Posted on 10 January 2018
Starting a new health and fitness regime can sometimes be daunting; it’s hard to know where to start, how hard to push yourself and how to fit something altogether alien into your already busy life. Then you need to work out how to make it part of a lifestyle, rather than a new-year-diet – there’s a lot to think about.
Consider Your Goals
A lot of people start a new fitness regime without considering what their goals are. If this is you, how will you know if you’re successful in what you’re doing? And how will you know if you’re progressing in strength or fitness?
Assessing your fitness level is a good place to start; if your goal is to lose weight, you’ll firstly need to ascertain why – is it for health reasons or for a certain aesthetic? If it is the latter, you need to ask yourself honestly whether it is the right thing to do and make sure that you won’t be having a detrimental affect on your mental or physical health.
If you’re happy to continue, you need to write down your goals – how much weight do you want to lose and how are you going to go about it? It’s also a good idea to note what you’re going to do when you reach your goal. Will you be happy and how will you maintain your goal?
If your goal is strength, it’s a good idea to write down your goals and then your weekly PBs until you reach where you want to be.
Keep Track of Your Progress
As we’ve said, writing down your goals and your progress is an important factor in anyone’s fitness journey – particularly if you’re just starting out.
If your goals are purely based around how you look, taking progress photos is another way to keep on top of things. Ensure you take them on the same day, at the same time, so there is a fair reflection between the two, otherwise you’ll likely see some disparity if one day you take the picture first thing in the morning and the next you take it last thing at night – bloating and all that.
If you’re new to gym life, it’s important to note that you may plateau with some of your progress, and whilst this is completely normal, you may still get disheartened. This is another reason why tracking your progress will give you a holistic view of what’s going on with your body when, from your point of view, you may not be seeing the drastic differences you once imagined.
Create a Routine
Making a routine might sound like the most boring thing we’ve ever said, but trust us, this is the way you’re going to get the results.
Making and sticking to a routine forces consistency, and consistency is key in health and fitness.
Take a calendar and plan specific workouts on specific days, making sure that you’re not doubling up on a muscle group (so you’ve got time to recover) and particular workouts fit into your day-to-day life, or hair-wash day! Serious issues, we know.
Knowing where you need to be and when helps to stay on track. Obviously, don’t sacrifice social elements of your life because you're locked away in a gym; you have to make the routine work for you. That’s why it’s important to write everything down and create a routine that fits with your lifestyle, rather than trying to cram gym sessions into an already busy day.
Allow Time for Recovery
A common mistake for those just starting out on a new health and fitness journey is not allowing enough time for rest and recovery.
It’s awesome when we see you all getting into the gym and making healthy choices but it’s all too common to hear of people not taking enough rest days or not stretching before or after workouts and then getting injured, and subsequently becoming disheartened by the process.
We’re totally guilty of heading straight home after a workout and not stretching but we always regret it the next day when we’re hobbling around with tight muscles or something that’s pulled.
Trust us, it’s not worth it. In order to live a sustained health and fitness life, you need to be able to listen to your body when it’s saying it needs a rest.
Alternating gym sessions is a good idea to rest particular muscle groups, for example leg day followed by shoulder day, but you still need a complete day off – and active rests don’t count.
Make it Part of Your Lifestyle
Making health, fitness, the gym and wellness part of your lifestyle is the best thing you’ll ever do for yourself. For real.
When you can strike the balance between going to the gym because you have to and working out because you seriously love the buzz, you’ll see the best results; when you stop pushing yourself to the point of exhaustion and start pushing yourself when you know you’ve got something to push through; when you start eating a balanced diet because it tastes good not because you’re forcing down protein shakes; and when you start feeling the benefits and bouncing out of bed, healthy living will be part of your life and you’ll be living your best life.
Want to know more about health and fitness, and obviously the best workout leggings to see you through your workout? Check out our blog, where we upload regular help and advice, and check out our active wear collections – guaranteed to make you want to work out.