Five Simple Steps Toward a Healthier You
If you’re thinking about starting a fitness program, kudos to you! Due to what has been termed “the obesity epidemic,” we focus a lot on exercise for weight loss in our society, but experts note that regular physical activity has many other potential benefits, including a reduced risk of disease; better sleep, balance and coordination; and even improved self-esteem. You’ve started yourself on the path to a healthier lifestyle by committing to a fitness program, and the following five steps will help you get on track, and attain your fitness goals.
Step 1: Consult with your doctor.
We all know that inactivity is unhealthy, but starting a new fitness program when you’ve been sedentary also has some risks. To be safe, talk with your physician before starting any new fitness program. He or she may also be able to help you out with steps 2 and 3, below.
Step 2: Figure out your current fitness level.
Whether you’re a self-proclaimed couch potato or an active individual who wants to take his/her fitness to the next level, assessing your current fitness level is a good way to get started. By establishing a baseline, you’ll be better able to monitor your progress. If weight loss is your goal, you might start by weighing and measuring yourself and calculating your body mass index (BMI). However, you can also measure your endurance and fitness by counting how many push-ups you can do or how fast you can complete a mile.
Step 3: Design a personalized training program.
Once you’ve determined your current fitness level, it’s time to start designing your program. Aim for a balanced routine geared toward your fitness goals. Whether your motivation is preparing for a marathon or fitting into your favorite jeans, having clear goals helps you determine where to focus and allows you to better track your progress. Remember to go at your own pace and allow time for recovery to avoid injury. Many people find that writing a fitness journal with their progress, goals and fitness plan helps them to stay on track.
Step 4: Get the right equipment.
Contrary to what late-night TV would like you to believe, you don’t need to spend a lot of money to lose weight or get in shape. A good pair of athletic shoes is about the only gear you really need. If you do decide to purchase equipment, make sure you test it out first and consider buying used. Many household items, like old milk jugs filled with water, can be turned into effective exercise equipment with just a little creativity.
Step 5: Ready, set, go!
Now that you have a solid plan and the right equipment, it’s time to just jump on in and get started. To avoid injury and burnout, it’s best to start slowly and work your way up in both duration and intensity. Let your body be your guide and take a break when you need one. If you find yourself getting bored, try mixing it up with new activities.
With these five steps, you’ll be well on your way to a healthier you. Remember to monitor your progress and revisit your goals along the way. We’re also going to suggest that you meet with a registered Nutritionist, because you can’t outwork a bad diet. Now what are you waiting for? Get started!
Your friends at “Socially Fit”