How To Start Your Fitness Journey
Well, it’s the start of a new year and with that often comes resolutions. Instead of having it go the same as it has in years past, let’s create something new this year. We’ve got your four tips on how to start your fitness journey and staying on track in 2021.
1. START IN STAGES
Going cold turkey may work for some people, but if you’re like the rest of us, you can’t go from sitting on the couch enjoying holiday binge eating to only eating salads and working out six days a week overnight. First, have a look at your goal. It might be to run 10km, deadlift two times your body weight, or lose 10 inches around your midsection. Whatever your fitness journey is, every goal starts with a first step.
So if you’re looking to run 10km, perhaps the first stage is a walk-run routine that you do three days a week. If you’re looking to eliminate white bread from your diet, and are currently eating it with every meal, perhaps you start by having it only one meal a day. Instead of going from 1 to 100, try going from 0 to 10 to 20 and so on. Creating sustainable habits works best if done gradually, so take the pressure off and start in stages.
* Pro-tip: It is immensely more valuable to have a quantifiable goal like the examples above. If you can measure a goal, you will clearly know when the goal has been achieved. No more general resolutions of ‘getting more exercise’ or ‘eating healthier.’ Be specific!
2. ADD-IN vs TAKE AWAY
How many times have you said ‘it’s time to stop eating white carbs,’ ‘no more Netflix before bed,’ or ‘no meat for the month of January’. Instead of focusing on what is being taken away, shift to look at what will replace those past habits. This tip works best when it comes to modifying your diet. If a new year means eliminating certain food groups from your meal plan, shift to focusing on what you will be consuming to fuel your body.
When you add new foods to your diet, like cruciferous vegetables or green smoothies, you have to make sure you fit them in throughout the day. With the addition of these new foods, you’ll have less room for the ones you’re trying to avoid. For example, by adding a giant salad to your dinner, you will be more satisfied and satiated and much less likely to go for that post-meal sugar-fix. If you want to change a lifestyle habit, such as less screen time, how will you fill that time so you’re less likely to scroll Instagram during every free moment? Perhaps you’re resurrecting an old hobby you enjoyed or picking up a new creative project. Focus on what you want to add to your life, and the stuff you want to leave behind will fade away.
3. FIND SOMETHING YOU ENJOY
It’s easy to jump on a new workout trend or try a fad-diet, but each one of us is unique with our own way of doing things that work best for us. If all your friends are hopping on their new stationary bikes but you hate cycling, maybe save your money for an activity you actually enjoy.
Think back to when you were most energized and fulfilled – what were you doing? Perhaps it’s a winter snowshoe on a forest trail, a high-intensity workout first thing in the morning, CrossFit on your lunch break, or yoga at the end of a long workday. You don’t have to fit yourself into a box of how things are done; you can create exactly what works for you! You are a lot more likely to stick to a new routine if you enjoy how you’re spending time. If a year of having activities restricted has shown us anything, it’s to focus on what’s really important. It’s your fitness journey and time; you decide how you want to spend it.
4. WORK WITH A BUDDY
You don’t have to do this alone. Find a friend who has a similar goal and work together to keep each other on track. The importance of having an accountability buddy cannot be overstated. Perhaps you text each other when you’ve completed your workout for the day, plan meals together on Sunday afternoon or even hop on the same Zoom virtual workout together for an emotional boost. If you’ve found that you tend not to keep your word to yourself, being accountable to someone else might be just what you need. This time it’s going to be different; you’re looking ahead to the potential pitfalls and putting the support in place to succeed.
* Pro-tip: A fun thing to do with your accountability buddy is to create a reward system. If you would be more motivated in reaching your goal if there were a reward at the end, such as buying that special something you’ve had your eye on, then do that. You make the rules!
If there’s something you want to change this year, it’s you who has to take the first steps and make it happen. You don’t have to do it all at once, and you don’t have to do it alone. Have this year go the way you want it to – set yourself up for success and implement these four tips to start your fitness journey. You got this!
Looking for some support to help you keep your goals, visit us in store and have a chat with one of our experts. We can also be reached on Facebook and Instagram. Now it’s your turn to tell us how you stay motivated! Be sure to tag us! We are #ReflexNation.