Maybe you’ve been at this fitness and diet thing for a while, and you’re wondering what you might do differently this time to make healthy changes that will actually stick. Or, maybe you’re new to your gym, and you wonder what you can expect to do in order to get the measurable workout results you want. Take these six steps to find out!
- Get a health assessment. It’s a good idea to check with your doctor before beginning a new fitness activity or eating plan. A standard physical and blood tests can not only give you a baseline for your health status, they may reveal needs you should address and issues you can prevent. These can range from vitamin deficiencies or water retention, to health risks like adult-onset diabetes or metabolic syndrome. If problem areas are identified, get advice from the doc and consider retesting n a few months.
- Get a fitness assessment. Your physical can give you vital health information, but it won’t include tests for all the key areas you’d like to see workout results in, such as your body fat percentage, waistline measurement or range of motion. This is where a fitness assessment comes in—and you can access this service with our personal trainers here at XSport. Members get a free session, so be sure to schedule yours if you haven’t done so already.
- Develop a doable eating plan. Most of us have heard the old adage, “You are what you eat.” Fact is, that is true in many respects, because the majority of body weight improvements come from improving your diet. That means eating the right amount of the right foods to accommodate your health status, goals activity level and lifestyle. Food can be fuel, but it can also be fun, so a doable eating plan is essential. You might begin with taking in more lean protein, including fresh veggies with every meal or saving sweet treats for special occasions. Then adjust over time to further boost your workout results.
- Develop an enjoyable workout plan. Even if you don’t include “going to the gym” on your list of most enjoyable activities, remember, you will always benefit from regular workouts. That’s why it’s best to learn what fitness activities appeal the most to you. Consistency is key for making gains, but variety helps keep your body guessing—a bit of both feeds your progress. Explore your options at the gym, find your favorites, and look for opportunities to try new things every once in a while.
- Schedule time for fitness and food prep. Your goals are only wishes until you put time and effort into achieving them—planning your efforts to fit into your daily life is one of the most important steps you can take to make workout results a reality. It’s also helpful to work around your preferences and lifestyle. In other words, if you tend to work late, don’t schedule 5:00 p.m. workouts as that will lead to skipping more often. Or, if you love to cook, you might devote one Sunday per month to big batch food preparation, so you can freeze and store healthy meals for weekdays when you’re too busy for the kitchen.
- Track your efforts and workout results. Ideally, you will document the benchmarks for each of these steps, so you can refer back to them over time and have a written record of where you started, where you plan to go, how you will get there and how well you’re doing. It’s been said that writing things down makes them more of a reality, because you’re taking ideas that live in your mind and putting them into the physical world, right before your eyes. Journaling your health and fitness journey, and tracking your workouts and your food intake, is a powerful way to focus on the steps you are taking with to be fit. So it can not only “look good on paper,” it can look good on you!