This article will help those who decided to start a new life – from Monday or any other day of the week, and join the wonderful world of sports. Collected here are tips for beginners on how to get on the path of a healthy lifestyle. Take just 7 simple steps to a beautiful body, good health and good mood, and then the main thing is to stay on course.
Step 1 – define goals
Fitness translates to “being in good shape.” This is our strategic goal. But this wording is too vague and does not allow tracking the results. For effective workouts, use the SMART goal setting system. According to her, the goal should be:
- Specific. “Twice a week I work out in the gym for an hour and swim in the pool for 30 minutes” sounds more convincing than “I want to go to the gym 2-3 times a week”.
- Measurable. “Lose weight by 5 kg by January” or just “I want to lose weight”? Feel the difference.
- Achievable. Set realistic goals for yourself. If you gained 30 kg of excess weight in 2 years, it is naive to hope that you will get rid of them in 3 months. Such a goal is doomed to failure in advance. Failure can permanently discourage you from doing fitness.
- Relevant. Is it really important for you to lose weight, or are you comfortable in your body, but do you feel pressure from loved ones? Are you objectively overweight, or just want to climb from M to XS to look like a runway model?
- Limited in time. Not “remove the” spare tire “at the waist”, but “reduce the waist circumference by 5 cm in 4 months.”
Step 2 – estimate resources
By resources we mean:
- Health. Any chronic illness requires a special approach to the choice of training. For example, cardio loads are contraindicated in cardiovascular pathologies. Spinal problems place limits on strength training. Ideally, a beginner’s program should be written by a professional trainer. It will take into account your health indicators and baseline physical data and suggest exercises that are relevant to your goal. If it is not possible to use such a service, do not be lazy and go to a therapist or general practitioner to find out if there are any contraindications for certain sports.
- Time. Analyze your work schedule. Choose the watch that works best for your workout. Make a list of other things you have to do on a daily basis, and think about which ones you can delegate and which ones you can refuse. Even on the busiest schedule, there is always a window for exercise. If your family dines with ready-made dumplings or scrambled eggs a couple of times a week so mom can go to the pool, the world will not collapse.
- Finance. Sports require investments, including cash. Fortunately, they can be kept to a minimum. Home fitness is the most affordable option. Subscriptions to gyms without a pool are inexpensive, especially if you “hunt” for promotions. Many sports centers offer different packages for families or couples. This is both more profitable and more effective – you will support each other.
Step 3 – choose a workout
Where to begin? Decide what works best for you – at home or in the gym. Two factors will be decisive:
- Logistics. Sometimes getting to a workout site is more difficult than doing an intense 40-minute workout, especially after work. Ideally, a fitness club should be located a maximum of 10-15 minutes walk from point A. If it is far from the nearest gym, it may be more rational to work out at home.
- Your personality traits. Some people find it easier to train at home, because people around you get tired. Some, on the contrary, work more efficiently in the company. Some have a lack of self-discipline, they need the support of a coach. Others do just fine without outside help.
- Now decide on the kind of sport. It is important to be in good shape not only physically but also emotionally. The results will be worse if you force yourself to “pull iron”, although yoga or Pilates is much closer to you. The concept of “fitness” includes many areas. You will definitely be able to find for yourself the optimal fitness training program that will allow you to go towards your goal with pleasure.
Step 4 – choose clothes
You can do it at home in the simplest sports pants and a T-shirt. The main thing is that you feel comfortable.
If you plan on going to the gym on a regular basis, your “gym kit” should include sports clothing:
- Pants, leggings , shorts or breeches.
- T-shirts and tops . 2-3 pieces will be enough.
- For girls – sports bras.
- Shoes – sneakers or sneakers. For some sports, such as yoga, shoes are not needed.
- A gym bag is optional, but desirable.
We do not recommend choosing too revealing clothes – ultrashort shorts or tops. It’s not about modesty, it’s about hygiene. A gym is a public place with fairly high traffic. Reduce the areas of skin that come into contact with sports equipment.
Comfort is the defining criterion when choosing clothes – both for home workouts and for the gym. However, it will probably be more pleasant for you to practice in a beautiful athletic form.
- A small towel made from natural fabric to dry off during your workouts in the gym.
- Shower and sauna accessories.
Step 5 – purchase inventory
You don’t have to buy any additional equipment for training in the gym. At home, you will need to equip an individual gym. Basically, you can get by with a gym mat, a pair of dumbbells, and an elastic band. Fitball, jump rope, barbell, weights will help make home workouts for beginners more effective. It’s great if the space and finances allow you to put a treadmill or exercise bike at home.
Step 6 – adjust your lifestyle
- Eat right. You won’t be able to lose weight and build muscle, no matter how hard you work out, if after each session in the gym you “reward” yourself with a good helping of fries and fried chicken or cake. Vegetables, fruits, fish, dairy products and lean meats are now your best friends. Try to eat at the same time – every 4 hours. This makes you less likely to get very hungry and overeat.
- Drink more. You need to drink both during training and during the day. Water envelops the joints and helps prevent injury. In addition, you will very soon feel its deficiency – headaches will begin, fatigue and lethargy will come. It is better to consult a trainer or doctor about the drinking regimen, since the rates of water consumption depend on gender, age, lifestyle and other individual factors. Only clear water or green / herbal tea without sugar counts.
- Coffee, tea with sugar, and even more so soda do not replenish the body’s water supply.
- Say no to bad habits. Alcohol and smoking do not fit into a healthy lifestyle.
- Get enough sleep! After all, overworked muscles need proper rest.
Step 7 – motivation
It is important that sports truly become a part of your lifestyle. If you don’t know how to get started in fitness, and the prospect of going to the gym for the next year or two drives you into depression, the 21-day rule will help you. Psychologists say that after 21 days, a systematic repetitive action becomes a habit. Set yourself a mini-task – go to sports 21 times. After that, you will probably notice that you go to fitness with pleasure, without overpowering yourself.
Use all the ways you can motivate yourself. Promise yourself a trip to the movies or a nice purchase after a week of regular training. Visualize your future image – a slim and fit figure, an even back, a healthy complexion. Connect with people who inspire and support you.
And of course, nothing is more motivating than results. Celebrate your every success and rejoice.
Classic beginner mistakes
- Sharp start and fast decline. Many, barely having time to start training, pick up a frantic pace and soon fizzle out. You need to start small, gradually increasing the load.
- Unsystematic. We went 2 times to the gym, then abandoned sports for 2 weeks, then one visit – and again abandoned. And so in a circle. Regularity is fundamental to effective training.
- Expectation of quick results. In order not to wait for miracles and avoid disruptions, we return to step 1 and check the goal for realism. And enjoy the process, instead of hypnotizing the scale arrow with a glance several times a day.
- Self-reflection. You involuntarily start comparing yourself to other gym goers and indulge in sad thoughts about your own imperfection. Get it all out of your head and focus on your workout. Do not complex, but praise yourself! You are working to make your body beautiful and healthy. This alone is worthy of respect.
Fitness activities promote the production of endorphins. Therefore, you will soon feel completely differently – both physically and psychologically. Be patient – you will succeed!