So you’ve decided to start a fitness program? That’s great!……….. Now what?
If you’re like most people, the thought of getting “healthy” can be daunting. Just imagining all of those hours on the elliptical after work or not being able to go to happy-hour with your friends on a Friday afternoon. Sound like torture? It doesn’t have to be. Let me show you how.
I get to work with some amazing people. People who have started great companies, individuals in startups trying to make it big, and clients who are just starting their careers but have great potential; needless to say, they’re all pressed for time.
So when somebody comes to me and says “I want to get in shape, and fast”, my first question is: What does that mean?
Well surely a Personal Trainer knows what ‘being in shape’ means, right?
Getting into the star-studded category of “in shape” can take many routes. If you don’t know your goals, I’m definitely not gonna know your goals.
Step 1. Know what you want.
Do you want to have more energy? Do you want to lose some weight? Do you want to run the 40 in under 4.4 seconds (that’s really fast!)? All of these are good goals, but unless you make them your own, then starting an exercise program is going to be much harder.
Lets knockout some more steps.
Step 2. Keep an open mind to exercise.
Sounds a bit hippy-ish, but lets dig deeper.
If you don’t want to be in a gym setting, don’t go. Start somewhere that’s comfortable. If that means your busting your buns to a DVD in your living room why your toddler is clapping along in a high-chair 3 feet away, then by all means, entertain that baby. If you are somebody that played sports all their life and has to score goals, dunk balls, or score a touchdown, then strap on those cleats and get the heck outside. What I’m saying is find what you like and start there.
Step 3. Stay positive- Don’t get shackled by insecurities.
If you have never tried a spin class, and you’re afraid because you’re a beginner, I totally get it. I’ve tried spin classes and I’m still afraid of them . My point is that trying something new can be a good thing.
Remember all those times in college when you would go out dancing? You might like Zumba.
Have you ever watched old Bruce Lee, Jackie Chan, or Jet Li movies and said “I could do that”? You might wanna checkout a Karate class.
There are so many possibilities to a healthy lifestyle. Just reach in the basket and choose something. If you don’t like it, throw it out and choose something else. You got to try something new and now you know that you don’t like that activity.
Step 4. Start slow.
Holly crap I cant say this enough: Please, please, please start slow. I’ve heard so many horror stories of people, very smart people with the best intentions, tell me stories of how they just jumped into an exercise program without warming up or cooling down and then they got injured. Oh no way, really? Duh!
I understand that we want to look like these professional athletes and celebrities that we see on TV. I mean, who doesn’t want a 13-pack of abs, am I right?
The best thing to do is to warm up before you exercise and cool down after exercise. When you’re just starting out, the warm up might be the ENTIRE workout.
Step 5. Make it easy.
Make yourself accountable for yourself. Take your life into your own hands. You have this beautiful body. Don’t you want to use it to its full capacity?
If you are somebody that writes everything down, then get a calendar and write-in the days you will work out. Make this ‘fitness thing’ work. If you are a social person, join a class or take a buddy walking. If you are a lone-wolf, then get your butt out the door and start moving. If you have goals of being a bodybuilder, then take notes of every rep, set, calorie burned and calorie consumed.
Step 6. This is the most important one: HAVE FUN!!! (!!!)
If you’re not having fun, it ain’t gonna last.
I can tell when a client of mine is not going to repurchase personal training. If they aren’t having fun, if we aren’t able to make that connection between them and exercise, then its not going to stick.
Your body was designed to move. Humans evolved under crazy conditions, and all of them have to do with movement.
If you don’t want to do pull ups, don’t do’em. If you don’t want to do a plank, don’t do a plank. Your body will respond to exercise a lot better if you do something that fulfills you. If it doesn’t feel like exercise, but you’re still sweatin’ and workin’, then all the better. You don’t have to be the next Arnold Schwarzenegger to think yourself healthy.
I hope you take all of these steps in mind and start your new program. Whenever I meet a potential client I am honestly amazed at the courage that it takes for somebody to start this new chapter. I love to hear why people are starting their programs and am delighted to be a part of it.
Please share your story with me if you can. And remember:
In order to achieve something you’ve never done before, you must be willing to become somebody you’ve never been before