8 Tips to Kick Off Your Fitness Plan
If there were a magic pill for getting your best body, most of us would be the first in line to buy it. But the fact is, getting fit takes sacrifice and hard work. You have to be willing to put in the work to get the results. If you’re mentally ready to go there, start with these 7 tips:
1. Eat clean
Sorry, y’all. This has to be number one. In order to get the body you want, you must fuel it with the right foods. Start here: Cut back or eliminate processed foods. Eat in more, eat out less. Cut back on sugar, bread, sweets and juice. A good rule of thumb is to make 90-95 percent of your diet fresh and unboxed. That means a lot of fruits, vegetables and lean meats. If you are vegetarian or vegan that means fresh fruit and vegetables with protein substitutes such as quinoa.
2. Fuel your workouts (if necessary)
Before a workout, I don’t eat. That’s my preference. But if you do decide to eat before a workout, go for a small-sized, carbohydrate and protein combination. The Mayo Clinic recommends that you eat at least one hour before your morning workout. Most of the energy you got from dinner the previous night is gone by the morning, and your blood sugar might be low. Hydrate with fluids before, during and after a workout to avoid dehydration and to enhance your performance.
3. Plan ahead
Know what you’re going to do before you get to the gym or at home, before you wake up, even. Your time is too valuable. Have a plan on paper or in your head of what kind of cardio and resistance training you’ll do. Cardio or weights first? How long? How many reps? How many sets?
4. Find your best workout time, schedule it
Some like 5 am workouts, but you may not be a morning person. If your ideal time is at lunch or after work, then put it on your calendar and commit to it. It’s all about being consistent. Pick your time, and don’t let anything keep you from it.
5. Shake it up
Keep your body guessing. Doing the same routine over and over yields results in the beginning, but then the plateau comes and you start to get discouraged. HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) routines deliver constant results. These workouts burn a lot of calories and fat in a short amount of time and even after your workout has finished. Your workouts don’t have to be long if you put the energy and effort into it. Run one day. Go to a fitness class on another day. Work different parts of your body as well. Focus on upper and lower body on Monday, and then core on Tuesday.
6. Perfect your form
Nail the fundamentals: Squats, lunges, bicep curl, shoulder press, plank and push ups. Ask an expert for help. Watch yourself in the mirror to make sure you know what your body feels like when it’s in proper alignment. When your form is correct, it means you’re working all the muscles you should be working.
7. Be accountable to someone
Even if you don’t want a workout partner, make sure someone out in the world knows your fitness goals. Check-in with a friend or family member. Not only will you inspire someone else, but it will help keep you on your toes!
8. Don’t quit when it gets hard
It will seem impossible. You will want to cheat on your diet. You will skip workouts here and there. Look, this is a journey, not a sprint. You’ve heard that before, right? When you stumble, get back up and keep going. Success comes with failure. Don’t be too hard on yourself, and definitely don’t give up.