Getting Started Right
We’re at time of year again where “fresh starts” are all abuzz with “It’s a new year, new you” or “It’s time for New Year’s Resolutions.” But don’t let the calendar determine your starting point. Your health and fitness journey can begin at any time; granted, sooner is better if the goal is increased quality of life.
For many people, feeling overwhelmed about how to get started is common, questions of:
- What do I do?
- How do I learn to use weights safely and effectively?
- Why is resistance training important?
- How much cardio is important?
- How much should I exercise?
- What should I eat?
- Why is recovery and sleep important?
These are all valid questions, and asking for help from a qualified and experienced health and fitness professional is a great place to start.
Many of us have had mentors and coaches along the way, so doesn’t it make sense to have one for health and fitness?
How do you find a qualified and experienced health and fitness coach?
Start by asking your friends, family, and co-workers. Referrals are generally a great place to start as a relationship has already been established first or second hand by someone you know.
Another referral source is through testimonials found on sites such as Google and Yelp. These sources are readily accessible with links to a business’ website, location, and contact information.
Taking time to do some research can help to make asking for help easier if you feel more informed.
Other ideas to keep in mind when beginning your health and fitness journey include:
Be realistic about your starting point: what’s your current physical state and what are your personal and professional obligations?
Regardless of whether you’re wanting to lose weight, put on muscle mass, or just move and feel better keep in mind that your health and fitness journey is a process – nothing happens overnight. It takes consistency, patience and time.
Have a Plan - Start Slow - Commit
Having a plan can begin with hiring a health and fitness coach. Do your due diligence in finding the right person for you. Oftentimes, many places will offer an initial consultation so they can learn more about you, but use this opportunity to learn about them as a professional. Invest in yourself with someone who:
- is knowledgeable
- has a philosophy that aligns and supports your goals and abilities
- can start you where you currently are at physically and emotionally and progress with you
- listens to your questions and concerns yet can hold you accountable to your actions and behaviors that support and/or conflict with your goals
Based on your work, life, and finding balance, prioritize where your health and fitness fits and begin with a schedule that is realistic and sustainable; too much too soon isn’t always better, just as not enough can lead to inconsistency. Talk with your health and fitness coach about creating a plan for you and your lifestyle.
Last, commit to the process and understand this is a journey. Just like undertaking any project whether it is a work project, house/home repair, planning a vacation or planning for retirement, planning is involved, organization is critical, and execution is required. Just like with any project, things will go according to plan with detours along the way, but consistency and perseverance are key. Make the commitment to the process and the commitment to yourself.