Most people want to start exercising and eating healthy but are completely overwhelmed at where to even start. So hopefully these tips will help to point you in the right direction.
First and foremost, you need to write down the biggest reason you want to get healthy. What’s your motivation? If you find this task overwhelming, perhaps, it’s time to seek a professional who can help you with the process. In an earlier blog, I spoke about what to look for in a qualified personal trainer (August 2011). Now let’s take it a step further and look at what a personal trainer should do for you! A qualified personal trainer (Qualifications of a Personal Trainer August 2012) other than exercising you, he or she should be doing the following:
- Helping you with the initial process of goal setting. Right at the onset, goals should be put in place. You want to be healthy, but what exactly do you want to accomplish? You need to make these goals measurable and realistic. For example, “I want to look good” is not a good goal. We all want to look good! Looking good, what does that mean to YOU? Looking good is different for everyone. Do you have a goal to lose 30 lbs, or to lose 2 sizes? You might be happy with your current size but just want to tone? Whatever it is, it needs to be a something you want badly enough. This articulate, written and realistic goal will be a constant reminder for you while you’re embarking on this journey.
- Taking baseline measurements. Once you have your goals, the next step is baseline, starting measurements: weight, body fat and pictures. I know, I know, pictures – eeewwww! Yet pictures serve as a source of motivation and a visual to your progress. Likewise, tracking progress through weekly measurements, strength charts and short-term and intermediate goals are a necessity for accomplishing the ultimate goal of looking GOOD!
- Monitoring a food diary. You need to be aware of what you’re eating so you know where to make changes. Your food log is a way for your trainer to help you pick out foods that may not have been the best choice and find a way to replace them with healthier options. And learning how to read nutrition information goes a long way.
- Providing a variety of interesting and challenging workouts. A good trainer will take in consideration the health and exercise history of clients even before exercise. Just ask me and we’ll discuss your goals, your time limits, concerns, etc and find the most challenging and interesting workouts that are right for you. And keeping your workouts fresh
- Demonstrating exercises with detail to good form.
- Tracking progress in a training log.
- Having a support network. Find someone to help you.
So those are my tips to get started. You need to be realistic with your time and make an effort to plan. Believe me, even the most fit and healthy people you know today at some point where were you are right now. If it were easy, we’d all be looking good! So if you want this badly enough, you will do what it takes to meet your goals. Just be consistent; stick with it; and realize that yes, things will come up that will throw you off track; however, the most important thing you can do is to get back on track! That’s what your trainer and your support network are there for. The best to YOU!!