Start with these four easy steps to a better you: set goals
In today’s world health is becoming more and more a priority. Everywhere you look products are being targeted towards health and weight loss. Food vendors are creating low calorie snacks, heart healthy meals, and body boosting supplements.
Watch TV and you are almost guaranteed to see an infomercial selling a new piece of exercise equipment or workout routine. This is all for good reason too as our country is seeing disease and obesity at their highest. With so much information, however, it is at a point where people are almost stuck in their tracks with no idea which path to choose.
Choosing the right plan to make a better you can be complicated, but here are four steps to break it down and make it a little easier:
First and foremost you must have goals to work toward. The problem with most people’s goal-setting is that it’s too broad. The more specific goals become the greater chance there is to achieve them. Sit down and write out a long-term goal. This may be an overall amount of weight loss or a better health marker such as cholesterol. Under this goal, write out short-term goals. These may be things such as weekly habits, check points for weight loss, or even a specific number of trips to the gym. Keep this goal list in plain sight so that you see it every day. Each time a goal is reached mark it off. Keep working towards the short-term goals as these are the path to the overall goal. If you get obsessed with the end and don’t see the path you will most likely get lost.
Stepping into the gym for the first time can be overwhelming. Hundreds of pieces of equipment, people doing all kinds of different movements, and trainers all trying to tell you what to do. Signing up to the gym is step one but figuring out what to do is where it really matters. Don’t expect to reach your goals just by joining the gym, walking around for an hour, and getting in a few sets of this and that. It takes a plan. Take some time to research. Learn about different exercise programs, nutrition, and what makes the body do what you want it to. If you want to lose those extra 20 pounds, read and learn what the best strategy is for burning fat. Find a specialist and ask for help. Many people go to school, study, and spend quite a bit of money to become coaches and trainers and because of all of this they have a better understanding on how to reach fitness goals. Find a coach and tell your story. Share your goals with this coach and ask for the knowledge you have been missing out on. Coaches not only help guide the way to better health but motivate and support. So find a coach, do some research, and give yourself a base knowledge to get you started on your journey.
So now you have a list of goals and have gained some knowledge on how to reach them. You hired a coach and your first session is scheduled. It’s time to take the next step and DO IT! You have to show up to see the results. Having the knowledge and help only gets you so far. You have to put in the work to get the results. Make appointments both with your coach and without. Set out to make it to the gym a certain number of days per week and schedule those days in. It is no different than a meeting at work or a doctor’s appointment. You can’t just bail on those because you don’t feel like it so don’t treat the gym any different. Make a schedule and stick to it. Follow the program and make sure your home life is taken care of as well. Set time aside to prepare healthy food, get enough sleep at night, and enjoy your hobbies. Creating a less stressful life with balance will do more than you could ever imagine when it comes to health, so make sure to fit it all in. Keep the balance of work, gym, family, and friends and you will have no problem reaching your goals.
This is one of the most left-out factors of health and fitness. The thought process has always been “more is better.. This is not the case. Our bodies need rest. They need sleep, relaxation, and stress relief to adapt to the stresses placed on them day in and day out. Going to the gym seven days a week is only going to get you so far if you don’t allow the body to recover. Take care of business at work, work hard at the gym at least 3 days per week, and then REST! Aim for 7-9 hours of sleep each night, trying to go to bed and wake up around the same time each day. Eat properly according to your goals and make sure to get nutrients in your body after you finish workouts so the body can start recovering. We start the process at the gym but the true results come from recovery, so don’t forget to rest and allow adaptation.
Time to Get Started
You have been thinking about getting healthier for a while now so it is time to get started! Use these four steps and you will be on your way to a healthier you in no time. Write out your goals, learn the steps needed to achieve those goals, get some help, DO IT, and allow your body to recover in between. Follow these rules and stay consistent and you will reach those goals in no time.
Chance Cianciola is owner/strength coach at Everyday Athletes in Louisville. While studying to get his master’s degree in exercise physiology, he spent time working with the strength and conditioning programs at the University of Louisville and the University of Kentucky as well as spend some time in rehab centers learning about movement. After graduating, Chance started working with the general public and has delved into the world of powerlifting as well. His philosophy consists of bringing the aspects of sports and powerlifting to the general population to teach people that it is OK to train hard and train heavy.