Top Ten Tips When Starting Your New Fitness Journey
By Lorraine Furney – Gorey Physical Therapy
1. Try Out All Sorts of Different Exercises to Find Something You Love Doing. It Won’t Even Feel Like Exercise, If you find something you love doing, it won’t even feel like exercise at all. It will fill you with happy hormones and you will have a positive association with exercise, which will help you to adhere to your new regime. On the flipside, if you are doing an exercise for the sake of doing exercise and are not enjoying it, you will develop negative associations with exercise and are not likely adhere to your new regime
2. Get Professional Help
If you are looking to start a completely new type of exercise, particularly weightlifting/strength training or just starting out in the gym in general, look at getting professional health. If you do strength training wrong, it can have bad repercussions for you joints causing you unnecessary pain and need for physio visits. Help does not always have to be in the form of a personal trainer, (but they are a great place to start) but can be in the form of small classes and a simple gym membership. If you are joining a gym, you will generally get an exercise plan to build up your strength and overtime gradually progress you to harder exercises, with guidance to help you do exercises properly as you progress through gym instructors. Small group classes can help you learn proper technique as the trainer will be able to keep an eye on your technique while you’re doing it and correct you if you’re doing it wrong. Joining clubs i.e. running, cycling etc. You can learn from other club member good techniques as you go and guide you on your journey.
3. Try Sort Out Any Old Injuries or Niggles Before They Become Problems
If you have a problem that you have always had for a long time and have been putting off getting it sorted, well get it sorted now. Sometimes injuries can stop you in your tracks and prevent you from doing the exercise that you love. This can hinder your fitness journey and can even put it at risk of stopping altogether. Sometimes a few therapy sessions can help fix the problem. Other times you may need to get regular massage to manage it. Either way, it is an investment and is it will be help you in your fitness and health improving journey.
4. Don’t Pay Upfront for a 1 Year Gym Membership
How do you know that you even like the gym? Or that particular gym? The gym is nearly always the first place people go when starting a fitness journey. This is fine but what if you don’t like it? The gym is not for everybody. Maybe classes or being in the great outdoors exercising is more your thing. Whatever, my main point here is just don’t pay for a full year membership upfront in case you never use it. Instead pay for 1, 2, or 3 months of membership. At least then you won’t spend a year beating yourself up about having a gym membership that you never use and can focus your energy on finding something that you love doing instead.
5. Don’t Overdo it, Ease Yourself into it and Give Yourself Adequate Recovery Time
One of the main causes of injury when starting on a fitness journey is absolutely going for it, hell for leather and then injuring yourself or causing an overuse injury since your body is not used to doing this much. Start simple, test your body in a sense, find what your comfortable limit is and then build from there. If you do find yourself in a situation like this, feel free to get into contact with me to make an appointment.
6. Don’t just Exercise for Weight loss, do it for your physical and mental health
Exercise, along with a healthy diet, is a great way to lower blood pressure and cholesterol, increase energy levels, prevent snoring, improve stomach and digestion problems, maintain healthy blood sugar levels and I feel most importantly, help with mental health issues. Losing weight can just be a side effect of all of this. Your health is your wealth and being a certain weight does not always mean you are healthy. Also, if you are exercising just for weight loss, it can become a punishment which will again, give you a negative association with exercise. Don’t let weight be the sole reason you are exercising as it can do so much more for you than just weigh loss. (if you have health problems you may/will need your doctor’s permission before starting)
7. Do both Cardio and Strength Training
Both types of exercises. Cardiovascular exercise i.e. running/cycling, is great for your lungs heart and general health. While Strength Training is essential for good muscle and bone strength. Both are important to do as they will both help you maintain your health better as you get older.
8. Make it Sociable
It is so much easier to adhere to exercise if you are doing it with friends or are making friends while doing it. This can be a motivation for you to keep going with your exercise program and it can help to make the whole process fun, which will also help you keep at your new regime.
9. Set Goals
This will give you a clear motivation to keep going. This can be anything from getting to a healthy weight, lowering your blood sugars, blood pressure or cholesterol. It could also be, being able to run/cycle/row a certain distance within a certain time or being able to lift a certain weight for a certain number of times. Keep your goals realistic as it can be demotivating if you cannot reach them. Also make new goals when you reach your current ones as you need to keep having a motivation while exercising.
10. Make sure it will fit in with your routine
Keep it Nearby- If your club/gym/PT is far away it can be a good excuse not to go. Keep it nearby as you will no longer have this excuse Keep it short to begin with and build up to longer when it is now part of your routine- When starting out and have a brief time available like 15 minutes or an hour, get something in in that time, even if it is just a brisk walk. From this alone you can get a taste for exercise, which will in turn lead you to good health benefits which will encourage you to do more for longer periods of time. Keep Timing Realistic-if you are not a morning person, then don’t schedule a gym session for 6am. In the beginning you may not be able to stick to this. Alternatively, if you are busy in the evening, don’t schedule a workout for this time
Always let exercise fit into your life, don’t fit your life around exercise.
If you are struggling with an injury and if you feel that you would benefit from a physio visit, make sure to call Lorraine at 0872101281 or email email@example.com.