Committing to fitness planning can be one of the best things you can do for your health. Regular physical activity will reduce the risk of developing many chronic diseases, help maintain a healthy weight, improve sleep, stress levels, self-esteem, mental health – the list is endless! Here are 9 simple and easy steps you can follow to start a new programme TODAY!
1. Assess your fitness level
You might have some idea of how fit (or not) you are. There are lots of ways you can assess and record your baseline fitness with various scores and benchmarking but the easiest and simplest way to do this is to take advantage of the FREE fitness checks 1Life can offer you. A qualified fitness expert will work with you to understand a whole host of different measures, which will give you (and them) a good understanding of your base fitness levels and then they will be able to prescript the best plan to suit where you are today and where you want to get to in the future.
2. A personalised fitness programme
Anyone can say ‘I’ll exercise everyday’ – that’s the easy part. But what you’ll need to be truly successful is a plan!! Designing a fitness programme is vital to achieving your goals.
3. Know your goal
It’s important you know where you want to get to or what your goal is. Maybe you want to improve your mental wellbeing or perhaps lose a little weight or train for a 5km race or walk. Setting clear goals can help you measure your progress and keep motivated.
4. It’s all about balance
Try to balance your exercise programme with different types of workouts. For example, look to do some cardio, strength and resistance as well as plenty of stretching and flexibility work; unless you’re looking to achieve something specific – i.e. weight and muscle gain.
Government guidance recommends achieving 30 minutes of exercise five days a week. And you don’t have to be a slave to the gym. Going for a walk, run or bike ride are great ways of keeping fit. Even gardening and house work can count as exercise!
5. Take it steady
If you’re brand new to exercise, start slowly and work up. Don’t attempt to spend five hours in the gym during your first week. If you have an injury or a medical condition, it’s vital to consult your doctor before you begin any exercise programme.
6. Finding time
We recognise it can be tough to find the time to exercise but to make this easier think about scheduling a time to exercise as you would any other appointment. Maybe you can watch your favourite show whilst walking on the treadmill or take a break from work to go on a walk.
7. Allow time for recovery
Many people start exercising too frequently and intensely, which often leads to attrition as their muscles and joints become sore or injured. It’s important you allow yourself time between sessions for your body to rest and recover.
8. What you’ll need
A good pair of supporting training shoes is a must (unless you’re planning to swim everyday). It’s also important that you choose the right shoes for the activity you think you might be doing most of. Running shoes are lighter in weight than cross-training shoes, which are more supportive and better for general gym use. You might also consider using fitness apps for your smart phone or device as well as other activity tracking devices. These can track the distance you run or walk, track calories burned as well as monitoring your heart rate.
As well as a fitness plan, goals and the kit to wear it’s important to remember to drink plenty of water before, during and after you exercise. Staying hydrated is vital!
Good luck and we wish you all the fitness success!