It doesn't need to be a New Year to start creating a NEW YOU!
By Travis Struble, RunPhones Contributor and Owner of Struble Training Concepts
Each December 31st, as the calendar turns and marks the start of a new year, we often see it as a new beginning. Truth be told, the best time to start the journey towards health and fitness is TODAY! Not tomorrow, next week or even next month. Odds are you pass a gym or fitness facility on your drive home from work, school or wherever you spend most of your day. And I've never met anyone who doesn't appreciate convenience.
I'm sure if you mentioned to your family doctor that you are thinking about starting an exercise program of any type, they would welcome this idea with open arms. Even if you start out taking small deliberate steps, working out for 30 minutes three times per week, you will be amazed at just how different you will actually feel. It might not seem like much when you break it down, but you're still surpassing everyone sitting on the couch just thinking about getting healthy.
Here are some tips that might help you on your way, whether you are just beginning to start a routine or even if you have been around the gym scene for a while:
1.) Ask questions - Every gym has health and fitness professionals who are armed with a wealth of information to help you reach your goals. I love when people pick my brain about this topic. There is nothing I would rather talk about than what I am passionate about. And fitness is my life.
2.) Use free weights, cardio and other machines designed to target specific areas - All too often I see people who come to the gym to only do cardio and leave. Building lean body mass will ramp up your metabolism and help you improve body composition versus doing only cardio.
3.) Keep a log/journal - Unless you have an incredible memory, it's hard to remember everything did in your previous workout. Plus, how else will you track your progress.
Some tips for progression:
- Increase weights
- Increase reps
- Increase volume (# of sets)
- Reduce rest periods
- Increase resistance
4.) Drink plenty of water - Hydration is key!
5.) Track your food intake - It's simple math when it comes to calories consumed versus calories burned. You will be surprised at just how much or how little you are actually eating when you have it written down in front of you. It's much like balancing a checkbook.
Hopefully, this can get you started in the right direction. One more piece of advice: Your journey is a marathon, not a sprint. It might take a little while to get there, but I promise that the results are well worth the time, consistency and hard work put in. And you DESERVE it!
Travis Struble is a Certified Personal Trainer
and Fitness Nutrition Specialist through the
National Academy of Sports Medicine.