- Start by setting realistic goals!
If you’d like to be a runner, lose the muffin top, tone up your entire body or get back to your healthy weight… that’s great! Congrats on deciding to take time to feel better about yourself! But no matter what your motivation, make sure you’re not asking too much of yourself. If you have unrealistic expectations of yourself, you are setting yourself up to fail! Instead, set yourself up to win!
- Plan to start small and gain endurance over time.
If you haven’t been moving your body much, you may not be able to do the exercises you’d ultimately like to be dedicated to. Your first couple of weeks working out, keep your workouts under 30 minutes! Your body needs to get used to moving! Start with the resistance low/medium and work your way to feeling comfortable working harder.
- Be consistent and COMMIT!
A workout plan sounds great until the plan is too overwhelming for you to continue! If you plan to move your body every day, you’ll soon form a habit of it, and you might even start to feel cravings for exercise once your body realizes how much better it feels when it moves!
- Listen to your body.
When you’re exercising, you want to make your body work, but not so hard that you can’t catch your breath, you feel pain in your limbs or you feel dizzy.
- Form is important!
For cardio, make sure your back is straight and you’re engaging your core as you exercise.
For strength training, make sure your posture is always good, and try to engage the muscles being targeted. If an exercise is too hard or you’re using too much weight, no one is winning because you’re not exercising the proper muscles. You are the one who may end up injured if you do the exercises the wrong way. Stay safe!
- Be positive.
Don’t beat yourself up for missing a workout- that will make you want to go LESS next time! Don’t tell yourself that you are currently worthless because of how your body looks! With that mentality, you may never be happy! Appreciate your body and what it CAN do, and feed it properly, move it often, and know that you owe happiness only to yourself.
- Try to set up situations in which you’ll succeed.
If you are not a morning person but you want your body to suddenly wake up every day at 5:30AM to get to the gym, you might have some rough starts! Instead, try putting yourself in situations where it’s an outlet to exercise, you’re exercising at a time of day when you have a lot of energy, or you plan to meet a friend at the gym. However you will succeed!
- Cardio AND strength training are important!
Cardio will help keep you lean and mean- not to mention be a real fat blaster if you do it right!
Strength training will, well, make you strong! Simple day to day tasks like lifting things, standing up straight, wearing sleeveless dresses and having sex (for those of you having it) will be way easier if you dedicate two days per week to toning!
- Stay Hydrated.
I know you’ve heard it a million times before, but while you exercise, you’re losing a lot of water, and that needs to be replaced! Try filling up two water bottles every night, putting them in your fridge and having them ready for the next day!
- Fuel yourself.
You don’t want to be completely empty when you show up to do your workout, but if you’re having a meal beforehand, make sure you wait about an hour before you start exercising. To start off with, a full stomach while exercising might get upset. If you need to eat something before hitting the gym, though, a banana (maybe add some peanut butter) is a great, easily digested option.
After your workout, make sure to eat some carbs and protein (egg and toast, yogurt and granola, good cereal.) If you feel ravenous after your workout, you should probably be eating more beforehand, but remember, try to keep big meals an hour apart from your workout.
- VARY YOUR WORKOUTS
Try lots of different kinds of cardio -running, rowing, walking, elliptical machine, biking… anything that gets your heart rate up! To boost strength try yoga or pilates and look up videos of routines you can do at home. Whenever you can, play sports for recreation! Soccer, tennis, baseball, basketball, volleyball- all of these are fun and even if you don’t know what you’re doing at least you will be running around. Also, you can look into rock climbing, rowing, kayaking, swimming or hiking.