Starting your fitness journey can seem overwhelming but it doesn't have to be scary. Today I thought I would share my top five fitness tips that are especially helpful for beginners.
1. DON'T COUNT CALORIES
If you are starting out, just making it to the gym can be hard enough without also having to worry about having to count each and every calorie you eat.
Nobody wants to lose weight just to gain it back right? In order to maintain weight loss, you have to learn how to make changes that will last a lifetime. It's all about lifestyle changes. Learning how to balance healthy foods with the not-so-healthy ones, accepting setbacks and establishing healthy relationships with food. This is difficult when you become obsessed with numbers.
Did you know that the calorie counts on packaging can legally be off by twenty percent? So those 1,500 calories that you so carefully counted could have actually been between 1,200-1,800 calories anyway.
Skip counting calories and focus more of your energy on preparing nutritious meals, learning to eat unhealthy foods in moderation, and exercising.
If you want to read more on why you should stop counting calories checkout this article: Here’s Why Counting Calories Really Isn't Necessary for Weight Loss
2. SCHEDULE TIME FOR REST
One thing I see often is people who start out with tons of motivation and the best intentions, burning out quickly. They go too hard and too fast and end up quitting before they ever make any real progress.
If we don't give our body rest days, the stress will add up.
While rest days may seem like you're slacking and make you worry that you won't build strength or lose weight, time off allows your body and mind to fully recover.
Not only should you have rest days throughout the week, you should also have a rest week between cycles. Typically every 4-6 weeks.
You have to have a plan if you want to succeed and part of that plan must involve taking a break every now and then.
3. PROGRESS YOUR EXERCISES
Workouts work best when there is a progression. Your body is resilient and it will adapt to the stresses you place on it if done properly. If you don't continually make your workouts harder they will quickly become ineffective.
Below is an example of how to progress push-ups:
Week 1: 25 push-ups
Week 2: 35 push-ups
Week 3: 45 push-ups
Week 4: REST
Week 1: 35 push-ups
Week 2: 45 Push-ups
Week 3: 55 Push-ups
Week 4: REST
4. KEEP YOUR WORKOUTS SIMPLE
Simple workouts are easy to follow and the easier to follow, the more likely you are to stick with it. For beginners I generally start with no-equipment exercises. Body weight exercises work great for those with little to no experience. In the beginning, unless working with a trainer, avoid exercises with multiple pieces of equipment or complicated form.
Though it is best to keep things relatively simple to begin, this doesn't mean you can't switch things up and add in some variety. The last thing I want is for a client to get bored and become disinterested. Just make sure you don't over-complicate things.
5. FOLLOW CERTIFIED TRAINERS
We live in the age of information. Everything you could ever want to know is at your finger tips, which is one of the reasons I created Tuscaloosa Fitness. I wanted to create a place where I could share information I have learned through my education and experience with our community.
Like everything on the internet, you can't believe everything you hear. You wouldn't trust a lawyer, doctor, teacher, etc. without credible certifications. Don't trust your body with someone who isn't properly educated.
Don't know any good certified trainers to listen to? Start here: Eric Cressey, Mike Boyle, Bret Contreras, and Tony Gentilcore are some of my favorite guys and each carry a long list of credentials.
I love to workout--working toward goals, challenging myself, and now involving my daughter are all things that make it enjoyable for me. You have to find your own ways to make it fun for yourself. If you're having fun it's going to be something you look forward to and that is important to your long term success!