As another year begins, many of us have the thought that we want to get into great physical shape. This can be daunting, but don't worry we are here to help you if you are not exactly sure where to start.
On top of starting off your fitness journey, it is also key that you maintain the behaviours and activities to continue maximizing your health and fitness as you move forward. In this blog, we have outlined 10 key areas that will allow you to get the most out of your fitness journey in 2023.
1. Get a Physical Assessment Done
A physical assessment is an exam that tests a variety of body components like body composition, cardiovascular endurance, strength, and mobility to see where you are currently. This gives you a great base from which to measure your progress and allows you to set better goals for your fitness journey.
2. Make Your Goals Clear
Define clearly what you want to achieve from your fitness regime. Ideally setting 3 realistic, achievable goals within a time frame that is manageable is the way to go. Think in terms of daily or weekly activity. For example, take a 10 minute walk at lunch 3 times per week, add a morning or evening 5 minute stretch routine to your day, and drink one less cup of coffee per day for the next month. Once these goals are achieved, increase the duration of these goals or set new ones remembering to keep them small and achievable.
3. Design a Fitness Plan That Works Best for Your Lifestyle
When creating a plan, tailor it to your work life, home life and general interests so it fits like a glove to your schedule and daily life. An option here could be going to a fitness professional and having them build one with you, for you.
4. Use Variety
When planning out what you are going to do for a particular week, make sure you include some variety. You don’t want to continue to do the same workouts and activities all the time otherwise it gets boring. Mix in a variety of gym exercises, new sports, different walks, running trails. This will ensure the workout never gets boring and you’re always engaged.
5. Don't Be Active Alone
Physical activity is very much a mental activity, especially if you do it alone. Working out with a buddy, not only does it provide more fun to the experience but it adds a layer of motivation, encouragement and accountability. Chatting to a friend during breaks of gym sets or having a walking or running partner will make it seem like time flies by. Also a fitness partner provides you with more capabilities i.e tennis.
6. Find Your Motivation
What makes you tick? How are you motivated? You may find that you need to find different ways to stay motivated. It can become tough and finding something that can push you through the hard days is what will ultimately see you succeed in your fitness journey.
7. Don't Neglect Nutrition
Nutrition comes hand and hand with fitness. The food we eat impacts our athletic performance.. Not enough protein and calories prior to a weight training session can leave you fatigued, light-headed, or struggling to finish. When your activity and fitness levels increase, along with weight fluctuation, your energy may change. To get the sufficient energy needed you must balance the proper amount of Protein, Carbohydrate, Fat, Water. Here is why?
8. Educate Yourself
Doing stuff is great, but the question you need to ask yourself is, is this appropriate for me? Some things are universally good for us such as walking or stretching. But for those just starting their fitness journey or those who have suffered from athletic injuries in the past, a functional movement test should be considered. It can help identify imbalances and identify changes needed in your routine to prevent new or recurrent injuries.
9. Track Your Progress
Note your start date of when you began to change your health and fitness patterns. Note different milestone dates i.e every 4 weeks, 8 weeks and 12 weeks and check in to see how you are progressing. You might have a different concept in your mind of how your progress is going as opposed to how the numbers are. And use a variety of measurements such as increases in strength, stamina, minutes logged, or weight lifted even if your goal may be singular such as losing 10 pounds or running 5 kilometres.
10. Lastly, Reward Yourself
Working out, being active, and eating healthy can be really difficult sometimes. Make sure that you recognise all the great work you have been doing and all the progress you have made since you began changing your lifestyle for the better. Treat yourself when you achieve a goal. And be kind to yourself if you have a bad day. Remember it's a journey and rest and recovery days are part of the process. Coming into your fitness journey prepared will ensure you succeed and do not decommit once in that cycle of healthy behaviour. Remember at the end of the day it’s your body and life so why not make the best of it.
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