So you’re trying to ditch the couch or cubical for a while every day and finally get in shape again.
What is so different about this time that will make it easier so you can stick with the goal you set?
Well here is a list of 10 things that I believe will help you finally get over the hump of the first couple weeks of
exercise and finally allow you to get that body you have always wanted:
1. Don’t change a single thing in your diet.
This seems a bit weird if you’re trying to get in shape, right? I agree it’s a bit counter-intuitive, however if you change
everything at once there is a very slim chance you can keep it up for the rest of your life. So I dare you, eat the greasy pizza go out to fast food if that’s what you’ve been doing! Eat the same way you have been eating! That doesn’t mean I want you to go out more often than you were, just eat the same way you’ve been eating that has gotten you to where you are.
2. Set a reasonable short-term goal and a long-term goal.
This is very important. If you set a goal too high you WILL get frustrated and quit. Perhaps try setting your first goal as something that you can accomplish in 2 weeks. For example: “I will run every other day for 2 weeks!” or, “I will walk for 20 minutes every day before dinner for 2 weeks!” Once you’ve achieved this you can make another reasonable goal that is on the way to your long-term goal which could be something like “See my 6-pack for the first time” or “Run a whole 10k race.”
3. Hang your goals somewhere that fits your personality.
Why do I say a place that fits your personality? Because some people don’t want everyone knowing what they are doing everyday so hanging it on the fridge might be a bit too open. Perhaps by your mirror in your own personal bathroom or make it the background to your laptop. Find a place that you visit often that will remind you of your goal.
4. Make a dietary lifestyle change.
It’s time to change more than just your exercising habits. This should come after you have reached one or two reasonable short-term goals. Find something like pop (soda or coke for you non-midwesterners!)that you can cut down. Maybe it’s ice cream or cake or cookies or chips – find a dietary change you can limit to eating or drinking only
on the weekends. This should be added to your goal sheet wherever you have it hanging. Perhaps you limit yourself to dessert on Friday and Saturday as a reward for not eating it during the week. Maybe you allow yourself to only have a pop or beer when you go out to eat. These empty calories are what really kill diets. Again, you DON’T want to change everything at once and cut everything out. This will result to falling back off the wagon. You should make these at least once every time you hit one of your short-term goals!
This is very important. The more hydrated you are the better your body functions. This includes burning calories and running for longer and faster periods. You should carry around with you a water bottle or make sure you make frequent stops to get water throughout your day at work, school or at home. The more water you drink the better!
6. Sign up for a race soon.
If you pay the money to sign up for the race the probability that you will go and participate is much greater. Pick a race that is a month or two out and pay the money to run it. Whatever distance you want to run is okay – 5k, 10k, whatever! This will help keep you exercising because you will be either scared into running or excited to run and prove what you can do!
7. Pace doesn’t matter.
Unless you’re training to win the race it doesn’t matter how fast you’re running. It has been scientifically proven that you are creating as many capillaries running at 10 minutes per mile as you do at 6 minutes per mile. Running slower and is control will allow you to go further and enjoy what you’re doing. You only need to worry about your pace if you’re really interested in winning. If that’s the case you probably don’t need a beginners guide for new runners!
8. Design your training based on how you feel.
If you’re 400 lbs or 100 lbs it doesn’t matter – you should run by feel. This goes for even professional runners. If you need to alternate running and walking to start, do it! If you can go out and run 40 minutes at a nice clip, do it! Every day you step outside or onto the treadmill you want to think about how you feel that day. If your legs are really tired from the day before – cut today short. If your legs feel nice and fresh as you’re wrapping up your run, head around the block a couple more tims! That’s what makes running so great. The best way to do it is based entirely on how you feel! When have you ever walked in to work tired from a late night the day before and your boss told you to cut the day short and get extra rest? NEVER! This is very important to staying healthy and happy with running.
9. Log your mileagle.
This is a really useful tool. I use www.logarun.com to do it. It allows you to look back on your weeks, months and years of running and see how you’ve progressed. After giving my cousin this tool and using it for a week he called me up and told me it was the single easiest way to keep running. It gives you a way to physically follow your progress. It also has a diary-like section to it where you can note how you felt during the run. Doing back over previous runs and seeing my progress in mood, distance and speed is enough to keep me running for the rest of my life.
This is so you will we be able to continually run for the rest of your life. Good stretching is a HUGE part of a injury-free running career. Everyone has their own routine but it wouldn’t hurt do some googling. It isn’t imperative that you stretch before the run because you can slowly ease into any run as a warmup, but if you don’t stretch after a run you are putting yourself at a significantly higher risk of injury.
Follow most of these steps remotely close and you’ll be on your way to running for a very long and healthy life!