You’ve said it a hundred times: “I’ll start next week,” or, “I’ll go tomorrow.” That’s not fooling anyone, not even yourself. It’s time to hunker down and commit to your goal because no one’s going to do it for you. To reach the level of fitness that you’ve always wanted, there are several actions that need to be taken. The road to greatness is simple and clear, but long and difficult not to stray from.
Commit to the Gym
Do you want to make a change in your life and shape yourself into a healthier, more energized individual? It’s going to take two things: iron and willpower. And probably some cardio, too. Do yourself a favor and buy a gym membership. Sure, you could exercise from home and jog around the block, but putting down a cash investment will make you more likely to keep going back–you won’t want to skip the gym if you’re sinking forty or more dollars a month into it! If you want to burn excess calories, spending some time on the treadmill is an excellent way to do so. You can prop your phone on it and watch an episode of your favorite show if that makes it easier, and if you get bored there are other forms of cardio to switch between; ski-machines, ellipticals, stair-climbers, cycling, or going for a jog outside–just remember to wear comfy shoes for long periods of cardio, otherwise, you may develop a lump on the side of your foot in the form of blisters or bunions.
You should also commit to lifting some weights, too. You don’t have to be a powerlifter; even lifting light weights will contribute to your well-being. Maybe you don’t think you need to lift because you’re just trying to burn extra fat, but in actuality, more muscle mass helps increase your metabolism, which in turn burns more calories. Just stick to light dumbbell exercises if you’re not comfortable with lifting or are just starting out.
Fix Your Diet
Without a doubt, the most important part of reaching your fitness goals is building a reliable diet. Pizza and sugary cereal is not a sustainable food source to get all the protein, vitamins, and nutrients that your body needs. It’s not just about eating the occasional chicken breast or head of broccoli, either; you need to build a consistent meal plan that allows you to track your caloric intake and perhaps even your macros if you want to get in-depth. It’s about creating a habit that you can stick to and learn to prepare in a way that’s enjoyable. You can go to the gym and run as many miles as you want, but if your diet is full of junk and processed foods, you’ll constantly struggle with becoming the best version of yourself.
Diet aside, it’s perfectly fine to help yourself to the occasional slice of cake every now and again; in fact, it’s encouraged! Rewarding yourself after sticking to a strict diet and going to the gym is an excellent way to keep yourself from going off the deep end, especially after first starting out when your willpower might not be as strong as it can be. Give yourself a “cheat meal” once a week. Not twice a week, not a cheat meal one day and a little extra sweet another day, but once a week. Any more than that and you might start negating the effects of the gym, as well as ruining your eating habits and plunging yourself into a spiral of sweets and disappointment. Just remember that the treat is meant to be exactly that: a treat.
Making the choice to become healthier might be the best decision of your life. It can change you for the better if the proper actions are taken to eat better and incorporate some physical activity into your daily living. If you need additional motivation or want to learn more about health and fitness, consider hiring a personal trainer. Don’t wait until New Year to start your fitness journey, there’s nothing holding you back.