exercise dumbbellsSo you want to start exercising but are not sure how to begin.  You are not alone! Exercise can be a confusing, tricky adventure for many people.  Before you begin an exercise program there are a few things you need to consider.

Consult a physician:  Consulting a physician is of prime importance when beginning an exercise program.  The doctor will help you understand your body and understand its limits and restrictions.

Have a Purpose: Understanding what you want to achieve and train specifically for those goals.

Get Educated: Research the best ways to train, how to train safely, and consult a fitness professional when needed.

Set Realistic Goals and be Patient: Setting realistic goals is the best way to stay motivated.  Some goals may not be achieved in the short term.   To guide you on the path to successfully accomplishing long term goals, set short term goals that will support you in achievement of your long term endeavors.   For example, if a person’s long term goal is to lose a specific amount of weight, two short term goals to help achieve this goal may be to eat healthy for a week and to exercise for 45 minutes three times per week.

Understand Motivation: Different people respond to different types of motivation.  Find out what motivates you.  For some it’s as simple as listening to great music while exercising.  For others they may need to hire a personal trainer for accountability, inspiration, and education.  Everyone is different, so find out what motivates you to stay on the path to your goal.

Be Consistent: Consistency is what gets it done.  When an individual skips gym days or slacks on the nutritional end it sabotages results.  Stay on the straight and narrow to better your chances of reaching your goals.

Listen to Your Body: Take days off if you feel over worked and always begin a new exercise program slowly.  Do not jump head first into an intense workout regimen.  Remember, it is not a sprint to be fit, it is a marathon.

Certain aches and pains should not go unnoticed.  General soreness will accompany any workout program, but learn to decipher general soreness from injury or over training issues.

Write Things Down: Write down your goals and place them in a place where they will often be seen.  Write down your workouts along with the weights, reps and sets that are completed.  Keep a log of what you eat on any given day. Documenting these things will help you to see exactly what you are doing and where things may be going wrong if you are not getting the results you desire.

Prepare Meals: People’s lifestyles usually do not allow them to eat healthy all the time.  People are constantly on the move.  This emphasizes the importance of preparation.  Preparing healthy meals ahead of time is a great way to ensure that a healthy meal is accessible at all times.  Investing in a nice cooler will also help make those stored meals mobile and ensure you can eat nutritious meals at all times.

Have Fun!: Do things what you like to do!  Understand that in order to meet your goal there will be times you will be doing things that aren’t ranked so high on your personal fun scale, but that doesn’t mean you have to do things you absolutely hate.  Make exercise and fitness a fun time.  The more you enjoy it the more consistent you will be with your program.

The best part about exercise is how it changes people.  When I say this I am not talking about physical changes.  I mean YOU will change as a  person. Everything about you will change.  Staying consistent and working hard will help build positive characteristics within yourself.  Hard work, discipline, sacrifice, responsibility, determination, dedication, and pride to name a few.  When you build yourself from the inside out, you can take these positive characteristics and  use these skills to achieve other things within your life.  This isn’t simply about how you look in the mirror.

I leave you with this video I made to set your mind right moving forward as you embark on this journey of change.  I hope you find it rewarding and beneficial.

Image courtesy of Danilo Rizzuti/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net