4 Common Mistakes People Make Starting Their Fitness Journey
Every now and then, a handful of people register in a gym hoping to start their fitness journey and arrive at their body of desire.
They end up missing quite a number of workout days and eventually quit after the first month. Research has it that if ten people join the gym today, there is a large probability that only three would remain by the end of the fourth month.
In many cases, you have quit the gym before, wallowed for a few months, and now made a mental note to retrace your steps and return to the gym.
Here are some of the mistakes you are making:
No clear goals
Believe it or not, working out has more to do with the mind than the body. It actually encompasses all works of life. If you are defeated in your mind, you would most likely be defeated in whatever task you wish to accomplish. This is also true for working out. Setting a clear goal before working outcomes down to answering the question, “Why?”
– Why do I want this body?
– Weight loss or weight gain? Bulk up or lean muscle gain?
Kate Henshaw made the news last month on her 50th birthday when she posted her pictures which had a lot of people raving about how they want to be similar when they get to that age. There’s nothing wrong with that but if that is the only reason you get into the gym without also answering the how and what, you will end up with “I cannot kill myself”.
No clear schedule
– How long will it take to achieve this body?
According to Philippa Lally, a health psychology researcher, it takes between 18 and 254 days with an average of 66 days to form a habit. This means you have to be going to the gym or doing whatever fitness program you are on for an average of 66 days before your body can get used to the idea that this is what we do now.
Consistency is really hard to build and even harder when the plan to follow is complicated or you are just winging it. Answering the “How?” can be broken down to a few questions:
– How many days in a week can I workout?
– How many minutes to hours do I have to spare each day?
Contrary to vox populi, you don’t have to workout everyday and you don’t need to spend 60 minutes to 2 hours a day to be adequate. Most fitness enthusiasts work out for an average of four days per week because the muscles also need time to rest and recover. Also, there are high intensive programs known as HIIT (High intensity interval training) that generally take about 20-30mins so depending on the time you have daily, you can fix whatever program you want.
Once a schedule is fixed and you stick to it, it helps to build consistency which is the major bulk of any fitness program. When you fail to keep to it, you are breaking your personal promise to yourself ergo your self love is not a priority.
No clear plans or overcomplicating the plans
– What do I have to do to get this body?
When there is a clear goal in sight and a schedule has been set, it all comes down to doing the right workouts. This is one of the scenarios where “just do it” doesn’t apply. One does not simply just start working out. Some over-exert themselves while trying to keep up with others and cannot continue the next day.
According to most fitness moguls, depending on the goals, it is necessary to work out different body parts on different days. No one does the whole body daily. It is not sustainable. Cardio is mostly on Saturdays because it is the most exerting and it is also a day when work is next to none and adequate rest can be taken.
Also, motivation is necessary to ensure continuity and good time management. Ways to be motivated include:
– Having a workout playlist
– Accountability partners/fitness groups
– Tracking your progress
Ideally, dieting should be part of what you have to do to get the body, but it is better discussed in isolation. It takes an average of 5 paces per km for a 6km run which takes about 40 minutes to burn about 500 calories. That is equivalent to one serving of rice and a quarter chicken.
Depending on either the goal is to lose, gain or maintain weight, diet is the second most important thing to consider before starting a fitness journey. For weight loss, calorie deficit is employed; you have to eat less than your required amount daily while working out effectively.
For weight gain, eat more calories than your body burns daily while also accounting for calories lost during workouts. Not seeing enough changes over a period of time during workouts may be a result of the poor planning of diet.
So before you start that fitness journey or register in a gym, take these mistakes into account, learn from them, and plan not to make them. Remember that fitness is not a destination, it is a journey. Keep failing but don’t stop.