Wednesday, September 21, 2011

First Steps to Physical Fitness

If you are like many others I bet you decided one day you were going to jump into an exercise program cold turkey. You find an exercise class; buy the latest fitness video or worse you decide to go workout with your very fit friend. The next morning your body is screaming from the pain you just inflicted upon yourself and mentally you think, "I can't do this". Then you give up all together and decide this just isn't for you. Here is how to avoid this huge obstacle that stops so many people from becoming healthy and physically fit.


To Do List:

There are a few things you must do before trying to become physically fit.

  1. Identify your goals for the program you want to begin.
  2. Ask yourself, what might get in my way?
  3. Create an exercise plan.
  4. What are your goals? Why?
    1. I want to feel better about my body
    2. Manage Stress
    3. Improve health and reduce risk of a chronic disease
  5. Set a realistic schedule

Determine what excuses you have used in the past and acknowledge them by writing them down and make a plan to overcome these excuses.

Top Excuses for not Exercising:

  1. Time
  2. Environment (safe place, no gym available)
  3. Overweight
  4. Embarrassed to workout with anyone because they are more "fit"
  5. Lack of knowledge and skills
  6. Lack of support
  7. No equipment
  8. Money

All of these excuses can be handled if you sit down and rationally think about them. If you are concerned with time, take an inventory of your day for two or three days. Are you wasting time on Facebook, watching talk shows, or sleeping in. Are you a person that gets up at the very last minute and rushes around like mad women trying to get the kids ready and yourself? Embarrassment is a huge obstacle for many; I know this because I've been there. My self-esteem was shot once I realized I gained fifty pounds in a year. I couldn't walk into a room without feeling like everyone was staring at me. Nobody likes to feel ashamed, but you know what I learned? When you go to a group fitness class the majority of the participants have the same feelings you do. Instead of them looking at you, they are worrying you are looking at them and judging them. The lack of knowledge is ok too. Everyone at the gym wasn't born with all the skills and knowledge about exercise. They like you had to start and learn the basics. The best way to learn is by reading. I didn't have the first clue about strength training until I picked up a copy of The Eat Clean Diet Workout book. This book explained reps and sets. Tosca spoke about machines and how to put together workout plans. I also purchased Oxygen magazine and Muscle Fitness & hers magazine. I don't go to the gym without one of these two magazines. If money is an issue I can help you with that too. When I first began I didn't want to go to the gym because one I was embarrassed and two I didn't want to spend the money. Instead I purchased Jillian Micahels 30 Day Shred that was the best eight dollars I ever spent. I lost 30 pounds doing that video six days a week. Even better news for those of you who have OnDemand, you can rent workout videos for FREE! Workout in your living room free of charge and the most equipment you will need is one set of 3-5 pound weights.

Incorporate Fitness into Your Life

Find appropriate activities for your level. If you are a couch potato don't jump off the couch and do an advanced exercise class or an entire exercise DVD. This is a sure way to make you regret your thoughts of becoming healthy. Jog if you like to run and if you have a place to run but if you hate running don't do it. Save yourself the frustration! Your selection should always be based on your current fitness level. As you progress and become fit then you make things a little harder. If you never exercise and you're overweight then start by wearing a pedometer and track your steps. Try to set a goal to reach 10,000 steps a day.

Make exercise a part of your day just like sleeping, brushing your teeth, and showering.

If you aren't sure what exercise you would like try then check out a variety of things. Yoga, Pilates, kickboxing, running, swimming, toning, strength, and once you find a match then set up an action plan to add it into your week.

I would love to hear your stories about how you became physically fit and what motivates you.




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