There is always a first time to everything. Fitness also has a first time, but there’s a thin line between the first and subsequent fitness activities.
You are always doing fitness activities without knowing, for example, stretching in the morning when you wake. Taking adequate water and sleeping enough are other basic activities you are always doing without knowing their significance in getting fit. Going for nature walks with friends can be a hobby and fitness activity.
But what should you know as a beginner in the fitness journey?
As a beginner, you need to go through three basic stages in your journey to fitness- preparation, motivation, and follow-through.
When you decide to intentionally pursue your journey to fitness, you first need to evaluate and rate your current state of fitness. This shall give you the grounds against which to measure your progress.
Finding motivation is another stage that you will go through in your fitness journey. Motivation is important because it will keep you on track on a journey you have not taken before.
The Follow-through stage is what defines how consistent you will be in your fitness journey.
Getting fit should not drain you. There is no rigid guide out there. What can work for you may not work for someone else.
Here are the basics to help you have a seamless fitness journey to your healthy living and new fulfilling lifestyle.
5- Step Beginner Guide to Getting Fit
Evaluate your current state of fitness
Take your body measurements as a first step to getting fit. This forms the basis for your reason to get fit.
For example, step on that scale and record how much you weigh. You may not like the scale reading but it is time you faced that fear.
Take your height and BMI measurements. While BMI cannot exclusively dictate how healthy your weight is, it is good to know how much it is.
Measure your waist circumference using a tape measure. You can have your spouse or friend help you measure it.
Use a calorie calculator to determine your calorie intake before starting on your fitness journey.
You can visit a healthcare provider to help you take your blood pressure, cholesterol levels, and other body composition measurements. Let your healthcare provider advise you about the state of your health- especially whether or not your weight and other body composition measurements pose a risk to your health.
Taking your measurements helps in determining whether your current state of fitness is okay or not. It shall also help you notice any significant changes on your fitness journey.
Know why you want to get fit
Fitness is a journey. It must have a starting and ending point.
Identify why exactly you want to get fit.
From your measurements, perhaps you want to maintain your current weight because it does not pose any risk to your health. It could be that you want to lose weight.
But why exactly do you want to get fit? Most people want to get fit to reduce their risk of illnesses such as stroke and high blood pressure.
The reason why you want to get fit is what will always motivate you on your fitness journey. Take a pen and paper and write down why you want to get fit.
Stick your reason for getting fit in your car, door, bathroom, kitchen, fridge, name it. Every time you see that reason on paper, you should get motivated to stick to your fitness routine.
Perhaps you do not have a good reason to get fit when you start your fitness journey. It is normal. But as you pursue the journey, you can always find reason through reading success stories of people who started blindly but achieved a fulfilling life of health, self-acceptance, and ultimate fitness.
Make a Plan and Set Smart Goals
A good plan can help you strategically pursue your goals. Now that you know why you want to get fit, make a plan (the how) of achieving that.
Your plan could be to go to the gym three times a week. It could be dieting four days a week. It could also be getting 7 hours of sleep every weekend.
How do you intend to meet your “why” fitness journey? Here is where plans come in.
But a plan without a goal is useless. Set smart goals and see yourself achieve them.
Your fitness goals should be broken into small bits. The goals should be specific to your end goal of getting fit. From the SMART acronym, they should be measurable, attainable, realistic, and time-bound.
For example, start small by wanting to eat once a week at a fast-food restaurant for a month, because you have a habit of eating less nutritious foods at your favourite spot. Watch yourself attain this goal. Once you have achieved it, increase the timeline, for example, to eating at a fast-food restaurant once in two weeks for three months. Make these small steps progressive over time because you have only but started watching your diet as you pursue fitness.
Monitor what you eat and stay hydrated
A fitness journey is more than just being physically active. Your diet has a huge impact on your weight and overall health.
It can be difficult to promptly cut down your high-calorie diet in the name of dieting to fitness. However, however difficult this can be, it is crucial to monitor what you eat and how you eat.
You cannot be faithfully following your gym workouts and later stuff yourself with junk food. You will get obvious results every week you step on your weight scale- an added weight or no change in weight. Those unexpected results can weigh you down, and you might give up as a result.
Sadly, the foods that are less nutritious and detrimental to one’s health are the most delicious. Talk about cheese, booze, butter, pizza, and burgers. You know your favourite food that you always take a secret but large bite when your wife or husband who is also your accountability partner is not watching.
Always drink enough water throughout the day. Water, as much as it has no energy count in the body, will help you to stay hydrated all day long.
Surround Yourself with Support from Friends and Family
Inform your family and friends about your fitness plans and goals. Let them monitor and be your accountability partners.
You will receive support from friends and family who have been through a fitness journey. They shall encourage you when you feel like giving up. Some might take the extra step of joining you in your healthy meal plans and workouts.
If you think you need a coach, find one. Coaches and trainers can help you on your fitness journey because they have been there and have seen people attain fulfilling healthy lives as a result.
You can also find and connect with an online community of like-minded people on the fitness journey.
Starting a fitness journey is no easy decision, congratulations!
Remember there is no rigid guide for beginning to pursue fitness- and what works for one person may not work for the other.
As you start on this journey, remember why you started. Take note of the small successes you have had in the process, and let your friends and family support you.