3 Things You Absolutely, Positively Need to Start Your Fitness Journey
Do you want to start your fitness journey but aren’t sure where to start?
Are you on the road to healthy living but don’t know which path to take?
Never fear! Your Expert in Common Sense Fitness is Here!
The beginning of any journey is the absolute hardest. Once you get started on a routine it’s relatively easy to keep going. But getting started is where we struggle. So I’m going to break it down for you.
The 3 things that you absolutely, positively need to start your fitness journey are:
Having the right mindset is the first step in every decision making process
* Make the decision that you are going to make this change. Be very clear with yourself on WHAT it is you want to do. What is the outcome that you are looking to achieve? Once you are clear on the WHAT, you need to be very clear on the WHY. Ask yourself 5 times, WHY you want to make this change. The WHAT is important but the WHY is even more important because when you start to second guess yourself and want to quit, the WHY will propel you to keep going.
* Once you’ve made the decision, SHARE the decision with someone. Let someone know what you are trying to accomplish. Be careful though, because everyone will not support your decision. Everyone will not be in your corner and some people may even try to discourage you. That’s okay! Remember your WHY and find a real support system. If you don’t have anyone in your real life to support you, check out your local meetup groups, or find online groups that you can connect with to get your support and accountability. Whatever you do, don’t go it alone.
* Make a plan to move forward. Write it down. This step is crucial. Once you write it down, it becomes real. Get a piece of paper and a pen and write out your plan, step-by-step, then post it where you can see it every single day.
Having the right nutrition plan will get you started off on the right foot. Your nutrition plan will depend on your specific goals (i.e. weight loss, fat loss, sports specific, maintenance, etc.) However, these simple strategies are universal and will help to ensure success
* Eat breakfast every single day. A real breakfast. Make sure you have a serving of protein, fruit and veggies. In a hurry? Make a green protein shake – my recipe includes fresh spinach, coconut water, a scoop of whey protein, ground flaxseed, a banana, and a ton of frozen fruit. It’s filling, it’s quick and you can take it with you.
* Drink more water! I don’t know how much water you are drinking but chances are it’s not enough. The standard guideline has always been 8 cups per day. That may be enough but I would recommend dividing your weight by 2 and whatever that number is, drink that amount in ounces on a daily basis. (e.g. if you weigh 150lbs / 2 = 75 oz of water). Start drinking as soon as you get up in the morning and carry a bottle with you all day. Finish drinking by 8:00 pm so you don’t interrupt your sleep with trips to the restroom
* Increase your meal frequency. Active individuals should eat every 2-4 hours in order to stimulate the metabolism, balance blood sugar and help maintain lean mass while giving the body a reason to burn off extra fat mass. This type of feeding schedule takes preparation. Don’t let yourself be caught out there with no food because you’ll be forced to make some choices – which may or may not be healthy ones. Keep a stash of almonds or raisins handy just in case. Plan your meals for the week, bring your lunch with you to work, don’t skip meals and make sure each of the macro-nutrients (protein, carbs, healthy fats) are adequately covered in each meal.
Your plan should include a combination of cardio, strength and core work. The goal should be a minimum of 5-7 hours of exercise each week.
* Minimum 30 minutes of cardiovascular exercise daily. You can run, jog, hop on the treadmill, stationary bike or stair master. Any activity that is going to get your heart rate up. If you’re working out at home do jumping jacks, punches, high knees, butt kicks and jump rope. Cardio helps to keep your heart strong and also helps reduce the risk of diabetes and various forms of cancer.
CLICK HERE for the perfect High Intensity cardio routines that target abs, upper and lower body!
* Minimum 30 minutes of strength training daily. An effective full body workout can be accomplished in 30 minutes if you include various compound movements. Strength training is the way to get stronger and leaner and strength training actually burns more calories than cardio and leads to greater fat loss.
* Add three core strengthening exercises at the end of each session. Some examples are planks, standard crunches, reverse crunches, bicycle crunches, flutter kicks, decline crunches, v-sits, etc.
That’s it! Get your mind right, eat right and keep moving!
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