6 tips to help you start working out and keep on track
by Freya • 6 minutes read
Last updated: 01 Jun, 2022
It can be daunting even thinking about starting a fitness plan, but it is important to get started and keep your mind and body healthy. We have some great tips and tricks to not only help you get started, but to help you keep on track and not slowly lose motivation overtime.
1. Pick something you enjoy
If you are not enjoying your fitness journey, it can be hard to keep going and more often than not you will give up.
It is vital that you pick something that you enjoy, this way you may begin to look forward to working out and it will become so much easier to stay motivated.
You do not need to do strength training or running because they are the most popular forms of working out, if you do not enjoy them then it is likely you will give up easier.
You could swim, dance, walk, cycle, or start doing yoga, HIIT’s, pilates, or water aerobics. There are so many fun and enjoyable ways to workout, you just need to find the right one for you.
Perhaps you would rather stay at home rather than join a class, and that is more than ok, whether it's to do with money or comfort, there are plenty of things you can do at home, a great example are HIIT’s or yoga, just find a youtube video and get going!
Dr Kristen Dieffenbach, a professor at West Virginia University College says there are many things to consider when thinking of what might be the best exercise for you,
“Begin by really thinking about the things you enjoy — nature, group settings, playing sports, quiet time, or being challenged. Then look for activities that meet one or more of your criteria,” she says.
It can also be helpful to consider your personality, including how competitive you are, or are you a loner, or do you prefer group activities, and so on.
2. Set goals
It can be super helpful to set goals, and they don't need to be huge. Sometimes setting smaller goals can be more motivating as they are easier to obtain.
It can be a struggle to reach bigger goals, such as losing 2 stone in a certain time frame, instead it can be easier to go smaller to help you reach the bigger goal, for example aiming to go to the gym 3 times a week for a whole month.
It can also be motivating to set goals for each individual week, for example to lift 1.5kg more or run an extra mile than the week before. Doing so can give you a sense of achievement and having this every week will make a lot of difference to keeping you on track.
3. Be prepared
Often beginners will just straight into working out without any sort of structure or plan and this can lead to you feeling overwhelmed and so eventually you might lose all motivation as it can make the experience stressful more than anything else.
The best thing you can do to stay motivated is to be prepared and set a plan, whether that is your own or a plan you have found and like the look of. But, it is important that you take a few things into consideration before picking the right programme for you.
Consider your main goal
Start slowly and progress at your own pace
Allow time to recover
It can also help to write down your plan or have a copy to reference back to, otherwise it is easy to forget and put your fitness journey behind you.
4. Workout in the morning
Working out first thing in the morning is a great way to stay on track, if you have the workout done and dusted before anything else then it is harder for you to find an excuse to skip it.
Often, working out after work leads to people coming up with excuses, often valid excuses including, feeling too tired. However, if you get it done in the morning then you’re less likely to be tired and you also don’t have to worry about it for the rest of the day.
There are also some other great benefits from working out in the morning, these being, it can lower blood pressure and you are more likely to feel energised throughout the day.
Despite this, it might not be the best option for everyone. If you're not an early bird and you dread it every morning, then find a time that suits you and you will find it easier to stick to.
At the start, it is all about experimenting to find out what is best for you.
5. Take a break
Do not neglect yourself, make sure you take a break. You may think that you need to workout every single day, but this can actually cause damage, including burnout which can then lead to you not being motivated to keep going.
Giving yourself a break now and then will help keep you driven and even excited to get back to it.
If you injure yourself, it is vital to take a break otherwise it can prolong your injury and make it harder to repair.
Just make sure you get back on track when you are feeling your normal self again.
6. Monitor your progress
Monitoring your progress can be super helpful, if you keep track of your developments then it can encourage you to keep going.
You can monitor your progress through measuring your muscles, the amount of time you are able to workout for, how much you can lift or squat etc., and even how often you workout.
Starting your fitness journey can be scary, but it doesn't need to be. If you use these tips and tricks, overtime it will become second nature and you’ll wonder what all the stress was about!
- KRISTEN D. DIEFFENBACH, PH.D. - https://cpass.wvu.edu/faculty/coaching-and-performance-science/kristen-dieffenbach
- Effect of Morning Exercise With or Without Breaks in Prolonged Sitting on Blood Pressure in Older Overweight/Obese Adults - https://www.ahajournals.org/doi/10.1161/HYPERTENSIONAHA.118.12373
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