By: Pearl Maalouf BS, FMSC, CPT, CF-L1
When that big moment comes and you step in to the gym for the first time with a grandiose plan to change your life, TODAY…you’re already setting yourself up for failure. There are a handful of people that can really drastically change their life overnight and stick to it long term. For the rest of us we need to make slow changes over a long period of time to really make them lasting changes in our life.
The worst thing is to see someone get frustrated when they don’t see changes and they loose their motivation. So I try to give them a little more realistic expectations right from the beginning with these three tips:
- Avoid Over-Committing. If you make a plan to start working out everyday or even 4 times a week and you are a beginner that is very ambitious. The first few weeks beginners will use muscles they haven’t used before, which leads to a lot of soreness/stiffness. There is also a big learning curve because they have to learn how to perform movements correctly and for a lot of people a big part of that is developing a mind-body connection. If someone is going from a sedentary lifestyle with minimal movement they have difficulty controlling their bodies and following certain movement patterns. It can be frustrating sometimes and your body and mind need time to repetitively see the movements to be able to perform them with ease.
- Increase Water Intake. A lot of people are dehydrated and don’t even know it. I tell clients that they should start by keeping a one liter bottle of water with them at all times. If you have water readily available and next to you – you’re more likely to drink it! A lot of people that come in barely drink 0.5L of water in a day when the average person should be drinking about 2.5L (females) or 3.5L (males). For flavor I suggest adding fruits, mint leaves, or lemon/lime wedges. This tip alone can jump start your weight loss!
- Forget About Dieting. Trying to handle adding in gym sessions to your already busy schedule and dealing with muscle soreness can be stressful. Adding in calorie or food restrictions can be even more difficult! To new clients looking to improve their health, for the first two months they should try eating foods as close to their natural state as possible. If it’s sold in the produce section – great! If it’s something you can go to a farm and find, great! If it comes in a box, can, jar, or bag then I would recommend them to think of what’s inside it. Is it processed? Does it have added ingredients like sugar, fat, salt, oil, or coloring? If yes, then I would try to avoid it.
Do you think these are easy tips to follow? Are these rules that you have in your life? Let us know! We’d love to hear what you have to say!