The amount of information apparent regarding fitness, weight loss, muscle building and diet is very overwhelming for novices that step into the fitness arena.
The key is to start changes one at a time, and build up when you become complacent in that one task. We need to keep stretching our comfort zones and try new things regularly. Here are some great tips if you are just starting out.
5 easy habits for fitness novices ready to change their lives
- Start with just one thing and expand. As I touched on above, it’s very important to start with one thing, instill that as a habit, then move onto the next challenge to conquer. Rome was not built in a day, neither was a wonderful, healthy physique. It all takes time, patience and effort. Don’t try to change it all on day one, as you set yourself up for overwhelm and failure.
I would recommend starting with your diet. Cut the things which are not serving you, one at at time, for about 3 weeks before you choose something else. Say you opt to eliminate sugar from your diet. Focus on getting rid of sugar, and becoming comfortable with not having it, then move onto refined carbs. One foot in front of the other, one thing at a time. Slowly conquer them all.
- Commit to actively working out in the gym at least 3 times a week. Commit to 3 times per week to start off with, allocating a rest day in between. Take part in group fitness, or get yourself a personal trainer to show you how to use weights and the machines properly. Absorb everything they tell you and execute the movements yourself when you can.
When I first started going to the gym, I would regularly only attend fitness classes, one with weights, and 2 cycle classes. This helped me get into the grove and become part of a nice group. I loved the inspiration the teacher gave, as well as making some great friends. Then I expanded onto a trainer, and then I became one myself. Things start slowly, and focus on what you like to take part in first. From there, try new things, talk to more people and build a nice network of people. Together you can motivate one another.
- Get a hold on your stress levels. Stress kills any attempts for weight loss, therefore it’s important we become aware of our triggers, and find ways to cope with them. Stress also kills any energy or motivation to work out, but enhances our desire to eat the wrong foods! This could also have something to do with lack of sleep, due to excessive stress or worry.
Try some yoga or Pilates classes, even download some meditation audio. Listen to it regularly, and keep doing so all the time. Use it to relax as well as sooth any anxiety or heightened overwhelming events in your life. It really does help a lot, and you can even meditate while you walk.
- Set a time to exercise and do it. When I set my time to exercise, there are no excuses as to why I can’t make it. I set my rest days per week, on particular days, and the other days are for all out training. I don’t go to the gym to have a good time, I go to work at my maximum capacity, and not talk to people. You have to set your intention to train at a particular time, uninterrupted by those around you, your phone or anything distracting. Focus at hand on what you need to do, execute, then go home and get back into the world once again.
When you think about it, gym time is not that long. You could at least allow yourself that small window of time to really go all out and do the best you can. When you lift weight, lift it with sheer abandonment, executing the correct form, and pushing yourself as much as you can. Save the talking and socialising for the end.
- Eat properly, all the time. Not all foods are created equal. For optimal results, you need to consider what food is in your diet. Whole foods, organic and grass fed sources of protein, veggies and fats, are the best foods to include in your diet, daily.
Eat low calorie cuts of protein, add cruciferous veggies, fats such as avocado, nuts and olive oil. Limit your carbohydrate intake, and cycle those during the week. Carbs are only really recommended when you are weight training. On your days off, you go low carb.
One easy option is to have a salad daily, adding your source of protein into it, add your avocado and olive oil. This will get you by during the week , and wont see you having to prepare food on a daily basis. Just chop the veggies, store in a container, and take out as much as you need per one day.