Written By Sierra Powell / Reviewed By Ray Spotts
If you've previously lived a sedentary lifestyle and have made the commitment to change, you may be feeling overwhelmed by everything this entails. After all, there are several factors that you'll have to consider in becoming a more fit and active individual.
Many people feel so intimidated by the process that they eventually give up, but there's no reason you can't start a fitness journey gradually. These steps can help you start this new phase in your life at your own pace.
Start With Changing Your Diet
The foods you eat will have a significant impact on your body's ability to lose weight and build lean muscle mass. You can change your diet gradually by reducing your sugar and fat intake. Replace white bread products and pasta with whole grain wheat. Instead of eating ice cream or pie for dessert, feed your sweet tooth with frozen strawberries or blueberries.
Eventually, three-quarters of each meal should be comprised of plant-based foods. You should also use a whey protein mix to create drinks throughout the day. Increasing your protein intake will help your body repair tissue and build lean muscle more efficiently.
Start With Moderate Workouts
While you may have more ambitious ideas for starting your fitness journey, it's better to start out slowly and gradually increase the duration and intensity of your workouts. To begin, start with a 30-minute workout three to five days per week that involve moderate-intensity exercises. For the first four weeks, you should stick to this plan.
Afterwards, add another 30 minutes to your workout sessions and increase the intensity gradually. This is also an effective strategy for people who live busy lifestyles and want to add exercise to their schedules. Make appointments in your calendar just as you would schedule a meeting or doctor's appointment.
Engage in Enjoyable Activities
You should spend a minimum of three days per week at the gym, where you can use free weights and resistance training equipment to build muscle. For the remaining days of each week, look for activities that you enjoy doing and try to keep some variety in your workouts.
You can go bicycling, swimming, or golfing on different days of the week. Try running if you find that enjoyable. Other options to consider include team sports, such as tennis, basketball, and softball. Adding a broad range of activities to your fitness journey will keep your workouts from getting boring. Additionally, each activity will exercise a different group of muscles, helping you to keep the development of lean muscle consistent throughout your body.
Especially as you begin to change your lifestyle, it's important to have realistic expectations of your body. After spending most of your time living an inactive life, your muscles and tissue won't be as elastic as they should be and your cardiovascular system won't adapt to changes in your body's need for energy as efficiently.
You should be willing to take breaks as frequently as you need them without chastising yourself for not doing better. Work more on consistency, and congratulate yourself for carrying through with each workout. Your body's resilience and agility will improve through regular exercise.
Hold Yourself Accountable
When people feel accountable to themselves or to others, they're less likely to give up on their goals. This is especially true of a fitness journey. You can hold yourself accountable by keeping a journal in which you write about your dietary changes and fitness achievements each day.
If you feel as though you need to be held accountable to someone other than yourself, there are several options available to you. One method people use is to partner up with someone else who is also invested in starting a fitness journey. You and a friend can motivate one another.
You can also start a blog or vlog online. By documenting your fitness journey to your followers, you'll feel obligated to continue pursuing your goals. Additionally, you'll inspire others to start pursuing their own fitness goals.
You should take your fitness journey at your own pace. After you have made one of these changes in your life, take the time to live with it. Once it feels like it has become a natural habit in your life, take it a step further. As long as you continue challenging yourself, you will make progress in your journey. Before long, you'll see the positive changes in your life that had seemed impossible just a short while ago.
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Sierra Powell graduated from the University of Oklahoma with a major in Mass Communications and a minor in Writing. When she's not writing, she loves to cook, sew, and go hiking with her dogs.
Founder Ray Spotts has a passion for all things natural and has made a life study of nature as it relates to health and well-being. Ray became a forerunner bringing products to market that are extraordinarily effective and free from potentially harmful chemicals and additives. For this reason Ray formed Trusted Health Products, a company you can trust for clean, effective, and healthy products. Ray is an organic gardener, likes fishing, hiking, and teaching and mentoring people to start new businesses. You can get his book for free, “How To Succeed In Business Based On God’s Word,” at www.rayspotts.com.