Many people think the first step of an exercise regimen is the act of exercising. They think that once they start exercising everything else will fall into place. They will magically start eating more vegetables or start meditating. You can probably recall from your own experience this is not true. In fact it's the opposite. Your exercise now justifies your bad habits.
"Oh I ran today so I can eat these chips."
"I went to the gym ... so I can have this bottle of wine."
There are steps needed to be taken prior to your training to ensure that you’re going to stay committed, aid your exercise, and actually help you reach your fitness goals. Here are my top 5.
- Clean Up Your Environment - No I am not talking about global warming and your carbon footprint. What I mean is organize and clean your house, car, office or the places that you are the most throughout the day. You've heard it numerous times, a cluttered environment leads to a cluttered mind. A cluttered mind cannot stay focused. Again, you know from your own experience… when everything around you is in disarray you cannot focus on proper exercise or eating.
- Lower Your Expectation - Too often people get caught in the hype of Internet and magazine articles and ads that tell them that they can drop 30 pounds in 30 days, or put on 10 pounds of muscle in 10 days. This is not realistic for anyone. Know you’re going to stay in this for the long-haul and expect reasonable amounts of progress throughout. You are not on the latest weight loss television show exercising for eight hours a day and crash dieting. You have family, friends, and a career. You need to make your expectations reasonable and in relationship to the amount of time and effort you are willing and able to put in.
- 20 Minutes Of Time To Yourself - If you can’t give yourself 20 minutes to read a book, to go for a walk, or to relax, then there’s no way you’re gonna be able to have 30 to 45 minutes to work out every other day. Practice giving yourself 20 minutes every day just to yourself (no tech). If you cannot complete this for a week you are not ready to start an exercise regimen.
- Nutrition - Before you overhaul your whole diet and eat tons of protein and no carbs think again. Try for one week these two simple tasks. Drink half your body weight in fluid ounces of water daily. Have a vegetable at every meal. If you can do this for one week you may be ready to start an exercise regimen.
- Assess Your Body - With this one you might need some help of a professional. Whether it’s your doctor, physical therapist, or someone you trust and respect, assess your overall health and any muscular skeletal issues you may be having trouble with. Are they aches and pains that can be corrected with proper exercise or are these actual injuries that need attention before you start an exercise regimen? Do you have high blood pressure, cholesterol problem, or any other blood markers that may cause concern. These are all things you should look into before starting exercise regimen.
Performing these 5 simple steps will increase your commitment and stick-to-itiveness with your exercise regimen.