Quite often I’m asked, “What does it take to get into great shape?” or “How did you get into such good shape?” The problem with these questions is that the answers are different for everybody. This person will ask two people who appear to be in great shape the same question and get two completely different answers, and here is where the confusion starts. Some people may be eating the right food, but lack the discipline in the gym. For the next person it may be exactly the opposite. The one thing, however, (or should I say three) I feel is absolutely necessary to being successful, is acknowledging three key steps.
Step one, the most important, is being mentally prepared. This isn’t just for fitness; it pertains to everything in life. Whether you’re in high school preparing for your ACT Test, or an adult heading into work for the day, without mental preparation we cannot truly be successful. Getting into great shape is tough. Don’t let anyone fool you! It’s hard work and requires a vast amount of dedication. You don’t have to put your life on hold to get in great shape, but you definitely have to make it part of your life. You have to truly WANT to be fit. Not just sort of “would enjoy being in shape,” but truly have to want it. This is where being prepared mentally comes into play. Being prepared to accept the hard days with the easy days is key. There will be hard days. However, knowing you’re achieving your goal will help push you through and we all know the greatest successes come from the tasks that are the most challenging!
Step two is managing your time. We all feel like there are not enough hours in the day already, so how the heck are we supposed to find an extra hour or so to get to the gym? There are a few options to consider here. Perhaps we can cut out our favorite TV show and head to the gym instead? Remember from step one, we TRULY want this! Another option would be to work out at home. While this may limit your options of which exercises you can do, you most definitely can get fit by working out at home! The key to step two is to break down your day and see what could be dropped from it, and replace that part with exercise. You don’t need to exercise for three hours a day, any exercise at all helps! Small changes now make for big results later!
The final step, but just as important, is a proper workout regimen. Understanding what each exercise does and how it affects your body is key to being successful. Also, knowing how to properly perform each exercise and operate each machine can greatly minimize the risk of injury. It’s hard to be fit when you’re stuck on the sidelines! If you are unfamiliar with equipment or would just like some help, simply ask the front desk at your gym. They will gladly steer you in the right direction!
Going to the gym can be very intimidating. There are all those buff guys walking around, handling ridiculously heavy weights, sometimes being loud, etc. I know this can make you feel uneasy and nervous when trying to navigate around the gym and use the equipment. Don’t be nervous! Most of these people are extremely nice and are there for the same reason you are, to better themselves.
As a summary, the three keys to being fit are: mental preparation, time management, and proper workout regimen. With these three steps in order, you are sure to be successful. See you in the gym!
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