Before you begin any new fitness regime, always check with your doctor first to confirm any fitness restrictions and guidelines based on your current health.
Address Imbalances & Injuries BEFORE you begin exercising
Pre-existing misalignments & imbalances of the spine, pelvis, and extremities can predispose you to injury when exercising. Flat feet, a twisted pelvis or short leg, and misaligned spinal joints may all pre-dispose you to injury and prevent you from reaching your goals.
Be sure to get checked by a Wellness Chiropractor to ensure your body is aligned and balanced, and treat old injuries to ensure you are ready to succeed!
Take stock of your equipment
Make sure you have proper athletic shoes that are suitable for the type of workout you will be doing (walking, cross training, strength training, dance, etc). Replace old, worn running shoes to avoid injury or trauma.
Assess Fitness Levels
Everyone has some rough idea of what kind of shape they are in, but it is important to know the specifics of your fitness levels before jumping into anything new. Have a professional check your body composition, flexibility, muscular and aerobic fitness levels. This will give you a good starting point and help you set realistic goals based on your level.
Get in touch with your inner self and consider why you are starting this new exercise program. Is it to help you lose weight? Be a healthy role model to your children? Protect the heart and bones? Preparing to run a marathon? You will need these powerful motivators on days you won’t feel like exercising. These motivations will also help you to create clear and concrete goals.
Take an audit of your current outlook on exercise and fitness and really reflect on the following
- How do you feel about starting exercise?
- What scares you about exercising and starting to exercise?
- Where is exercise on your priority list?
- What types of exercise do you enjoy?
- How will you continue to exercise when life gets hectic?
It’s important to have all these questions answered in order to mentally prepare yourself for this new exercise program. In addition, having a clear head will allow you to define obstacles you will need to address.
Goals and Defined Obstacles
An effective fitness program is nothing without realistic goals. Establish realistic short-term goals and long-terms for your fitness program. Write your goals down on paper: this will help stay on track and be accountable. Besides goals, define your physical and mental obstacles. Plan strategies for dealing with these barriers and jot these down underneath your goals.
Find the right workout for you
One of the keys to motivation is finding exercises that are enjoyable and inspiring yet challenging. Figure out what type of environment is most comfortable and stimulating for you based on yourself. If you hate crowds, avoid large group classes like Zumba or Spin. If you are a nature lover, try for walks, runs, and hikes. You won’t get very far in your fitness routine if you are forcing yourself into something you dislike.
10 Tips for Starting (and Sticking to!) a Workout Routine. Retrieved from: http://www.redbookmag.com/health-wellness/advice/start-workout-fitness#slide-1
Fitness Program: 5 Steps to get started. Retrieved from: http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-living/fitness/in-depth/fitness/art-20048269
How to Prepare for Exercise. Retrieved from: http://www.sharecare.com/health/how-to-prepare-for-exercise/consider-before-beginning-exercise-program