We like to make your exercise equipment purchases easier on your pocket book by providing you with the greatest deals and coupons on the latest NordicTrack home exercise equipment. We also want to make beginning your new fitness regimen just as easy on you!
Now once you’ve made the smart move and purchased your at-home exercise equipment, the next step is the hard part. Diving head first into a fitness regimen can become a little overwhelming if you are not prepared and armed with the proper tools.
While there are several things you can do to ensure you’ll reach your fitness goals, there are also some things you should avoid to ensure you stay on the path to fitness. So what exactly are these rules? We are here to share you with you the Do’s and Don’ts to Reaching Your Fitness Goals:
- First determine what your main long term goal is, whether that is weight loss, improved cardiovascular health, building muscle, etc. Having this in mind during your workouts and those days when you are feeling a bit unmotivated will help kick your butt into gear and keep you on the right track.
- Not only write down your fitness goals, but write down a plan of action on how to achieve these goals. Once you have a set plan of action you are more likely to not feel so overwhelmed, meaning you are more likely to stick with the plan.
- Break your long term goal into smaller manageable goals. If you only see the big picture you may become overwhelmed and frustrated when it begins to take longer than you are wanting. Set mini goals for yourself and reward yourself when you obtain them. Such as for every 5 pounds lost or 5 more pounds you are able to lift, reward yourself with a pedicure or golf outing with the guys. Just make sure your reward is not food or anything that may interfere with your goal.
- This article from SparkPeople.com recommends that before beginning your new fitness regimen to assess your current fitness level so “you’ll be able to establish goals that meet your specific fitness needs.”
- Spark People also goes on to recommend that you consider talking with your doctor before embarking on a fitness program, especially if you are currently struggling with any health conditions.
- Stretch before and after your workout routines. Stretching before will help improve your flexibility to prevent injury and give you a better workout. Try these Tips for Stretching before Exercise to help give you some ideas. Also be sure to stretch after to help prevent soreness the next day.
- Stick to a healthy diet. No matter what your fitness goal may be, you won’t see the optimal results if you continue to eat drive-thru meals and ho-ho’s every day. Eat a healthy balanced diet and you’ll see the results you are looking for with your hard work and dedication.
- Set unrealistic goals. This is why it is important to assess your fitness level before hand to know where you stand currently. A healthy weight loss goal is about 1-2 pounds a week. If you start with a weekly goal higher than that you will only lead yourself up for disappointment, leaving you feeling discouraged and unmotivated to continue.
- Overdo it. You’ll likely be excited and eager to start your new fitness regimen, but if you start out with too much too fast you’ll likely burn yourself out, or worse cause injury. According to the 8 Do’s and Don’ts for Beginning Exercisers, “the single biggest reason exercise programs fail is injury.” Injury and burnout are sure fire ways to diminish your motivation to exercise. “Therefore, whatever activity you choose, make sure you learn how to perform it safely and take it easy.” Especially if this is your first hack at any fitness program, be sure to slowly increase the intensity of your workouts over time.
- Forget to rest. This goes right in hand with not over doing it. As we’ve stated before in Busting Through a Fitness Plateau, your body actually adapts to training between sessions, not during. So you need to be sure you are giving your body the time it needs to recover and rebuild itself between your workout sessions. Give yourself ample time to rest or you can cause diminishing returns on your results. This in turn can cause you to hit that dreaded plateau early leaving you feeling frustrated and unmotivated.
- Skimp on sleep. Sleep is crucial to maintaining a strong fitness level. As we just mentioned, when you rest your body is recovering from that grueling workout you just encountered, this occurs when you rest as well. You also need to be sure you are getting enough sleep to power through your workouts.
- Stick to the same repetitive workout. As we’ve stated before in Switch Up Your Routine, it is important you switch up your exercises as to not let your body adapt to one intensity and one routine, because it will then stop burning as many calories. Also if you continue to do the same exercise day after day you’ll become bored quickly causing you to lose that excitement and motivation.
- Compare your results to others. Everyone is different, no one workout or fitness regimen is going to produce the same results for every body. You’re unique; don’t compare your successes or failures to anyone else. Only focus on your goal in mind and your progress along the way!
- Workout sporadically. To see any results you are going to have to be consistent. Stick to your original plan, work on work days and rest on rest days.
- Be too hard on yourself. It’s important you allow life to happen, give yourself a break if something comes up and you miss a workout, just give yourself a more intense workout the next day. You can also consider switching your work and rest days for that week. Allow yourself a treat now and then, don’t beat yourself up. If you are too hard on yourself you’ll become discouraged and likely give up. Just work your hardest, enjoy life and live it the healthiest you can! Don’t give up and know if you stay on track and work hard reaching your fitness goals will be right around the corner!