Do These 14 Things Before Starting a Program
If you haven’t exercised or tried to eat clean in a while (or ever), the first day of a 30-, 60-, or 90-day fitness and nutrition program can feel intimidating. The thought of embarking on a weight-loss journey can seem overwhelming. So much so, it can be paralyzing. It doesn’t have to.
The reason why I'm wanting to bridge the gap between people starting and stopping, is the simplicity it can be, in just getting set up right.
These are simple suggestions that you can do to prepare your mind (and body) for a healthier lifestyle before you even break a sweat or eat your first green vegetable.
Some prep work before you start.
1. Figure Out How Many Calories You Should EatI kind of cringe at talking about calories...but it's a good baseline to understand HOW much you need to eat, as we dive into WHAT you need to it. But knowing is half the battle, right? Use this simple method to determine approximately how many calories you should try to eat each day (or check your fitness program’s nutrition guide) and begin to make small adjustments to reach that daily goal:
Current Weight x 12 (sedentary lifestyle) or Current Weight x 13 (moderately active) or Current Weight x 11 (very active lifestyle).
This calculation is your maintenance calories. So if you are wanting to maintain your weight, do not make any adjustments. If you want to lose weight, subtract 500 calories from your maintenance caloric needs (equation above), and that’s probably a good deficit for weight loss. But make sure that number stays at 1,200 or above. Anything lower can be dangerous in the long term.
2. StretchGet your muscles stretched and ready to move! If you haven’t used your muscles in a while, do some gentle stretching to wake them up and get familiar with the current limits of your flexibility. Knowing where you’re tight can help prevent injury.
3. Start to Move MoreEven if you’re not pushing play yet, you can begin to make an effort to move your body more every day. Take a walk, stand (or do squats) when you talk on the phone, take the stairs, park a little farther away from your destination, stretch during television commercials, rearrange the furniture in your living room.
4. Drink More WaterBeing dehydrated can make you sore even if you don’t exercise. Set yourself up for success, and minimize initial muscle soreness, by drinking plenty of water in the days leading up to the start of your fitness program. Get in the habit of drinking enough water every day. You should be drinking half of your body weight in fluid ounces each day.
5. Throw Away Junk FoodEmpty your desk, cupboards, fridge, freezer, car, and secret snack stash drawer of foods and drinks you know you shouldn’t be eating. If you want to reach your fitness goal, prevent temptation by removing junk food from your house. If the packaged foods are unopened, donate them. We know you spent good money on those Ding Dongs and Doritos, but they’re doing the opposite of helping you reach your health and fitness goals.
6. Build a Healthy PantryNow that you’ve eliminated the processed junk food from your home, replace it with good-for-you staples that will help you create healthy meals every day. Here is my Master Grocery list from Costco, Whole Foods and Trader Joe's for reference to get you started. Or hit me up, and I'll hook you up with food lists galore - I even have a TON of meal plans you can grab on my DIY Bundle.
7. Set Up Your Workout SpaceWhen considering how to get started with fitness, look at your surroundings and make some decisions. This could be as easy as moving the coffee table in your living room, or as elaborate as setting up a dedicated gym in your garage or basement. You won’t need much space to exercise, but it’s a good idea to figure out where you’ll do it and make the space usable and inviting for the workouts you’ll be doing (this is assuming you are taking your workouts to the homestead).
8. Plan an Outing That Involves ExerciseA great way to get into the spirit of exercise before you actually commit to a fitness program is to plan activities with friends that get you moving. Invite friends or family for a hike, go ice skating, or organize a softball or flag-football game.
9. Find Your Reason WhyBeachbody Super Trainer Tony Horton says, “If you’re really caught up in the numbers on the scale, or the dress size, and what’s happening with the tape measure, chances are those things won’t really motivate or inspire you in the long term. Find a new purpose. Find a new reason ‘why’ you show up every day to work out. The reason ‘why’ has got to be so powerful, so strong that you’re not going to quit, you’re not going to fail, and you’re going to be consistent, and show up five to seven days a week for the rest of your life.”
10. Build a Support SystemWhen considering how to get started with fitness, remember that getting fit doesn’t have to be something you do alone! Announce your commitment to get healthier and stronger to your friends, family, and coworkers. The more you tell, the more real it becomes. You can join my Momstrong Community on Facebook for more fun, accountability, and support.
11. Make Time in Your ScheduleFigure out when you’ll fit exercise into your daily schedule and begin to make adjustments to reserve that time slot every day. Will you work out in the morning? During your lunch break? In the evenings?
Schedule exercise time in your calendar and commit to it as an important meeting with yourself. You wouldn’t skip a meeting with your boss just because you feel tired or grumpy, would you? No, you’d be there on time with a smile on your face and do your best to impress.
12. Figure Out Your TriggersMany people make healthy choices for the most part, but when a certain thing happens or they start to feel overwhelmed, those choices go out the window and somehow a dozen donuts gets eaten.
13. Start SlowlyYou don’t have to go full speed on the first day. I know you want results fast, but if you’ve been spending the last few months (or years) sitting on the couch, you may either injury yourself or be in so much pain that you can’t walk the next day if you push too hard. That certainly won’t motivate you to keep going. You should be exercising at a level that makes you feel good, not cause pain. On Day 1, just do the first ten minutes of a workout, then add a few minutes each day until you can do the full workout. Ten minutes of exercise a day is better than no minutes.
14. Be here a year from now.This isn't a 21 day, 30 day or 60 day thing. Yes, those are short term focuses to see change, but if you are too short sighted on the process, you will never overcome the bigger issues. Commit to YOURSELF, that you will be here a year from now! You can reverse engineer your goals to see what you can make of yourself in a year!
Do me a favor, will you comment here or shoot me a message and share what you plan to accomplish with setting out on this experience??
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