How to Start a New Fitness Plan Safely and Effectively

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Starting a new fitness regime can be overwhelming. Where do I start? What is the best method? How can I succeed long-term? This post is for those that want a guide on how to get started safely and effectively with 5 easy to apply steps.

Lets first go back to my Fit2Fat2Fit journey when I had gained 76 lbs.  After my first 6 months of gaining the 76 lbs, I then had to "walk the walk" and lose that weight in the next 6 months…terrifying I know!  I made a radical decision to skip exercise entirely during the first 30 days on my journey back to fit.  People were shocked thinking that I surely wouldn't lose a lot of weight without exercise….but they were wrong.  I wanted to show people the power of nutrition during my first 30 days "back to fit", and after losing 19 lbs, having all my blood work return to normal levels and my low testosterone levels more than doubled in those first 30 days, I think I made some believers in this philosophy.  So that leads us to Tip #1:

Tip #1: FOCUS ON NUTRITION

If people can really be consistent with eating clean this is where they will see the most results, but it's also the hardest thing for people to consistently do…because bad food tastes good! The good news is that healthy food can taste good too (you just have to find the right recipes)!  So, if you're just getting started make sure and see all of our recipes, go grocery shopping, start meal prepping and prepare these easy, delicious and healthy recipes in bulk so that it will be easier to stick to this lifestyle change: http://women.fit2fat2fit.com/recipes/main-dishes You do NOT have to eat bad tasting food to lose weight. You just have to find the right foods/recipes for you. Your taste buds will also start to change a bit as you eat healthier foods.Who knows you may even start to like broccoli… maybe. 

Tip #2: RESEARCH YOUR SUPPLEMENTS

Beware of "Bro-science"!!!  If you ask 10 random people at the gym what their staples are when it comes to supplements you'll get some crazy answers most likely, and hear a list of products that people "swear by".  Make sure and take the time and do your own research as well as ask a professional or even your doctor about which supplements are right for you. We believe that the right supplements can be a piece of the puzzle when it comes to being healthy, but no supplement will ever replace eating clean and exercising!!!

Tip #3: START WITH YOUR CORE AND STRETCHING

Even though I did not exercise (cardio and resistance training) during my first 30 days of Fat2Fit, I made the wise decision to do 10 minutes of some basic core and stretching exercises everyday to help prepare my body for more intense exercises ahead.  Studies show having a strong core will help prevent injury and stretching muscles that have been sedentary for a while will help you keep proper form when you start an exercise routine, thus reducing the risk of injury. Here are some video demonstrations of the core and stretching I used during my Fat2Fit stage: CORE – http://www.fit2fat2fit.com/gallery#prettyPhoto/68/  STRETCH – http://www.fit2fat2fit.com/gallery#prettyPhoto/69/

Tip #4: LEARN PROPER FORM

The importance of correct form is highly underrated in the "gym community" these days.  It's all about "how much can you bench or curl" mentality.  To tell someone that's accustomed to lifting 50 lb dumbbells to now change their form where they are only able to lift 20 lb dumbbells can be a shot at someone's ego.  Ego needs to be left at the door when you step into the gym.  I remember this very well starting back at the gym during my Fat2Fit stage. I would see girls using heavier dumbbells than me…which sucked.. but I had to suck it up and let it go.  I knew I did NOT want to get injured, and I also knew that correct form would eventually bring the right results, without all of the risk.  So watch videos demonstrating correct form before you head into the gym.  Here's plenty of videos to feast your eyes on when it comes to many exercises, or you can always YouTube any movement for a more detailed explanation: http://www.fit2fat2fit.com/gallery#prettyPhoto

Tip #5: GIVE IT A GOOD MONTH BEFORE DECIDING TO QUIT A EXERCISE ROUTINE

I definitely recommend finding a form of exercise that you actually enjoy doing. This can take some time trying out new exercises such as yoga, Pilates, zumba, crossfit, P90X, Insanity, High Intensity Interval Training, running, swimming, biking, etc. (you get the point).  But so many people are so sore after the first week or think it's "too hard" that they don't allow their bodies time to adjust and see progress.  After about a month of consistent training in any one of the above forms of exercise, most people will start to see some improvements (stronger results, quicker recovery, change in body composition, etc.).  Unfortunately, we don't give ourselves enough time to really try something before quitting! I know I didn't like the first time I stepped into a gym, but it's become part of my lifestyle. I didn't like running when I first started but when I got good at it (and did my first Ragnar Relay) I started to finally enjoy it.  It takes some time to notice progress.  So be patient, push yourself, and don't give up on yourself when you feel like quitting because at some point everyone wants to quit (those who ultimately succeed were not stronger, just persistent)!

The biggest thing is to remember that this has to become a lifestyle change and that this lifestyle change is WAY more of a mental and emotional journey rather than just a physical one.  The key to making it a lifestyle change is to know how to overcome your specific mental and emotional challenges (they are different for everyone).  So stay accountable to someone, find a support system and BELIEVE THAT YOU ARE WORTH IT!!!

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