Knowing where to start can be a real issue for anyone looking to get their head around beginning their own health and fitness journey. So much so that it often paralyses people into not bothering at all! Too complicated. Too hard. Too much conflicting information.
The key is to address everything in priority order, bit by bit. The following is a couple of structured steps you can take to ensure you start out strong and get to work straight away on your own specific goals.
- ASSESS YOUR LIFESTYLE: Your working and social lifestyle will impact where and how you start your fitness journey massively. Do you work long hours? Maybe nights? Do you live for the weekend? Do you have an active job or a sedentary one? You will need to adjust certain parts of your lifestyle but don't feel you have to change everything overnight.
- OPEN YOUR FRIDGE: This is where most people come unstuck. Fill it up with colourful, single ingredient food groups. Aim to fill half of it with fresh veg and the other half with lean protein sources and you won't go far wrong! Keeping quick, healthy snack options in there will help for convenience sake too. Maybe some 0% fat greek yoghurt, protein bars or cooked chicken? These quick fix options will help keep you away from the equally convenient snickers, crisps or pastries!
- CONSIDER YOUR RELATIONSHIPS: Your immediate network around you (friends, family, work colleagues) can have a massive influence on your success in sticking to a new regime. Are they naturally supportive? Are they willing to join the cause? It's important you make it clear to them what you're trying to do and if they care and respect you, they will do all they can to make life easier for you and keep you in strong spirits. You can have all the motivation in the world but if those closest around you aren't on the same team, life gets difficult quick.
- BE HONEST ABOUT YOUR WHY: Very important this one. Your core motive is the thing that will drive you on the days when you come within an inch of falling off the waggon. If your motive isn't strong enough you undoubtedly will fall off. Be motivated for an internal reason; something that means a lot to YOU. If you're trying to prove a point to anyone else, that might motivate you here and now, but trust me it won't last, and nor will your results.
- SCHEDULE REALISTICALLY: Everyone has a different daily schedule and what you need to do is learn to work with it rather than against it. Consider the non compromisable parts of your day e.g. work or time with the kids, but then against that consider all the rest of your time, and trust me, we all have enough of it! If time is limited, then shorter workouts, 3-4 times a week might be the best option. Or maybe even home workouts? If you don't have time to get that healthy weekly shop in, order online and set it up to redeliver on a regular basis. That alone will save you about 2 hours a week! There's three 40 minute workouts gained!
The main thing to remember when starting out is you don't have to get everything right and perfect from day 1.
You dont have to be great to start, but you do have to start to be great!