Monday, August 17, 2015

Choosing Your Path - Part One

(This is a three-part series on how to get started with an exercise program.  Today in Part One, we'll look at getting started in the right direction from the beginning).

When embarking on the road to fitness, you're faced with many, many different possibilities - some good, some... well, not so good.  It can be difficult to find the right path when media and peers are throwing you so many different options - so what is the best way to go about it when the sheer number of choices can be so incredibly overwhelming?

I find that the best approach is similar to when I'm trying to clean a very messy room - pick one area, deal with it, then move onto the next, whereas looking at the entire room at once can be completely demotivating.  Thus, using that (somewhat tenuous) metaphor, try the following and with luck you'll start the process confident in the direction you've chosen...

Determine Your Overall Goal
Don't look at specific exercises (yet).  Before you even start, determine the primary thing you want to achieve.  Is it simply to live a healthier lifestyle?  To lose bodyfat?  To run a 10km race in a certain amount of time, or to finally complete a chin up?

Any and all of the above have merit - don't let anyone tell you otherwise.  But knowing where you're going is a key part of taking the first step.

Understand What Is Required to Reach Your Goal
This is an important part of getting in the right mindset.  For example - losing bodyfat will require an adjustment to your diet, and likely involve a conscious awareness of what you're eating.  Alternatively, running a faster 10km race will involve, not surprisingly - a lot or running.

Decide If Requirements of the Goal Align with What You're Willing to Do
Bottom line is you can't change lead to gold.  So if your goal doesn't match what you're willing (or able) to do, then you need to either adjust the goal, or change your mindset.  Choosing a destination when you're unwilling or incapable of doing the work to get there can only lead to disappointment and frustration.

Keep in mind, goals can change - the route is rarely, if ever, a linear path.  But there is a significant difference between adjusting to obstacles along the way and going down the entirely wrong path in the first place.

Next: Choosing the Right Coach


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