7 Things Every New Fitness Fanatic Should Know
By this time of the year, many are trying to stay on track with their New Year’s Resolution of hitting the gym and eating clean. The beginning of the fitness journey can be rough, especially if you’re doing it on your own. And the road to reach your Beyonce-body goals can have a lot of bumps. Here’s a list of seven things every new fitness fanatic should know to keep them motivated.
Don’t be scared of the weights!
Women often worry that lifting weights will have their bodies looking bulky instead of curvy and that is not the case! Incorporating free weights or dumbbells into your workout not only helps to tone your body, but it helps to burn fat and build much-needed muscle. Having more muscle also leads to more calorie burn. To burn fat, lift lighter weights and do more repetitions. To build muscle, go for the heavier weights, like the 15- or 20-pound weights, and do less repetitions.
Depending solely on one type of workout can get boring
A run on the treadmill or doing a few hundred steps on the stairmaster are great workouts, but there are other ways to shed pounds. Yoga, cycling classes and kickboxing are great ways to whip your body into shape as well. Dance fitness classes, like Zumba, or even Pole-dancing classes can keep your workouts sexy and fun!
Don’t be discouraged by the scale
After beginning a fitness journey, many look to the scale to see if their hard work has been paying off. The number on the scale can be misleading and can put a damper on your determination. Even if your weight hasn’t changed, it doesn’t mean your body isn’t changing. Research shows that strength training turns fat into muscle. Muscle and fat can weigh the same, but differ in density, so muscle takes up less space in your body than fat does. To keep yourself motivated, before and after pictures can be a more clear view of your progress. Also, paying attention to how your clothes are fitting is a great indicator of how far you have come in your weight loss progress.
Ditching the gym on a bad day is a no-no!
After a stressful day at work or a hiccup in the personal life, the idea of working out often gets dismissed. Hitting the track for a quick run or popping in a workout vid at home can actually be the cure to a less than great mood. After a sweat session, the brain produces neurochemicals called endorphins, which are natural painkillers and help to boost our mood and promote feelings of euphoria. So instead of dodging the gym in a bad day, lace up your sneakers and go hard in the gridiron.
Exercise with no diet change does not work
Dismiss that idea of “working it off” when it comes to eating junk. Hitting the gym after chowing down on a meal high in fat and calories will not solve anything. Your two-mile run on the treadmill or circuit of squats will not burn off the hundreds of calories you ingested anyway. Eating poorly will not help you build your endurance so you can get through those workouts and you won’t be able to tone your body the way you want to. Not only does it promote weight gain, but you will be less motivated. Ditch the fried and processed foods for veggies and lean meats that are high in protein and low in fat to get those rock hard abs.
Meal prepping is key
Preparing your meals for the week will not only help you save money, but will also help you monitor your portions and have a better of understanding of what you are eating. Salads are great but there are many different healthy recipes that pack enough protein, healthy fats and carbs that will help you push that treadmill run or yoga session. Incorporating shakes into your meal prep isn’t a bad idea either. Picking up some protein powder from your closest health store and mixing it with some almond or soy milk could serve as a great meal replacement option.
Meeting with a nutritionist and trainer is helpful
Switching from fried to baked and putting down the candy bars and reaching the kale can be tough to do. It’s super helpful to consult with experts in fitness and clean eating for guidance to make your transition smoother. Some gyms, like Blink Fitness, offer a one-time free meeting with a trainer where they can help you tailor your workout to achieve your body goals. Meeting with a nutritionist gives you a chance to pick their brains about what foods can help with fitness goals and get educated about how these foods will fuel your body. Nutritionist referrals are available through your primary care physician.