Fall into Fitness-4 Steps to Jump Start Your Way into a Fall Workout Routine
Where do I start? This is a question I get asked often as a personal trainer & group exercise teacher. So many people feel daunted by the idea of beginning a fitness regimen that they end up not even attempting to take the first step. I’m going to take the mystery out of starting a new fitness routine with these 4 simple steps!
Step 1: Break out Your Calendar
One of the best ways to make sure you’re fitting exercise into the work week is to schedule it into your calendar just as you would any other important appointment. Many people are likely to keep their doctor appointments and scheduled meetings for work or other professional commitments, so it’s equally as important to schedule time in the calendar for your health. I often encourage clients to take a look at their calendars on a Sunday and map out the days and times that they can fit in their workouts. With a clear plan you will be more likely to check fitness off your list.
Step 2: Set Attainable Goals
If I had a dime for every time someone told me they were going to workout every day as part of their newfound enthusiasm for fitness I could retire. I don’t like to set my clients up to fail, I want them to succeed for the long haul. I recommend setting realistic goals as opposed to hitting the ground running and not even being able to finish the month out because you have hurt yourself or are burned out from doing too much all at once. This is a recipe for disaster and can sabotage your plan.
Fitness is a lifelong journey and a lifetime commitment. It’s not about the short-term fix that will give you immediate satisfaction. If you’re looking to change for the better then look at your journey as a lifestyle change with longstanding results and immeasurable health benefits.
If you’re a beginner, I suggest starting out with 2-3 days of cardio activity and 1 day of strength training per week. Your cardio activity can range from 30-40 minutes and you will want to be working in your target heart rate zone. If you would like to know what your target heart rate zone is, plug your age and exercise level into this calculator: http://www.active.com/fitness/calculators/heartrate?force_a2=y
Your weekly strength training session will involve weights and will endure between 20-30 minutes. By setting achievable goals you will feel more confident about committing to fitness throughout the year.
Step 3: Make the Most of Your Time.
If you’re going to devote time in your week to working out make that time count! I would rather see someone doing strong intervals on a treadmill or strength training circuits with weights for 20 minutes then spinning their wheels on a stationary bike for an hour. If you are really limited for time then do strength-training circuits. Think of these intervals like cardio with weights. Perform 4-6 weight-training exercises, each enduring 30 seconds. You would repeat each circuit 2-3 times with rest between each cycle. This is by far one of the most effective and efficient ways to boost your metabolism, build lean muscle mass and make your workouts count!
Danielle Rogers of Fitness Fusion trains a client in Downtown Bristol
Step 4: Get extra help & motivation from a personal trainer
If you want more guidance on how to perform strength training circuits or how to hit your target heart rate zone then work with a personal trainer. Many gyms offer free consultations with a trainer when you initially sign up. Take full advantage of that time with a professional. Ask as many questions as you can to help learn your way around the equipment. Tell your trainer what your main goal is so that he or she can help create a program that focuses in on your objectives.
If money is an issue but you would like the benefits of working one on one with an expert then hire a trainer to work with you on a bi-monthly basis. Ask your coach to create a program for you that you can do at home or at your gym. Then every few weeks you can meet with your trainer to progress your program or write you a brand new one to help keep your routine fresh.