6 Steps to Kickstart your Fitness Journey

6 Steps to Kickstart your Fitness Journey

Every now and then you get a wake up call. Alarm bells going off in your head telling you that you need to make a change - your body seems to be straining at odd places, you can't play or keep up with your kid long enough, you're gasping for breath after climbing a flight of stairs, and it's at this point you decide to make a change. You realise that between kids and jobs, loans and deadlines, your fitness has become the casualty.

We're halfway through 2024 and you still haven't been able to push the needle when it comes to your fitness aspirations. Don't you yearn to get that agility in your feet; that pump in your arms; that muscular confidence? Here’s 6 simple steps on how you can get started on your fitness journey.


1. Get into the right frame of mind

Your fitness journey begins with a positive outlook - respect your body. Your physique is not an assembly line product but a unique outcome of factors like genes, lifestyle, and muscle experience, among others. Your fitness regimen, therefore, should be aimed at bettering yourself, not fitting into a frame. Do not get discouraged by toned bodies and six pack abs on social media. ‘Fitspiration’ is a great motivator but it can also leave you feeling distressed over the possibility of ‘failure’.
Focus more on what you can do rather than what you can’t and celebrate your progress. It is a great idea to tell your friends and family about your fitness plans and goals. A little push or a nudge from a loved one goes far when you start to fall off the wheel. In fact, some might even join you and become your workout buddies; Who says workout has to be solo and dreary?


2. Set goals

 

 When you were younger, you always had a goal to achieve – degree or job or travel. Having your eye on the goal kept you motivated and engaged. A clear, focused and realistic goal is key to your fitness journey too. Start by asking yourself - what is it that you want to achieve? Is it wellness and good health; do you want to increase your strength and endurance; work on your flexibility and core strength; increase your muscle mass; reduce weight; or win competitions or races?

A specific, measurable and realistic goal will take you on a rewarding journey of self discovery.


3. Pick the right workout, start slow

Once you have set your goal, pick the workout that is best suited to achieve it. There are a variety of formats you can follow ranging from weight training to yoga and pilates to running. With multiple workouts available at online platforms - fitness apps, streaming networks or coaching services - you can easily set up your workouts anywhere.
A word of caution: Go slow at the start. While it is good to push yourself, going gung-ho on Day 1 will only lead to injuries. If you have not worked out in the recent past, listen to your body and gradually increase workout intensity.
Most importantly, don’t forget to have fun. Enjoying the start of your fitness journey will keep you
going for long.


4. Set a routine and track progress

Did someone say we are all creatures of habit? The best way to stay on track is to incorporate exercise into your life as a routine. Make a calendar by earmarking workout days and duration or you will never be able to find the time. This will also help you track progress over a period. Each week push yourself a little more with an extra repetition, a variation of the movement or a longer static hold. Celebrate little milestones and the sight of small gains will make you want to stretch a
little further.


5. Get the right gear

Make sure you pick the right gear for your workout. Besides right clothes and shoes, invest in quality accessories such as mats, towels, dumb-bells and resistance bands.
Comfortable fit, breathability, durability and protection from environment are important when it comes to selecting clothes. The right fit makes you confident, adds a feel good factor and ensures increased range of motion.
Accessories need to be an informed choice as they are crucial in the current scenario where workout routines have moved home. In a market where one is spoilt for choice, look for grip (weights), cushioning and hold (mats) and durability and elasticity (resistance bands). We could go on about what to look for while selecting gear, but this merits an exclusive post.
(Check out this section for more on right gear).


6. Workout with an expert

 

 Once you have set up a routine and followed it for a few weeks, you must make sure you are doing it right, especially beginners with no prior experience. Having an expert to guide you through the start is highly recommended.

A good trainer or coach is one who you vibe with and who will match your pace and ease you into forming good habits. There are many benefits of working out with a trainer. Apart from a personalised plan to address your specific needs, a trainer will help correct your form, educate you, help set realistic goals, hold you accountable and push you.

Remember that you are never too old or too late to start a fitness journey. If you’ve had false-starts before, don’t be deterred. Find that rhythm again and the music will follow.

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