Stop Sabotaging Your Efforts!

One of the biggest hurdles you will face when you are starting to workout is YOURSELF. Negative thoughts, frustration, physical limitations, injuries, and good old-fashioned pain can derail your best intentions to get “in shape” and be healthier. So, how do you stop the self-sabotage and stay on track when you are figuring out how to start exercising?

1. When you are starting to workout, there is power in “again”.

Starting to workout is the hardest part about adopting a healthy lifestyle. Six weeks into a strength training for beginners program and you likely start seeing results that can keep you going. How do you get from day 1 to day 42? By doing your workout program again. And again. And again. Even if you don’t want to, even if you are sore, even if you are tired or frustrated by your lack of results, telling yourself that you are forming habits by doing these things “again” will help you keep going when you are feeling down.

2. Check your self-talk.

The way you talk to yourself when no one else is around will determine your success. The way you talk to yourself – whether aloud or in your mind – will lower your stress levels, increase your satisfaction with your life and boost your motivation. Some examples of both positive and negative self-talk are:

3. Eat the treat and move on.

Stop thinking that you have to have the perfect eating habits in order to succeed! Your progress up that point isn't all shot. Exercise for beginners is about creating habits that will last a lifetime, not losing weight or getting into shape for a moment and then going back to your old routine. With that framework in mind, you have to create a lifestyle that has allowances for a warm chocolate chip cookie from a world renowned bakery, or a piece of birthday cake at your child’s party. If you partake in one of life’s indulgences, do it mindfully, thoughtfully and with gratitude and move on. Listen to your body, understand how you feel and then move on.

4. Enlist the help of experts.

Enlisting the help of a personal trainer can set you on the right path to figure out how to start exercising with the equipment, skill level and time you already have. Best of all, a personal trainer can work with you anywhere – not just in a gym. Signing up for a gym membership is good, going there and exercising is better, and getting help to design your personalized routine is best.

5. Make auto-pilot your goal.

Once you have settled on when and how to start exercising, your goal should be to turn your workout into an auto-pilot part of your daily routine rather than a decision to make on a daily basis. Since we tend to take the path of least resistance, turning difficult things into a “given” rather than an exercise in willpower will increase the likelihood you will stick to a nutrition program and workout routine.

6. Shrink the change.

How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time. Yet we approach changing our lifestyles with all the gusto of someone with their hair on fire. If we don’t make drastic, sudden, life-altering changes, how are we supposed to ever see any results?

As it turns out, making drastic, life-altering changes will almost assuredly set you up for failure. Don’t know where to begin? A certified personal trainer can help you identify which changes will make create an impact that will start you on your journey.

7. Practice patience.

When you are starting to workout, remember that it doesn’t take 30 days to create a new habit. It takes anywhere from 18 to 254 days for a behavior to become a habit, depending on the person, the situation, and the old habit you are replacing. The key is to be patient with yourself as you navigate how to start exercising and eating a healthy diet. You will not have all the answers now. Diet, hydration, strength training for beginners, and the level of cardiovascular exercise you will need will take trial and error to figure out.

Fortunately, you don’t have to do it alone. Personal trainers are ideal professionals to help you set reasonable and attainable goals, make adjustments to your routines, and navigate the wealth of information out there.

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