One of the biggest commitments to make is a commitment to healthy living. It’s time to ditch the junk food and carve out a time each day for heading to the gym and getting some exercise in, 6 Vital Things to Remember When Starting a Fitness Routine.

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Getting back into a routine or starting a routine from scratch is no easy thing. Following all the fitness influencers on Instagram is bound to do more harm than good because they make it look so incredibly easy.

It’s never that easy.

Below, we’ve got some things to keep in mind when you’re getting started.

Results Take Weeks or Months

Turn on the TV or browse the web and you’re bound to see or hear plenty of ads talking about how you can get six-pack abs in just 10 days. Follow X Program and see results in just 45 seconds!

When you start working out or changing your diet, you might notice some little changes. You may notice that you sleep better or your back doesn’t hurt as much.

But if your goals are based on physical things like losing weight or more defined arms, it’s going to be a while before you start to see real results. Don’t be frustrated by the lack of progress at the beginning. Seeing those results takes consistency.

Speaking of consistency…

Consistency is Key

If you show up to the gym every day and wing it, chances are you’re never going to see any significant results. Start by planning out your workout calendar and make sure you’re following a plan.

That plan can be something simple, like weight lifting on Monday, Wednesday and Friday and cardio on Tuesday and Thursday.

Whatever your plan is, you need to make sure to stick to it.

Factor in Rest Days

Oftentimes, people make a big mistake of trying to go from 0-100 when starting out. You haven’t worked out or it’s been a while since you’ve been running, so you need to run every day in order to get back in shape.

That couldn’t be further from the truth.

Dirk Nowitzki, the greatest European basketball player ever who enjoyed a 21-year career with the Dallas Mavericks, used to take an entire month off in the summer. No running, no basketball, nothing. Just rest and recuperation.

Your body needs time to rest and relax, so make sure you’re getting those rest days in order to recover properly.

Don’t Go All Out

Similar to the idea of rest days, it’s important to know that starting out a fitness routine means there are going to be plenty of ups and downs along the way.

Even though your goal may be to run a marathon this year, you’re not going to help yourself by starting out your training by running five miles on the first day.

Start out small and work your way up. There’s no shame in starting out with baby steps, even the most in-shape people had to start out at zero once upon a time.

It’s a Big Mental Game

Many gyms have motivational posters that line the walls. While some of them are a bit tongue-in-cheek, many of them do make a point.

One of the most popular is “your biggest competition is yourself”. While working towards a goal, the hardest thing is to overcome the mental side. No one else is stopping you from your goal and only you can stop yourself.

Of course, there will be plenty of physical pains along the way but in order to get to where you want to be it’s important to work through the mental aspect as well.

The Kitchen is Key

Ask any trainer or dietician, and they’re going to tell you that the gym and working out is 10-20% of getting healthy and the kitchen takes up the rest.

What you eat is vital, especially before and after a workout. Your body will need fuel to burn while also needing fuel to help replenish you after you’re finished.

In addition, meal planning is important as it will help you stick to healthy recipes and foods while avoiding the temptation of buying unhealthy items. Not paying attention to your diet is likely to set you back, no matter how much you work out on a regular basis.

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