Starting Slow Guarantees Results
By: Robert Maalouf BS, CSCS, FMSC, CPT, CF-L1
Most of us, at some point, have had that “a-ha” moment where we decided to start making some changes to gethealthier, lose weight or change the way we look. It always starts with the best of intentions, but as data suggests, a majority of people who start a diet and exercise program actually DON’T reach their goals. When it comes to our weight, or the way our body looks, most of us tend to get overly emotional, this leads us to set goals and expectations that are unrealistic. When people first sign up at a gym they usually workout every day for a couple of weeks, at the most, before giving up on their fitness goals. Our over excitement and emotions allow us to think that we can handle working out almost every day, what we don’t think about at the time we make that decision is:
- Will our bodies allow us to work out so frequently after being sedentary
- Will we be able to manage our personal lives, work and family obligations with our exercise program
- Will we pass on happy hours and outings with friends to workout
- Is our expectation of results even close to reality
You need to set your expectations in line with reality. The most important thing is to prioritize your health and overall well being over weight loss. It can take weeks if not months to achieve significant weight loss in a healthy fashion yet most people weigh themselves after every workout. Second, you need to realize that getting in shape and getting healthy is a long term commitment. Results won’t happen overnight-it’s just not possible. Lastly, our fitness routines should not take over our lives. People who stay healthy and in shape over the long term usually have a healthy balance between working out, dieting and living a normal life, that is why they are able to do it long term.
So, the next time you get motivated to start getting in shape follow the guidelines below to maximize your chances of success:
- Start by working out, at most, 2-3 days per week
- Make your workouts convenient by choosing a gym close to your home/work or even find a place to work out at home
- Don’t get really strict with dieting…being healthy definitely still has room for having fun
- And whatever you do, stay consistent over the long term
I hope this gets you in the right zone to start your fitness journey, and as contrary to popular belief, shows you that you don’t have to become a slave to your workouts and diet. Start slow and take your time, before you know it, your entire lifestyle will be different and diet and exercise will no longer be a punishment or chore to complete. Make sure to keep following us for all the latest tips on exercise and nutrition. Feel free to comment and ask questions!!!