Fitness is for everyone. I really believe and KNOW every single one of us can feel healthy, happy and fit. We all start somewhere, and I was in this position 5 years ago. Like all beginners, I didn’t know where to start or what I was doing. All I did know was that I was determined to make a change and do something special for me. Working out may initially seem predominantly physical, but the mental and emotional effects are amazing. From my own experiences, I know exactly where you are. I’ve put together 9 of my favourite tips that will help you make a start and more importantly, stick to your fitness journey!
1. Turn your excuses into actions
When I first started my fitness journey I didn’t know what I was doing, but I soon realised that was an excuse for not starting. Instead, for every excuse preventing me from going to the gym or working out at home, I thought long and hard about what I wanted to achieve and where to start. It might be a walk on the treadmill or doing a home workout (like the ones available on the Tone and Sculpt app), but turning that excuse into an exercise is all you need to do to make a positive start.
2. Set 3 achievable short-term goals
No one starts with running a marathon in their first workout. Instead, set yourself steady, weekly goals that will realistically fit into your routine. For example, it could be a couple of 20-minute home or gym workouts, or to attend a fitness class at your gym. Write these in your diary or store them on your phone – you’re more likely to stick to them if you write them down and know they will fit into your personal routine. Plus, you’ll feel so good every time you smash them!
3. Create healthy habits
I talk about this all the time! In order to be consistent with your goals, you need to create healthy habits. I call them ‘habits’ because when something becomes a habit you will do it day in, day out and it will become part of your routine. For example, one of the best healthy habits you could start with is drinking water on a daily basis. As you start to work out more, you’ll need to be consistent with your hydration for energy and to get the most out of your workouts. This is why I incorporated a water tracker on the Tone & Sculpt app. It helps you keep track of how much water you’re drinking and keeps you motivated to achieve your hydration goals on a daily basis!
4. Make a plan
Like with most things in life, without a plan or structure in place for your workout it can be hard to keep track, remember to work out and even to stay motivated. Without a plan, workouts can be time consuming and frustrating as you don’t know what to do and end up spending time thinking of what to do! A structured routine and workout plans are the key to consistency and motivation. Whether that be with a personal trainer, class or the Tone & Sculpt app, if you have a plan for what you’re doing, you’re more likely to stick with it and not feel lost. My app has different phases and helps you plan your week by structuring different workouts across the week. The app may work for you or having your own schedule of workouts may be your thing – either way, always plan for your workouts.
5. Meal prep, meal prep, meal prep
I can’t emphasise this enough. Just like with your workouts, planning your meals on a weekly basis is just as important as exercise, if not more. Set aside time at the weekend or on the day you do your food shop to plan out your meals (batch cooking is the most convenient and you can plan a few meals together) so that you can buy all of the ingredients. It is also the best way to stop you buying food you don’t really need or want. Plus, the biggest mistake beginners make (me included) is depriving themselves of food and thinking that’s the ‘healthy’ way. Trust me, it is not. There are thousands of delicious, nutritious meals and snack ideas with ingredients lists on the Tone & Sculpt app, which have been tried, tested and loved. We created healthy meal and snack ideas for the app as food and nutrition can be difficult when starting out. Guidance for a nutritious lifestyle can make it a little easier as you begin your health and fitness journey.
6. Start with a friend
Starting at the gym can be quite daunting, so I would definitely recommend booking a class or doing your first session with a friend. You can keep each other motivated, laugh along the way and have a good time too! You might have a friend who can recommend a class or workout or a friend you can partner up with to keep each other on track.
7. Ask for help
Never be embarrassed about asking for help. I get it, I was in the same position, but people are really helpful and always remember, they were exactly where you are once! I completely understand that even though gyms are supportive environments, they can still be quite scary when you’re starting out. It’s one of the main reasons I started the Tone & Sculpt app as I wanted there to be a solution and help for everyone. There are hundreds of workouts on the app and I’ve put together a video demonstration and written explanation for each exercise so that you never feel lost or alone when working out.
8. Follow the 80/20 rule
I love a cheeky piece of chocolate just as much as the next person! Please don’t feel that starting a fitness journey means stopping everything else! Fitness and health is all about balance and that means you shouldn’t deprive yourself! Of course, there will be days and maybe weeks where you don’t feel like working out and you don’t drink enough water because, let’s be honest, life happens! Let life happen, don’t feel guilty and know that it is ok to eat a few sweets or a slice of pizza! I always say you’re more likely to stay motivated and consistent if you remember the key words, balance and moderation.
9. Be accountable and do this for you
There is so much material out there now that there really is no excuse for not starting. Whether you have 5, 10 or 20 minutes a day, there is a workout for everyone. However, I find what stops people from starting and sticking to an effective fitness routine is accountability and always being aware of why you’re working out. If you set yourself realistic goals and tell a friend about them or write them down, always reflect and evaluate. If you manage them and find them too easy, change them up – it means you’re doing so well and improving day by day. However, if you’re skipping workouts, ask yourself why and what can you do to change that. One thing about working out is that it’s all for you, your mental and physical health and will only make you feel better. Whether you’re a beginner or not, everyone deserves to do something amazing for themselves and working out can really make a significant difference to your health and wellbeing.
Once you take that first step, there will be no going back and you’ll love every second of the journey! Of course there will be days where you’re not ‘feeling it’ or feel like giving up, but once you start, keep in mind that awesome feeling post workout – you’ll find yourself sticking to it and feeling better day by day! So let’s get started today on doing this for you!