Most of us start each season with resolutions to exercise every day, eat only healthy food and finally get those abs we’ve always been dreaming about.
What we really end up doing is following these rules for about a week or a month, and then giving up as soon as we don’t see any immediate results.
HealthiNation’s own Dr. Holly Atkinson recommends starting out slowly and building a routine based around more physical activity.
Consider this your blueprint to getting fit.
Remember, patience and determination will get you there sooner than you think.
1. Start small.
Don’t try to lose a ton of weight as soon as you start exercising and eating healthy. You should be incrementally changing the way you live your daily life.
Think of it as doing a little exercise every couple of hours, rather than just for 30 minutes a day.
Move as much as possible throughout the day instead of sitting all day at work and working out afterward.
Also, set realistic, achievable, short-term goals.
2. Schedule your workouts.
Make sure your daily exercise sessions fit into your schedule, so you can commit to them no matter what.
Choose a realistic time frame for your workouts that works well with your daily routine and your body rhythms.
Everybody is different, so figure out the best time of day to work out based on your energy levels.
3. Make yourself do it.
The day before you decide to go to the gym, set out your workout clothes and anything else you might need to take for the activity you’ll be doing.
The most dangerous moment for someone who’s just starting to work out is right before you leave the house.
This is when it’s easiest to fall back into your old habits and leave the exercise for another day.
4. Have a workout buddy.
A great way to make workouts more enjoyable is to do them with a friend. Find someone to exercise with and, chances are, it'll be easier to keep the commitment.
You do need to make sure your partner is on the same fitness level as you. This way, you won’t feel you’re holding him or her back, and you’ll be getting the right level of exercise.
5. If you can, get a trainer.
If you’re the kind of person who needs help getting motivated to do something, a personal trainer will be perfect for you.
Not only will it help to have someone who knows what he or she is talking about guide you through the process of becoming fit, but if you’re paying for his or her services, you’re definitely more likely to stick to your plan.
6. Plan ahead.
Before going to the gym or exercising at home, plan exactly what you’ll be doing beforehand.
When you’re at the gym, for example, and you’ve completed jogging at the beginning and don’t know what to do next, this can make for a very easy excuse to stop the workout and go home. Make a to-do list, and commit to each activity.
7. Start with cardio.
The first thing you need to do when you're getting fit is to increase your heart rate.
If you plan on starting to go to the gym, choose machines like treadmills, stationary bikes, stair climbers or rowing machines to start off with, and then move on to the other machines that focus on specific body parts.
Your next priorities will be strength training and flexibility training. You should do a little research on what you can do for each of these at the gym as well as elsewhere.
Many gyms offer free tours on how to use their equipment to new members, so be sure to inquire.
8. Be prepared for boredom.
While some people really enjoy the challenge and the adrenaline that comes from a workout, many find exercising boring. Make sure you find entertaining things to do while you work out.
You can read an e-book, listen to an audiobook, watch a show, listen to music, read a magazine or even take an online course while you’re exercising.
You’ll be delighted by how fast the time flies by.
9. Patience is a virtue.
Determination is key, but without patience, you won’t go very far. Studies show it takes most people an average of six weeks to really solidify workouts into their routines.
When trying to reach your goals, focus on consistency.