You’ve decided you ARE ready for change but you don’t know how to get started. Yet you have started – you made the decision to change. The mental commitment is essential to your success in this endeavor. Let’s look at some strategies to help you make the change:
- Check with your healthcare provider. Make sure you are physically healthyenough to start an exercise plan or if you have any limitations.
- If you feel you need a fitness professional, you can search the ACE website for a personal trainer or health coach. A personal trainer or health coach can help you set goals, perform assessments, design an exercise program tailored to you, evaluate your progress and make adjustments to your program as needed, and provide support.
- It’s very important to set SMART goals. This means setting goals that are:
- Specific, stating exactly what should be accomplished.
- Measurable in order to determine progress.
- Attainable, to help keep you committed.
- Relevant to your interests, needs, and abilities.
- Time-bound with estimated completion times.
- Start small. You don’t have to start with huge life changes. Add 15 minutes of walking to your daily routine. Cut out sugared sodas. You will begin to see results, and as these become habits, you can add more time to your daily walk (increase 10%), and replace unhealthy food choices with nutritionally dense foods (check choosemyplate.gov).
- Don’t sit. Start moving more. Recent studies have indicated sitting several hours daily is potentially the ‘new cigarette’.
- Find a physical activity you enjoy. Whether it’s biking with your kids, walking with a friend, running, or playing tennis, you are much more likely to stick to your fitness program if it’s something you find enjoyable.
- Find a support system. Having a support system has been proven to be one of the most important factors in a successful fitness program. Whether that support system is a spouse, family members, or friends, it’s very important for you to find like-minded people to support you on your journey.
- Make it a habit. Don’t think of exercising or eating nutritionally as temporary tasks. They should be part of your daily routine like brushing your teeth.
These are some basic concepts to get you started. Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions at Lynn@healthy-and-fit.com.