Just because you aren’t paying the doctor many visits doesn’t mean your body is perfectly healthy. Taking care of your health requires more than that.
One of the best things you can do to achieve optimal health is to start a fitness program. We know, we’ve all been there, we tell ourselves we are going to follow a workout schedule and then we flake.
Here’s why you should give it another go:
- It combats health conditions and illnesses
- It controls unnecessary weight gain
- It boosts energy
- It improves mood
- It improves flexibility
- It improves muscle and balance coordination
- It builds self-esteem
Follow these steps to create a fitness program that’s right for your body and right for your needs.
Step 1: Assess your fitness level
This will be your reference point to measure your progress. There are four elements that need to be assessed:
- Aerobic : Measure how long it takes you to walk a mile
- Muscles fitness : Count the number of push ups you can do at one time
- Flexibility : See how far you can reach your toes while sitting on the ground with your legs in front of you.
- Body composition: Measure your waist circumference and body mass index (BMI)
Step 2: Design a program you’ll stick with
No matter what you choose to include in your fitness program, make sure you commit to it.
- First, think about what your fitness goal is and stick to what motivated you to start working out in the first place.
- Create a routine that fits into your program: Exercise three times per week, 30-minute minimum for each workout session.
- Try different activities. Don’t just stick to one routine as your muscles will get accustomed to them, and plus, you’ll get bored. Try to have a variety of activities such as walking, swimming, cross-training, kickboxing…etc.
- Put it all on paper to keep track of everything.
- Do not push your self too impossible measures. Go at your own pace.
Step 3: Start the program
- Start at a level you are comfortable with, then build up on it gradually. Always start with a warm-up and stretch (stay tuned for an article discussing warm-ups and stretches). Take your time and don’t rush. Start with a walking pace then increase the speed.
- Listen to your body. Notice when you are in pain, feeling dizzy or getting nauseous. Take breaks and work in intervals if you have to. Do not push your limits.
- Make sure you have comfortable clothes on with proper shoes to avoid discomfort and prevent injury.
Step 4: Check your progress
Reassess yourself and compare your progress to the beginning of your fitness journey — six weeks into your program.
You shouldn’t feel overwhelmed by any program you choose to follow. Remember, it is your health that you are taking care of. Be patient and enjoy what you are doing. Tag your friends along if that motivates you and remember to always go at your own pace.