Help! How do I get started?
I'm out of shape, bad diet, and I need a kick to get going! Any advice on how to start? My mind is in stop mode and cannot get into first gear. I read all the time about protein, creatine, carbs, etc. How do you start? What do I take? Menus, fitness!! Aaaaarrrgghghgh! Help?
The last thing I would recommend is buying a bunch of supplements and trying to follow a time-consuming workout plan complete with boring menus. :-) You'll do it for a week or two and go back to what's comfortable. It's better to change one thing at a time. Once you've mastered a change then you change something else. Look at what's keeping you out of shape. Maybe it's junk food, lack of exercise, out of control portions, stress, sleeping-in, whatever. What's one thing you could you do to improve each thing? Make a list. Maybe drink more water, wake up an hour earlier, exercise for 30 minutes 3 times a week, use a grocery list, pack your lunch instead of eating out, whatever you can think of.
But here's the deal. You don't have to do it all once. That's why most people lose their minds when they decide to "diet and exercise". They try to go from a human sofa cushion lifestyle to a fitness model lifestyle on the first day. After a week of skinless chicken, protein shakes and exhaustion, they can't take it anymore and give up. People repeat that cycle endlessly. They're either perfect (and miserable) or not trying at all.
What you want to do is pick the easiest, dumbest thing off of your improvement list, like drinking more water, and that's ALL you work on. Once you get the water thing totally down, maybe you start to walk somewhere that you would normally drive, or wake up earlier, or do a total body workout once a week. You keep adding healthy habits one at a time until they become second nature (Alwyn Cosgrove calls it a "goal snowball") and before you know it, you're a fit person.
One of my favorite diet and exercise programs in terms of being sane, time-efficient and effective is Craig Ballantyne's Turbulence Training. (Disclosure: I'm a TT affiliate because I use it and love it and think it rocks.) Here's a free 4-Week Turbulence Training Body Weight Workout for you to try. Old school push-ups, pull-ups, dips and squats burn more calories and change the shape of your body faster than a traditional bodybuilding workout where you're sitting down isolating your biceps from seventeen different angles. :-) Plus you can do TT workouts anywhere with little or no equipment so you can't use lack of a gym as an excuse. All you need is your own body weight but if you want to get fancy you can add dumbbells, a bench, a pull-up bar, a stability ball and maybe a kettlebell or medicine ball.
Blog readers, what's your best method of getting started again when you've been in a fitness rut? Do you find it's better to dive in face first or baby step it?
My approach is to never completely quit or tell myself that I'm "off" my healthy ways. There is no "off." No matter how totally lame it may get I continue to do what I can, fast food, broken legs and hormones be damned.
Posted by skwigg
at 11:44 AM CDT
Updated: Sunday, 18 April 2010 11:50 AM CDT