So you’ve made your new year’s resolution, maybe you’ve joined the RAC, you’ve checked out the group fitness schedules and you’re ready to go. But how? What exactly does getting started mean? What’s realistic? How much is too much? Check out our SMART START guide to kicking off your fitness journey and make sure you’re set for success.
This new year, thousands of well-meaning rookies will join gyms and fitness facilities with their resolutions at the ready. By the end of 30 days, almost half of them will be back to square one, defeated, discouraged and no closer to a healthier life.
It turns out that fitness is just like any addiction – it all starts with a small dose. Too many people make the mistake of leaping into exercise when baby steps are what’s needed. Here are three key things to keep in mind:
- Start slow – Don’t push your body too soon, leave classes when things are feeling tough
- Build gradually – Aim towards staying for a full workout as your fitness builds
- Mix it up – Include a mix of strength, cardio and flexibility training
But don’t take our word for it, we’ve got the science to prove it.
Get Fit Together, a study conducted by Pennsylvania State University, followed 25 sedentary adults through a 30-week program of LES MILLS™ Group Fitness classes including a mix of cardio, strength and flexibility.
The group saw awesome results – so awesome that they extended their life spans by an average of 3.6 years. You can read more about the results of the study here.
But the really interesting news was that over the 30 week study, 20 out of 25 study participants never missed a workout – a compliance rate of 98.8 per cent – almost unheard of in studies of this type.
Despite each of these programs being highly engaging, the real key was the gradual way in which the exercisers adapted to their new routine. An initial six week period encouraged them to “dip their toes” into fitness before ramping up the intensity with a full six-day-a-week exercise schedule.
So instead of being overwhelmed by it all, feeling sore from overworking unfit muscles and giving up, they actually enjoyed it.
Check out this SMART START guide and workout planner and kick-start your fitness journey.
So remember – the first step to fitness isn’t a leap. The key is to start slow, keep it fresh but most importantly, have fun and the results should follow!