It comes around every January, and more often than that if you like to learn new things or progress your fitness routine over time. It’s the first month or so of your workout.
If you’re new to exercise in general, or simply beginning a new kind of program, it’s important to learn how to pace yourself, judge your range of potential results, and more.
Keep Your Eyes on the Prize
Whenever you start out on a path to a new type of fitness routine or a healthier lifestyle, you are at a serious advantage—the early days of a workout offer great chances to make big gains.
But it’s just as easy to lose sight of your limits and jump in too quickly. Common problems can take hold in a hurry, like hurting yourself, loss of interest, burnout and more.
Remember, exercise is a lifelong habit and fitness is for the long term. There is no point to launching into a healthy new plan with a less than healthy approach to tackling it.
Setting Your Goals and Your Pace
The best bet in the first weeks of a workout is to keep your ultimate goals in mind, and a way to balance your new physical habits within the other demands and pleasure activities of your life. Try these simple tips to get off to a strong start:
- Visualize where you want to be at the end of the year and write it down
- Once you have your overall goal clearly in mind, break steps down to get there
- To reach your goals, you will take certain steps—schedule the timing needed to do each of them
- Look at the timing for your goals and make sure you’re choosing realistically!
- Start a simple journal of your fitness-related activities so you’ll see progress right away, and plateaus in the future
- Know that you might have more motivation at first. If it trails off a bit in two weeks, prepare to power through. Or better yet, plan ahead with a workout buddy
Getting in Gear and Getting Results
Even though your energy is high and it’s a great idea to ride that momentum, you still want to use plenty of common sense, and stay well-protected, so your new routine will last longer than these first 30 days! Here are some how-tos that will help you prioritize and prevent injuries:
- First stop, footwear, accessories, and anything else you need to work out safely
- Nutrition time: get your water in, sweaty folks. Marathoning = carbs. Strength=protein
- Listen to your body for feedback on how many miles, how much weight, range of motion, etc. Learn about your heart rate, impact on your joints, etc. Or ask a pro!
- Rest and recover. Want muscle definition? You need at least a day between working those same muscles. Want to come back tomorrow? Great. Do something else at the gym!