Ahhh, the classic New Year’s resolution to get in shape. Whether big or small getting off onthe right foot can turn that resolution into a reality or just another resolution that you have fond memories of. Here are 5 steps into turning your fitness resolution into a physical reality.
Don’t Go With A Friend
While it might be easier for someone to start working out when they have a “buddy”,It is more beneficial to yourself if you do it solo. As humans, we will compete and compare when working out and while some people find this motivaing, to most is creates the questions of “Why is (insert name here) losing more weight than me?” or “She is using 5lbs. I am going to see how the 10lbs are.” Working out is a personal expierence and in the beginning, requires you to concentrate on your own body.
Don’t Go In Unprepared
Do no wear slip on shoes to the gym. I repeat, do not wear slip on shoes to the gym. Now, I am not asking you to get the highest of high tech workout gear out there, but wear clothing that won’t hinder your workout. This means tennis shoes with grip and non restricting clothing. Personally, I like to wear long legging workout pants and short sleeve shirts. Specific workouts will activate specific muscles and seeing these muscles work provides assurance that I am doing the excercise correctly.
Do Your Gym Homework
Walking into a gym is intimidating, let’s just put that out there. You look around and assume that everyone knows what they are doing and is a fitness god. I am here to tell you that everyone was once in your footsteps. Upon signing up at a gym, there is often an option for a free tour of the fitness facilities. Take advantage of this! But, my advice to ease the anxiety–Youtube. Several gyms create instructional videos for their patrons to learn how to use their specific machines (you think leg presses are the same everywhere–wrong!) I personally love using LIVESTRONG.com’s youtube channel to learn fitness moves and I encourage you to check it out!
More Weight Does Not Equal A Better Workout
My golden rule is if I can’t do a full excercise with a certain weight, then it is not the weight for me. Doing 30 reps twice with a lighter weight is more efficient than doing 5 reps once. Unless you are an aspiring body builder, there is no need to try and strain your muscles. More likely than not, you will be surprised with how much weight you can handle! While I thought I would barely be able to lift a 2lb weight without getting tired, I was able to do 5lbs without a problem. It is all about attitude my friends!
If Something Feels Wrong, It Probably Is Wrong
Continuing to workout when something feels wrong is how accidents happen! Something feels wrong in your shoulder?–stop. Something straining in the back of your leg?–stop. There is a difference between feeling sore and pain. Sore is a lingering feeling that does not keep you from daily activities, pain is sharp discomfort that makes you stop what you are doing. Know the difference between sore and pain.
Hydration and Nutrition–The Other Half of The Battle
Working out is only the half the battle. It is not a coincidence that McDonald’s is right across the street from your gym. I am not here to tell you that you shouldn’t go and eat McDonald’s. One of my favorite professors who taught Nutrition would say , “You can have that cheeseburger and you can have those french fries. Just know what it is costing you later in the day.” If you know that you enjoyed that lunch hour meal of steak and fries, then too bad, you already reached your saurated fat maximum for the day. However, I am telling you to hydrate before, during, and after your workout. Water helps your body heal from your workout and without it, you will wake up regretting that H2O.
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