PLAN: Start out with an activity you enjoy. If you like what you are doing or incorporate a hobby into your plan, it will become a part of your lifestyle. Your plan should take into account interests, schedule, finances and current health. Figure out what you need in order to execute your plan as far as transportation, child care or location in an attempt to bust through any potential barrier before you begin.
SUPPORT: A lifestyle change can be one of the most challenging things you do. There are several studies that indicate motivation, commitment and success significantly increases when you work out in a group. Finding a trainer, a workout partner or classes, will greatly increase your chances of sticking with it and getting you to your fitness goals.
BE SMART: Your body was built to survive. That being said, your body has a wonderful way of adapting to everything you throw at it, and your body will eventually plateau. This is why changing up your routine is so important. Throw something different into the mix and it will shock your body into surviving that. Thus…changing it.
LIFTING WEIGHTS: As a trainer, I have heard women say, “I don’t want to bulk up” too many times. Will you build up muscle with resistance training? Yes. Will you end up looking like a man? NOOOOOOOO! I usually have a little chuckle every time I hear this. Biologically speaking, it is nearly impossible. 99% of women will not “bulk” as a man does. So ladies, weights are not your enemy! It will enhance your fitness plan and ensure success.
STRETCH: Include stretching in your wellness program. Stretching is something that should be done daily for the best results. It will help release stiffness and pain caused by poor posture, occupational habits and/or muscle imbalances. I would recommend doing Yoga as well as it is safe for everyone to do, and it offers numerous different types which will ensure you can find one that is right for you.
NUTRITION: 70-80% of your success is determined by your nutrition. You can work out as hard as you can, but if you are eating a pizza that night you are setting yourself up for failure. I am not saying don’t indulge every now and then, but make sure it is every now and then. What you are putting in your body makes a HUGE impact on what it is going to do. Making sure you eat enough (restricted calorie diets are a no-no) of the right things is important. I usually recommend logging what you eat on a regular basis, getting your body fat checked, and do the math to get your basal metabolic rate. Your basal metabolic rate is the calories you need every day just to survive; this doesn’t include any type of physical activity. Thus if you are denying your body the baseline of calories, it will begin storing what you eat as fat. This goes back to my comment about the body is built to survive. If you are overeating, start paying attention to serving sizes and go from there. Get with a fitness professional to discuss your nutrition and they can help guide you to what you should be paying attention to.
REST: Be sure to take a day off of your fitness plan. Your body needs to recover from the physical activity. Essentially, to put it in basic terms, you are creating microscopic tears in your muscles when you are working out. The body repairs these muscles making them stronger, bigger, and leaner. So, taking a day off is important. Your body will be good to you if you are good to it.
ADVICE: Seek a professional in the fitness industry. When I say professional, I mean a certified, educated fitness professional. Not someone’s friend who works out all the time. Your body is different and will respond different, and a fitness professional will make sure you get the best workout built for you not what someone read in a magazine that month or what has worked for them.