There are numerous ‘secrets’ to ensuring a long and happy life. Accordingly, perhaps the one thing that genuinely binds everyone- regardless of differences- is the effort put into the search for said secrets. And while there are no hard and fast answers to the mystery of a long and happy life, there is one avenue available that may play a significant role in such achievement: health and fitness.
While health and fitness is not necessarily the be-all and end-all, it is one of the pillars of self-care that constitutes an overall blueprint of living at your best. There are many benefits associated with a consistent and conscientious health and fitness routine. Please note that the keyword in this instance is ‘consistent’.
This emphasis on consistency stems from the fact that health and fitness are considered to be a journey. Consequently, you must always keep in mind that there is more to it than just toning up your body or gaining the ability to run a certain number of miles. To give yourself the best chance at success, it is best to start on the right footing. Here is a guide to starting your health and fitness journey.
Acknowledge Your Reasons
While there are some common underlying reasons you may seek to embark on a journey towards better health and fitness, individual character and desires still strongly influence the overall process. In addition, factors like goals and timelines rely on variables like your personal preferences and abilities to gain structure. Consequently, your self determines the reasons behind your endeavours to begin a quest like this.
On the other hand, acknowledging your reasons allows you to have a clearer idea of where you wish to end up and the tools that will serve you best.
Set Your Goals
Goals act as waypoint markers and focus maintenance tools. You are more likely to achieve the results you aspire to when an explicit aim guides your path. Furthermore, the goals you set can be divided into short, medium and long-term objectives to keep you organised and motivated. With a progressive approach like this, you will observe improvements over time that encourage you to keep going.
Give Yourself Time
You know what they say: Rome wasn’t built in a day. Therefore, you shouldn’t expect to be able to demonstrate feats of fitness right from the get-go. It takes time to build up strength, endurance and proper form. So give yourself the room to grow by starting small and slow. Allowing your body to adapt to new circumstances gives you time to learn and get better; it also helps avoid injuries as you go along.
Allow For Setbacks
The start of your fitness journey does not guarantee that it will be smooth sailing all the way. There are many instances where you may not be at your best or are unable to perform altogether. For example, there may be times when life gets in the way- schedule conflicts and time constraints-, enforced downtime from an injury or even those moments when you simply don’t feel up to it. No matter the situation, remember to take it in stride and avoid putting pressure on yourself to get back to it.
Making allowances for setbacks makes you more likely to keep going back to fitness after a stopping period.
Just because you are serious about meeting your health and fitness goals does not mean it must be an entirely sombre undertaking. Do not be afraid to have fun during your endeavours. Select activities that spark your excitement and interest. In fact, they are more likely to help keep you on track throughout your journey.
For more fun, you may also try making it social. Find a group of people with similar aspirations and see what activities you can participate in together to ensure that you have fun while remaining motivated.
Finally, remember that the journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. Now that you have the information you need, do not hesitate to take that step. If you need a safe space to begin, try your local health club, where you can find the tools you need to get you on your way.