One of the biggest factors keeping a lot of people from working out with the tenacity that they should is simple intimidation. It’s not an easy thing to suddenly pivot from inactivity to intense bouts of activity. There can be no doubt that fitness is a long road, but one of the most important things to realize is that everybody who looks like they have things under control found themselves at square one at some point too.
In overcoming workout intimidation, know that you don’t have to reach some impossible plateau or try to accomplish what everyone else at the gym seems capable of. You simply have to increase your activity a little bit at regular intervals. Over time, those small increments will add up to quite a lot. Thankfully, a recent report from the UK version of Marie Claire highlights some of the ways to go about this, and you’ll want to make sure you remember these as you set out to start and ultimately stick to a brand new fitness regimen.
First off, make sure that you’re doing what you want to do. The world is really wide open when you first start working out. Do you prefer running? Then head to a treadmill or simply take a quick jaunt around the neighborhood. If jogging isn’t your forte, then maybe swimming is. Perhaps you’ve always wanted to try your hand at yoga or some simple weightlifting work. There’s no wrong choice here; do what appeals to you, and if ever you feel like you want a change, try something else.
In fact, that kind of willingness to shift your habits is itself a good habit to have, as it encourages balance throughout your body. Rather than solely improve your cardio abilities, you’ll be able to increase muscle mass by introducing weight work, or you’ll be able to increase flexibility with more dynamic stretching. You can even work with a personal trainer to establish a regimen that fits your particular lifestyle.
At some point, you’ll probably want to switch from simply introducing exercise into your life to reaching new plateaus that wouldn’t have been possible before. This is, again, something that you should feel free to take your time with. Lots of experts tout the 10% rule, which is basically that you never increase the amount of work you’re doing from week to week (or weeks to weeks) by more than a tenth. This allows you to grow accustomed to your current workout before you try to outdo yourself, preventing burnout and injuries in the process.
Stick to this rule, adapting to your new lifestyle before you attempt to increase your workload. If you follow these habits, you’ll have a great foundation from which to build.