How To Start Your Fitness Journey
How to start a fitness journey and how to make it something more than just a short-lived interest?
Before you start regular training, you should check your health. It is not only a safer way but also it can give us feedback on how physical activity affects our health. Useful tests: morphology, thyroid (THS, FT3, FT4), cholesterol: LDL, HDL, cortisol, blood pressure.
Then, it is worth considering what our goals are and what we really want to achieve. Of course, probably everyone will say "I want to be more fit." What does it exactly mean for us?
If you start training for health reasons, do the tests and repeat them about every 2 months to see if the changes are going in the right direction. If you want to improve your figure (very often the main goal is to reduce body weight), think about how many kilos you want to shed.
Your goals should be measurable and time-specific, e.g. I want to lose 6 kg in 2 months. It is very important for these goals to be realistic and achievable. For example, losing 12 kg in a month or even two is not realistic.
Despite appearances, this is crucial because if we set our goals too high and fail to achieve them, we will simply feel disappointed and demotivated, which probably will put us in a bad mood and make us give up training. Here, however, I have to stress the fact that body weight is not the sole and most important determinant of our progress.
It may turn out that even though "the weight stands still," the quality and shape of our figure become significantly better. This is because during training we can gain muscle mass, and muscles are much heavier than fat. That is why I strongly recommend taking pictures of your body shape, measurements of circumferences, and if you have old or new clothes which are now too small for you, they may become a great sign of your progress. Take photos and measurements about every 4 weeks.
We have clearly defined our goals.
One of the basic mistakes of a beginner is "too much at once." We feel ready to immediately turn our eating habits upside down and to exercise 6-7 times a week to achieve quick results. In practice, it turns out that we can lose our motivation quite quickly in this way.
What do we need to do? First of all, we should be aware that we can achieve the best effects only by combining physical activity with a healthy diet. If our nutrition is far from healthy and recommended, let's try to change it step by step. Regular meals first, and then healthy and unprocessed food.
If you are a fan of fast food and sweets, do not eliminate everything at once, but rather do it gradually. Such a change will be much easier to implement and maintain in the long term. The new diet should be adapted to us and be sustainable for the rest of life, not just temporarily.
When beginning our training, let's not jump in at the deep end. We must be aware that quick effects are unlikely to occur and training 6-7 times a week will not bring us any benefits – quite the opposite. In this way, we can only overload the musculoskeletal and nervous systems and make training become an unpleasant chore for us (of course if you are at a more advanced level, you can work out more often and more intensively, but always remember about regeneration). For starters, training three times a week should be enough. Such a frequency will give us the necessary regeneration and it will make it easier to fit workouts in our busy weekly schedule.
Training: Remember that the basis of our safety and success in the gym is the proper selection of exercises and correct training techniques. If the last time you worked out was at PE classes back when you went to school, and you have no idea how or where to start, it is worth to seek the assistance of a specialist or a personal trainer.
How to choose a good trainer? First of all, it's worth knowing what is your potential trainer's specialization and whether it suits our goals. A good trainer should conduct a detailed interview with us, be able to assess our body posture and perform a functional assessment, for example, check whether we have any problems with mobility. It is also worth looking at how the trainer behaves towards their customers – here I mean the basic issues such as: whether the trainer is punctual and devotes 100% of their attention to the client during a workout, and whether they strive to teach correct exercising techniques to their clients.
All in all, we should set ourselves realistic goals so that we can control our progress. When we start training, preferably under the supervision of a competent person, we should remember the right training frequency and the necessary regeneration. To achieve the best results, we need to make our eating habits healthier step by step.