Working out: essential checklist to get started

Do you want more energy? You want to be in better shape or lose weight? Do you want to build more muscle or get leaner?  Are you preparing for the next marathon? Whatever motivates you, exercising more is definitively positive.  Some people have been exercising for a long time without seeing any physical change or improvement.

Whether you are a very active person or you have never worked out, you need to plan and prepare in order to reach your goals. Following the following steps will help you having an efficient and pleasant workout.

So how to get started?dsc_0585

1)Set your goals

What is it that you want? What have you tried before? Why do you want it? What pleasure will you get out of it? What is going to happen if you don’t reach your goals?

2)Speak to experts & testimonials

Yes the internet is good but it is going to give you general information, therefore it is very important to speak to a professional. Most of the gyms have a free personal training session. Make the most of it!

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3) Plan Time 

Some people prefer to have a set schedule and workout at the set time of the day, while others find it hard to stick to the same schedule every day. There is no official rule,  the best is the one that suits you. Try to get your workout done as early possible during the day so you don’t have to worry about it afterward. The willpower works for a very small amount of people, so don’t tell yourself you are going to go to the gym at midnight.

4) Have options

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If you plan to do a certain set of exercises at the gym, make sure you have backup options.

Let’s say your training program requires the use of three machines and when you get to the gym, one of the machines is in use. Well, instead of waiting forever and wasting your time, swap for another exercise!  Or, let’s say you were planning to run in a park, and it is pouring rain outside. Maybe it is an opportunity to break your routine and exercise at home?

Indeed, you should see exercising as a MUST.  Think that you need to exercise as much as you need to eat. If you don’t have food at home, you will go shopping or to a restaurant because you NEED to eat.  It is the same with working out!

 

5) Keep your motivation

There are different ways to keep your motivation. Looking at pictures or any kind of material that inspires you is a good technique. For example, you can look at videos of your idols or people that are where you want to be.

Always focusing on your goals and what it is going to bring you is the only way you will be motivated in any situation. If you can afford a personal trainer, it is definitively the best option because you will have someone to push you and build a program for you.  Another alternative is to find a workout buddy.  Don’t rely completely on that person, though. What often happens is that people stop working out when their friend stop. You don’t want that! Join classes, put some new songs in your phone and sweat it!

6) Make sure you do the exercises properly and track your progress

Checking that your movements are correct is very important especially if you lift weights. Poor positions can be either a waste of time because you won’t see any result or you can get injured.  Make sure someone checks your position at the beginning.

Focusing on proper moves will make you improve faster! To track what you are doing, you can keep a diary or save everything through an app. I personally use “gym hero” but there are a lot of great apps out there that help you track your progress and even remind you to work out!

It is very important to write down what you do, to see what worked and didn’t so you can adapt in the future. Plus, if you want an experts’ advice, at least you have something accurate to show. The human brain is not perfect, don’t rely on your memory.

7) Watch your diet

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When you exercise, adapting your diet is crucial to further your results. Even if the protein/carb/calorie intake is different depending on your goal, the importance you should attach to your diet is the same.  Eating healthy food AFTER exercising is the best. It gives your body the energy to recover. Eating just before exercising is not a good habit so if you feel weak or hungry, just grab a banana or a cereal bar!

8) Have fun

Yes, it is important to push yourself but the most important is to enjoy what you are doing. You will see exercising becomes quickly addictive. Before getting started remember that preparation is key. Set your goals, make sure you do appropriate exercises and you do them properly. If an exercise doesn’t bring you any result after a while, try something different!

 

This advice might be very simple but we often forget to pause and create great habits. If you remind yourself those eight points, you will see incredible progress.  Create your checklist and tell us about your new habits! What are your fitness goals for 2017?

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