Fitness can be a scary thing to get into. If you google helpful fitness tips, you get tons of contradicting information and tips on whatever fad diet is the hottest. If you check Tumblr or Instagram, there’s so much potential to get trapped in ‘diet culture’ and all that ‘fitspo’ crap.
I know several people that fell down that rabbit hole, including myself. Luckily, I eventually stumbled upon my coach and information about sustainable lifestyle changes that don’t cut out treats or food groups (I love carbs). There also aren’t any “magic pills” (tried those), special wraps, or get slim quick schemes that actually work long term without seriously hurting you.
I put together 21 fitness tips that I wish I had known when I was starting my health and fitness journey. Some seem obvious and others are ones that I learned during the first few months of my journey.
I hope these help you as you move forward on your health and fitness journey!
- Track your workouts :: It’s so important to keep note of what weight your using or what time you have to take your first break during cardio. You might not always see progress on the scale or in the mirror, so it’s important to have another way to track your progress and see results.
- Document your journey :: Like tracking, taking photos is a stellar way to keep track of your progress. Sometimes the scale doesn’t move for numerous reasons, but you might see a difference in your body composition, face shape, or even how your clothes fit. I suggest taking pictures every Sunday or every other Sunday and compare them when you feel like you’ve stalled. It also helps to have fun reminders of things you’ve enjoyed along the way.
- Make a fun playlist :: You need fun music that to listen to before a workout to pump you up, entertaining music during the workout to keep you energized, and some good go-to songs when you’re completely wiped and cooling down.
- Find a workout buddy :: You might skip out on yourself, but it is a lot harder to call your friend and tell them that you’re bailing on them last minute. If you do home workouts, try putting together a Zoom group. If you go to a gym, meet up with a friend and go for tea or coffee after.
- Form first :: Always, always, always work on form before you start lifting heavy, trying a more complicated version of a move, or adding resistance bands to your workout. It will help keep you from injuring yourself and once you get the form down, you’re muscles will get more out of the move since it’s down correctly.
- Rest days :: Guys, our bodies need rest in order to properly heal and recover from workouts and to prevent future injuries. I know we see tons of people on the ‘Gram doing two-a-day workouts and working out seven days a week, but that isn’t sustainable and it doesn’t equal a healthy lifestyle.
- Recover properly :: Foam roll, stretch, and get massages to keep your muscles loose and limber. You’ll recover quicker and be less sore in the long run.
- Warm up & cool down :: It will help prevent injuries and prepare you for your workouts.
- Try HIIT :: High Intensity Interval Training, or HIIT, basically gets you more calorie burning bang for your cardio buck. You can do shorter higher intensity workouts and experience the same amount of burn as a longer workout.
- Breathing exercises :: Having more control of your breathing can help you preform better every day during your workouts and will deliver more oxygen to your body. There are so many apps that lead you through various breathing exercises to prepare you for many different scenarios.
- Hydrate :: I am all about hydration, guys. Especially when it comes to workout. Hydrate with water before, during, and after your workout to preform and recover properly. You honestly don’t need the typical sugary sports drinks (looking at you, Gatorade) unless you are doing a high intensity workout for around an hour or more. However, there are a few less sugary electrolyte options out there, like Hydrate.
- Skip cotton undies :: Especially when working out or when you know you’re going to be getting hot and sweaty. Cotton undies trap all that icky sweat and nasty stuff all up in and around your vagina. So gross and definitely not healthy. Opt for moisture wicking undies made specially for sports and fitness.
- Stock up :: Stock up on sports bras, socks, shorts, or undies you love when you find some on sale! If you don’t do laundry all the time and you do some activity everyday, you run out fast.
- Shop TJ Maxx, Forever 21, and sport store sales for affordable and cute workout wear.
- Spot reduction isn’t real! Don’t believe the hype or the people trying to sell you wraps or special workouts.
- Skip fad diets :: You don’t need to cut out entire food groups – and you shouldn’t. You don’t need to only eat apples for three days. Just, no.
- Sneaky steps :: Park further away from the entrances, take the stairs, walk the long way around . . . Sneaky, subtle things like that can add up over time and while they may not drop big pounds, they’ll help improve your overall health.
- Plan! Plan your workouts. I do mine a month at a time and sort of look forward to see if they meet my goals, but that might be too much for you to start with. Maybe sit down each Saturday or Sunday and plan what days you’ll do what. If you know ahead of time, it’s harder to skip.
- Motivation :: It’s hard to figure out what motivates you sometimes. But once you do, remind yourself of that every day. Don’t know what motivates you? This will help you figure it out!
- Be prepared :: Know your goals, know your motivation, and know your workouts. Set out your workout clothes the night before, or even sleep in them if you have a early morning workout.
- Make Healthy swaps! Veggie spirals, spaghetti squash, or chickpea pasta instead of the traditional pasta, lettuce wraps instead of burgers, cauliflower crust for your pizza, whole grain wheat instead of white – these little swaps add up.
I hope these tips help you and I hope you’ll share some of your fav tips below!