Starting a new exercise routine very well may be the best thing that you can do for your life. The difference you can make to your physical and mental health is significant, and you will not regret it.
Exercise can increase your overall health, and it can reduce your risk of chronic conditions, it can even help you sleep better! Oh, and there’s that little added benefit of the potential for weight loss.
Before starting an exercise routine, though, you need to do a couple of things. You need to prepare yourself so that you take on this new activity in a healthy way. Following these tips can help better prepare you to find success with your new exercise routine.
Assess your current fitness level
I’m sure you probably already feel like you know how fit you are, but assessing your current fitness level is still important. It’s a good idea to record your current flexibility, aerobic fitness, muscular fitness, body composition, etc.
This assessment is vital to give you a baseline of where you are at healthwise. This baseline is useful for monitoring your fitness levels as you progress.
Here are some of the things that you should consider getting a baseline on:
- Measurements (waist, arms, legs, chest, etc.)
- Number of push-ups and/or situps you can do
- How long it takes you to walk one mile
In assessing your fitness levels, you should also make an appointment to visit your doctor. As I’m sure you know, it is always a good idea to check with your doctor before beginning any new fitness routine.
Determine your goals
What are your goals? What are you looking forward to change about your health?
You cannot blindly go into a workout program without knowing what your goals are and expect to be successful. You need to create a goal that is both motivating and realistic.
Decide what your exercise routine will be
Next, you need to decide what kind of exercise program you are going to take on. Also, make sure that this program suits you.
For example, if you hate running, do not plan to take on a running routine, look at other options. There are tons of different options when it comes to exercise, and I have a feeling that you might just find the one that you like.
Don’t set yourself up for failure by choosing one that you already dislike.
Make a plan
It is so easy to say, “I’m going to start exercising every day,” but the reality is that it is easier said than done. It’s completely doable, but you actually need to create a plan to move forward with it.
Keep the following things in mind when creating your plan:
- Can you handle the balance? When creating your exercise routine, it is important to realize if it is something that you can accomplish. For example, if you know you only have an extra 30 minutes in your day, don’t schedule a 1-hour workout. Also, sometimes it is better to schedule a specific time period of exercise throughout a week and spread it out throughout the week, rather than focused on the amount per day.
- Don’t be afraid to start small. You are just beginning a program, so make sure you start easy so that you don’t burn out quickly.
- Focus on diversity. Be sure to mix up your exercises a little bit. It is very easy to get burned out on the same workout routine day after day. It is recommended to have a cardio exercise routine as well as a strength training exercise routine to create a well-rounded healthy body.
Figure out your workout space and equipment
Are you going to work out at home? If so, it’s time to start gathering up the equipment you are going to need for that. Here are a couple of things that you will need for your home gym.
- Good quality shoes, but don’t stress on the latest fitness fashions. You are going to be home, and no one cares what you are wearing.
- Breathable clothing or if you will be cycling a moisture-wicking jersey would be a good idea.
- Workout equipment. This might be a treadmill or exercise bike, or it may be some handheld weights or resistance bands. It could even be a crossbow if you plan on doing bowhunting exercises. It doesn’t matter which you choose, but it is a good idea to try them out in a store before you purchase them, so you know if you are going to like them or not.
- Compression sleeves or socks. They'll help you recover quicker and provide additional support and comfort.
Are you going to work out at a gym? Then, it’s time to head in and get signed up! There are quite a few affordable gyms these days.
Also, be sure to check with your work and insurance company for possible discounts and deals.