So, you’ve decided to commit to your fitness goals this new year. Congratulations! You’re at the start of a healthier, happier you.
As exciting as this is, starting your fitness journey can certainly be intimidating. Maybe you’re a total beginner unsure of how to get going, or maybe you’ve struggled to follow through on this resolution in the past.
Keep reading for seven tips on how to start a successful and sustainable fitness journey.
1. Identify your goals
Why are you committing to this fitness journey? What do you hope to achieve?
Consider setting S.M.A.R.T goals, or goals that are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Results-focused, and Time-Bound. (For example, “I will work out 5 days a week” or “I will be able to run a 5k by November.”) These will help you clarify your ideas, focus your efforts, and use your time and resources efficiently.
Identifying your goals will help you create a plan to go about achieving them.
2. Start small
You won’t go from sitting on the couch to running a marathon overnight. It’s okay (and in fact, best) to start small.
Starting slow will ensure that you’re not trying to do too much too quickly—a sure recipe for burnout. Physically your body needs time to adjust to your workout routine and avoid injury. Mentally, pacing yourself can help you create a sustainable and lasting fitness habit.
3. Shift your mindset
One of the biggest obstacles to overcome at the beginning of your journey is unhealthy and limiting ways of thinking about fitness or even about yourself.
The right mindset for your fitness journey is the one that chooses growth over negativity.
It’s easy to critique your body or physical abilities early in your journey, but having a growth mindset will help you see challenges that arise as opportunities to grow.
You’ll also need to ditch the “all or nothing” mentality when it comes to exercise. There may be days where a 15-minute walk around your block, or a few sit-ups before work might be all you can manage.
Getting a small workout in instead of your usual full routine is always better than not moving your body in a meaningful way.
4. Find a coach
Having a coach walk alongside you, especially at the start of your fitness journey, can greatly help your motivation and confidence to help you on your way to success. Taking an in-person or online fitness class is an excellent way to learn, grow, and stay motivated.
Developing healthy habits in your already established daily routines—like getting enough sleep each night, eating well, and staying hydrated—will aid you in your fitness goals by making sure your body is happy and healthy.
6. Ask for the necessary grace
I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.–Philippians 4:13
If you’re looking to more perfectly glorify God with your body, seek His help at the beginning of your fitness journey. Ask for the graces of perseverance, strength, patience, and diligence. You can even invoke the intercession of some fitness-loving saints to help you too.
7. Make time for Rest
This tip may seem counterproductive; you want to get fit! How would rest help you do that? However, rest days are a necessary component of fitness training.
Exercise creates microscopic tears in your muscle tissue that are repaired by cells called fibroblasts during periods of rest. Fibroblasts help the tissue heal, grow, and strengthen.
Rest also helps restore your body’s energy, reduces the risk of injury, and ultimately improves your performance.1____________
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