Being a beginner in fitness can be overwhelming.With the endless images of ‘perfect’ bodies screaming at you on virtually every social media platform, it is easy to give up even before getting started because you don’t know where to begin with fitness.
You perhaps inundate yourself with available streams of information on fitness, routines, challenges and motivational quotes. Yet, none of these push you to begin the journey you so desperately want to go on. Your fitness journey must start with building a strong base/foundation, but don’t fret.
We’ve put together seven principles you can use to establish a solid fitness foundation.
The Magic is in Your daily Habits and Behaviours
You might have planned to lose 10kg by the end of the year, but one race down the road won’t snatch the weight off you. Most of the time, we take actions hoping for unbelievable gains. We hope that by taking one action, all our problems will magically disappear, but that is only wishful thinking.
What you do on a daily basis predicts your outcome as opposed to what you do occasionally. Losing 10kg might be your goal, but that will not be achievable until you focus on carrying out proper habits and behaviours daily. Your future becomes your reality when you stay consistent with your actions.
Adopt an 80/20 Principle Mindset
In the business world, the Pareto principle (‘80/20 rule’) states that 20% of your customers represent 80% of your sales. This means that 20% of your time brings about 80% of your results.In fitness, the same rule applies. Instead of trying to execute every tip you see which, let’s face it exhausts you – only pick the tips that deliver the biggest achievable results.
Consider what that 20% in fitness that will give you 80% of your results is. This 20% sums up the basics (sleep, healthy food choices, etc.). The basics never change. Your goal is to get the most results for your actions with the effort you put in.
Explore Different Paths to Healthy Eating
When many hear ‘healthy eating’, they instantly think eating bland chicken and salads or chewing on boring foods all day long. But who would really enjoy living like this for long? Surely nobody!
But many people suffer these boring meals because they know no better, or because they see others toeing the same path. But just as there are many ways to kill a rat, there are also many ways to achieve a tasty yet healthy diet.
Regardless of the diet, apply the same fundamental philosophies of eating less processed foods and more nutrient dense based foods. Then try to be conscious of how much food you are eating by practicing portion control. Your food choices hold the biggest percentage in how fast you achieve your weight loss goal.
Do Not Underestimate Sleep
If you had to pick between an extra workout or sleep – go for sleep because sleep is that necessity that people overlook. Why? Because lack of sleep can affect your hormones, moods, and hunger cravings – all of which amounts to weight gain.
Before you plan an extensive workout routine, ensure that you plan and commit to a sleep schedule. Yes, there’s so little time available, but for the purpose of your health, try and make time for sleep. Results and progress happen when you fix your gaze on rest and recovery. Try cutting off internet surfing or watching television 90-120 minutes before you go to bed, read a paperback book, keep your room as dark as possible, have sex or try meditating for about 10 minutes to help you go to sleep.
Select a Workout Program That You Enjoy and Fits Your Specific Goals
People you admire online, or your friends may love circuit training or cardiovascular exercises, but if you discover that you don’t enjoy those same activities, then go for what you enjoy. You’re more likely to stick with a regimen you actually enjoy than the one you feel compelled to do. At the beginning, experiment with different forms of exercises until you find the one that you love and that will help you meet your set goals.
It is OK Not Strive For 100% Contentment With Your Nutrition
Many go as far as avoiding those friends that make them eat unhealthy meals/snacks just in a bid to stay away from the temptation. But that is too drastic a measure. Committing to fitness doesn’t mean becoming a prisoner of your own diet and alienating yourself from those you care about.
In truth, a slice of cake, one scoop of ice cream or that glass of wine will not ruin something a mountain of committed daily healthy habits. As humans, we have impulses… if we didn’t, that will make us robots!
Your Body Does Not Determine Your Self-Worth
Don’t allow how you feel about your body to determine who you really are. It happens that when we compare ourselves, we only see what someone else has that we want, not what they are missing. Your self-worth is not tied to you having a six-pack, having bigger biceps, your dress size, toned legs or any other external metric for that matter.
Being healthy and fit is valuable, but never give your self-worth to anyone or allow any number (on the scale) determine your value.