Hope you’ve all had a great start to 2017 so far! Goal setting, trying new things, setting your intention for the year… and if you’re like me, settling in to a new schedule and finding balance again, that’s ok too. Remember to be gentle with yourself, as you would with your best friend 🙂
This was me and my girlfriend, Katrina (check out her blog www.lovekatslist.com), on New Years day. We stepped out of our comfort zones (aka: our warm, cozy beds) and into the ice cold waters at English Bay. We were screaming with fear and laughing with excitement, and then we finally took the plunge…shoulder deep haha It was quite an invigorating experience and plan on making this an annual tradition now!
With the new year just beginning, even if you didn’t start off with something as crazy as the Polar Bear Swim, I’m sure many of you have set some health and fitness goals. Regardless of whether you’re calling them “new years resolutions” or not, a new year brings the opportunity for a fresh start and encourages everyone to amp up their lives.
The gym is never as busy as I’ve seen it this month. It’s been a freakin’ ZOO at Steve Nash Downtown…and while I miss having the space and more available machines, I give props to everyone challenging their comfort zones by hitting the gym and getting active. It’s exciting seeing so many people want to take care of themselves by improving their health!
If you are one of these people new to the gym or getting back to the gym after a long hiatus, good on you! I know it’s not easy to take that first step and especially not easy to maintain it, but I promise that if you are consistent with your training, you will soon see results and become addicted to it…it will naturally turn into your lifestyle!
Here’s a list of what to expect when you’re new to exercise, and this includes when you try a new style of exercise that your muscles aren’t used to:
- Discouragement – Expect to feel moments of this when you enter the gym, while you’re working out, or when you’re attempting to return to the gym again… just like anything, when you’re doing something new, you may feel a little intimidated. Everyone starts somewhere though, you can’t expect to be amazing at it from Day 1…or 2 or 3. So keep going and tell that little voice in your head to shut up 🙂
- Muscle soreness – Learn to love this feeling! It means you did work and now your muscles are growing. Speed up the recovery process by supplementing your workout with BCAA’s (Branched-Chain Amino Acids). I take THIS one. Doing a light cardio session the next day will also help warm your muscles up and reduce the soreness.
- Mindset change – Whether you start to feel discouraged by the challenge or you start to become more motivated by the results, your mindset will change…so prepare for this and stay on the positive side of things to ensure you don’t fall off track with your goals.
- Having to be patient – Results take time, so don’t expect to see them right away…but you will notice those awesome endorphins right away, so that’s a plus! You must be consistent and put in work, and then the results will start to show.
Tips to Maintain a Fit Lifestyle:
- Ease into it – There’s no rush to get into a routine so don’t burn yourself out by trying to go 5-6x a week in the first couple of weeks. Set a goal to go 2-3x in the first week, then 3-4x the following week…until you’ve reached a maintainable weekly fitness routine.
- Lay out a plan – Schedule in your workouts and stick to them. If you just play it by ear through the week, the week will pass and you will likely end up skipping your workouts. Goal setting (think S.M.A.R.T.) is also important to help keep your motivation up.
- Nourish your body with good food – Diet is a major part of leading a healthy, fit lifestyle. If you aren’t fuelling yourself with a proper diet or enough food, you won’t have the energy to train and could be depleting yourself.
- Get support – Hire a trainer, find a workout buddy or even pair up with an accountability buddy who will help you stay on track. It’s more fun when you can share your achievements and encourage each other to grow! You could even set rewards for each others’ accomplishments or have a friendly competition – whatever works for you 🙂
- Enjoy the journey – Don’t have your eyes strictly set on your final goal, because you’ll miss all the fun getting there. During my competition prep, I was so worried and obsessed over how I needed to look when I stepped on stage that I was no longer enjoying the process. It’s SO important to enjoy your sweaty workouts, trying new exercises, your body getting stronger, eating clean, and little achievements along the way. This is how you will maintain a healthy, fit lifestyle for the rest of your life…by enjoying it!
If you’re looking for some guidance to get you started, I am putting together custom health & fitness plans and would be happy to be your accountability buddy. Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org for details. Spaces limited.