Get Healthy: Getting Started

startOften, getting started is the hardest part. You may have all the gusto in the world, but if you’re not sure how to take that first step, it can be a challenge.

Maybe you’ve had a couple of kids and are starting to feel less than your best in terms of your health, or you want to get stronger by gaining some lean muscle mass, or maybe you just want to put more focus on your health and take better care of your body. Either way, good for you, it’s one of the best things you will ever do for yourself.

If you’re pretty much starting from scratch in terms of living a healthy lifestyle, thinking of starting a 5-6 day workout regime and following a strict diet can seem overwhelming. It shouldn’t be stressful, this should be one of the most positive, uplifting steps you take in life.

If you’re not sure where to get started, it’s a good idea to start focusing on nutrition first. The word “diet” is used improperly a lot, because it shouldn’t be used — but often is — to refer to a short-term plan to lose weight. A proper diet actually means eating right, all the time, a long-term lifestyle change to optimize your health and in turn, you will lose weight, gain muscle, and be in the best shape ever. Start being more cautious about the foods you’re eating, how much you’re eating, and when you’re eating. Even if you do this for the first month before really focusing on your workouts, you’re starting somewhere and that’s what’s really important. Remember that fitness is about 80 percent diet, 20 percent gym. In other words, you can do as many squats and spend as much time running on the treadmill as you want, but if you’re not giving your body what it needs in terms of nutritious food and plenty of water, it’s not going to do much good.

Once you’ve gotten your diet on track, you can focus on getting your exercise up to par too. You don’t have to weigh yourself down with hour-long workouts 5 days a week all at once. The seemingly smallest steps can make a big difference. No matter what your personal fitness goals, you should try to workout at least 3-5 times a week. Your body needs rest anyway between workouts, so don’t feel as though you have to workout every single day just to see results. Even just a half hour a day of moderate exercise, along with some walking and stretching, and you can burn 500 calories or more, easily.

Just as with anything else, it only becomes easier with time. You start to familiarize yourself more with what’s good for you and what’s not, figure out what your personal goals are and how to achieve them, what works for you and what doesn’t, and this will all only makes you happier and more confident in turn.

Getting started is often the hardest part, but one thing’s for sure – you’ll never regret that you did.

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