit to a routine or diet, you need to first understand what you’re physically capable of right now, and where you’d like to be. If you have a goal of running a marathon, for example, a good place to start would be to assess your current level of cardiovascular fitness. How quickly can you run 5 kilometers? How long can you run continuously in minutes and in kilometers?
It’s also important to assess your muscles: even if you don’t have explicit strength goals, properly conditioning your muscles ensures that they function properly. As a runner, your glutes, hip flexors, and Tibialis Anterior (front of the shin muscle) are crucial for a proper stride. Strengthening your muscles will not only help improve endurance but also helps prevents injury, so you can enjoy good health, longer.
Lastly, assess your diet. Are you a volume eater, who enjoys large quantities of food, or are you more of a snacker? What kind of foods do you typically enjoy, and in what ways? Understanding your current habits is key to developing a sustainable and enjoyable nutrition plan. You also need to concretely define your goals so you can focus on proper macronutrient distribution. If muscle gain is not your primary goal, you won’t need to consume as much protein as a bodybuilder, for example, while powerlifters and bodybuilders would eat fewer carbohydrates than runners.
FACING YOUR FEARS
Going to the gym for the first time can be scary! There are so many people who all seem to be in better shape than you, tons of equipment that looks almost alien, and the fear of messing up and hurting yourself are all factors that could potentially halt your progress. If this all seems confusing and overwhelming to you, don’t worry, there are fitness professionals who are dedicated to helping you get started. Hiring a personal trainer to help you with diet and exercise can be of great benefit to you. They will instruct you on proper form to prevent injury, help you complete physical assessments to track progress, and encourage you along the way.
If a personal trainer is out of your budget, group fitness classes are another great way to get started. Being part of a community will not only provide you with examples and support but can help you make lifelong friends that share your goal of health and wellness.
Incorporating simple movements into your daily life is another easy way to get started. Something as easy as choosing to walk more can make a huge difference in your personal fitness.
The key to a good workout is to have fun and to enjoy daily movement. If you’re not enjoying your exercise routine, you won’t be consistent, no matter how motivated you think you may be. Something that worked for your friend, partner, or colleague may not work for you, and if you feel discouraged, it’s a lot easier to quit. So it’s important to make sure that you’re totally loving your regime!
If you absolutely hate running, don’t run! You can have an equally effective cardiovascular workout by biking, walking on an incline, or taking a HITT class. If you love lifting heavy weights but find stretching boring, consider adding weighted mobility exercises to your routine – you’d be surprised how much of a challenge you can bring to your workout with just a few tweaks.
No matter what your workout routine shapes up to be, it has to work for you, not the other way around. Exercise is an amazing mood booster: the endorphins (aka happy chemicals) you get from a good workout will leave you feeling amazing for the rest of the day. Exercise also helps you improve your sleep quality, bone health, and brain function, so it’s an important part of your daily routine.
DEALING WITH SETBACKS
As with any journey, there will always be roadblocks as you pursue fitness. Whether you get sick or injured, or become so busy with work you forget about the gym, your reasons for falling behind are yours and yours alone. You do not have to justify time off to anyone, and rest is just as crucial to health as exercise is.
Setbacks are normal, and everyone experiences them! See the buff guy with the tank top deadlift 700lbs? He has faced setbacks. The woman running a 20-minute 5k has experienced pauses in her training as well. It’s essential to forgive yourself for falling off the wagon, and then get back on! The only time breaks will hurt your progress is when they stop you from trying altogether. Your biggest hindrance, in this case, is yourself, but as soon as you find the motivation to get up and get moving, you’ll be back and better than ever.
Achieving a healthier lifestyle is within reach! Incorporating simple movements into your daily routine and gradually progressing at the gym will have you in tip-top shape and enjoying it at the same time! When choosing a gym, it’s important to make sure you’re in an environment that is supportive of your fitness goals. Having a good amount of equipment, group courses, and friendly staff are some of the reasons why Buzzfit gyms are rated the friendliest in Quebec. Whether you’re a total newbie or a certified gym bro, Buzzfit facilities are equipped for you. So what are you waiting for? Your fitness journey starts now!