If you feel overwhelmed at the thought of embarking on a new fitness program, you can learn to overcome your hesitation and ease into your routine. Overdoing it early in your fitness journey can lead to injury, so follow these tips from fitness expert Ilija Jahura on the right way to get started and succeed with your exercise routine.
1. Set Realistic Goals
Your new exercise plan should have some sort of endgame, whether short-term or long-term. But it’s essential to keep your fitness goals realistic. Give yourself some easier wins to stay motivated — but not so easy that they don’t feel like a challenge. Once you get used to your routine, don’t be afraid to move the goalposts and test your mettle.
2. Get a Grasp on Your Current Health
Before diving headfirst into exercise, speak with your doctor. This step is especially vital for anyone who is entirely new to fitness or planning a more rigorous routine.
Understand your limitations and what your body can do as a baseline, and work within those parameters first. Without the necessary information about your health, you risk injuring yourself: Before you’ve even gotten off the ground, your fitness routine could come to a screeching halt.
3. Drink Water and Eat the Right Food
Water will hydrate you, and food will energize you — so if you’re getting into fitness, you’ll need both to stay healthy. Pay attention to nutrition, as not all calories or foods are created equal. Carbs, protein, and healthy fats are excellent for sustaining energy levels and facilitating recovery.
4. Warm Up and Cool Down
Jumping right into body-bending, muscle-crushing exercises sounds cool, but it’s a one-way ticket to pain, exhaustion, and discomfort. You should always warm up to help improve your flexibility and ease muscle aches.
Cooling down is also important, as it allows your body to return to its normal breathing patterns. Stretching before and after your workout is the bare minimum, but you can also start and end with lighter aerobic exercises like walking.
5. Hack Your Motivation
As shocking as it may sound, you aren’t always going to feel like working out. But you must stay on track to see progress. How can you stay motivated?
If you’re like most people, find something fun and keep your routine fresh to keep your brain engaged along with your body. If you thrive under accountability, consider exercising with a friend, taking classes, or working with a personal trainer. Find what works for you, and don’t hesitate to use it to your advantage!
6. Listen to Your Body
When you’re new to exercising, be aware of your limits. Pain or discomfort is your body telling you something is wrong. Be careful not to push yourself too hard, and know it’s okay to rest when you need to or have a lighter exercise day.
Who Is Ilija Jahura?
Ilija Jahura is a Kelowna-based health consultant and fitness expert. Ilija focuses on helping his clients develop an approach to fitness that works for them and involves all aspects of their lives. His programs include diet planning, cardio, and muscle training to give his clients all of the tools they need to become the most comfortable, confident versions of themselves.