Three Ways to Start (and Stay on) Your Fitness Journey: A Beginner’s Guide to Getting Healthy

The holidays—as well as the New Year’s resolutions that come along with them— are a thing of the past. You’ve made commitments in the past to try to get healthy, but the initial momentum and enthusiasm always wears off, and you always end up back in your usual routine. Or maybe this is the first time you’ve decided to make an effort to lead a healthier lifestyle.

Either way, starting (and staying on!) a path which will lead you to a life of better health is often much harder than what is portrayed by influencers, celebrities and TV personalities; keep in mind that these people have an entire team of nutritionists, personal trainers, and stylists to help them meet their health and fitness targets.  Of course, the long-term benefits far outweigh the challenges, and with dedication and inspiration anyone can reach their goals to being their best selves. Here are three ways to help you start and stay on your fitness journey:

1. Do Your Research

There are thousands, if not millions of trends related to losing weight, muscle building, and body detoxing—name a part of yourself that you’re unhappy with, and there is more certainly some kind of quick-fix remedy out there to help you solve it. Thanks to widespread reach of the internet, misinformation is readily available with a simple google search, and using supplements, teas, tricks and products as a fast track has never been more popular.

However, not only are these things unproven, but can even have negative effect your health. Studies show that the only long-term diet and exercise changes can make a lasting impact on your physical health (source: http://dx.doi.org/10.5539/jfr.v5n6p80). Before making any drastic changes, do some research on reputable sources, such as trusted, large-name websites, academic institutions, or health and fitness journals. If you have any doubts or questions, and before making any radical changes to your diet or exercise habits, have a chat with your doctor to make sure everything’s safe and comfortable.

2. Invest in Yourself

As we all know, one of the best motivators in life is money. Whether you’re saving it or making it, money is one of the staples of our society which meets our wants and needs. That’s why, if you’re having trouble reaching your fitness goals, in earnest, it’s wise to invest both metaphorically and literally in your success. Of course the amount of money you are able and willing to spend is based on your needs and budget restrictions, but there are plenty of solutions available for all budget ranges.

Many people find that purchasing a gym membership is the financial investment they need in order to turn their life around, but for the others the concept of working out in front of others and the hassle of getting to and from the gym act as barriers. If that’s you, you might want to look into getting a device you can use in the comfort of your own home, and which aren’t too difficult to start using, such as an Elliptical machine. Training on an elliptical is a great way to start towards regular exercise, as it’s easy to use and can be modified to many levels, increasing in difficulty as your skills improve. Yes, they do cost a fair amount of money: that’s the point! By investing in your self-improvement, you’re more likely to follow through on a long-term basis.

3. Focus on Your Overall Well-Being

While having clear and specific objectives in mind is a good thing(i.e. I want to lose twenty pounds in three months), it’s just as important to improve all parts of your well-being. Why is it you aren’t happy with your current self? Why do you not like ___? And why are you choosing now to fix it? For example, stress can cause multiple health conditions and be damaging to your overall health; until you reduce the amount of stress in your life, you might be able to get total relief of your symptoms. By reaching the roots of what is causing your issues, you move one step closer to solving them and to permanently achieving your health and fitness goals.

Ultimately, the onus falls upon you- how much time (and money) you are willing to invest, how much you want to improve, and what’s causing you to want to make a lasting difference. With the resources readily available to you in today’s internet age and a fair amount of determination, you will able to make long-lasting changes to your lifestyle and achieve your best self.

This is a guest post.

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