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How to start a fitness journey that actually works.

Updated: May 6

Woman stretching before a run.

For many people that want to start their health and fitness journey, whether thats losing a few pounds, getting stronger, fitter or generally just healthier, the main barrier to entry we find is just not knowing where to start, or what to do. If you try searching the internet or social media you will find many ways to get started that almost always end back in the same place they started. So if this is you, then it might favour you to continue reading. The issue arises when people think they can jump on any old plan and expect the same results as the last person. The value in a personal approach means a professional can work with you 1-2-1 in being able to devise the perfect plan for you which involves; working around your time constraints, your likes and dislikes, your current level of skill within training or fitness, your work schedule, your family schedule, and any nutrition behaviours and habits that you keep personally finding tough.

Here are our top 3 unpopular tips to starting your journey ('unpopular' because they are not sexy, they just do the job)

  1. Start Slow - layer in your positive habits incrementally

Many people will be highly motivated at the start of any journey, hence why they may feel they can do 10 things at once. Start the gym, start running, cut food down, stop drinking, stop getting the weekend takeaway, reduce socialising and many more. There's a reason why this fails every time, because it's nothing like your normal life, which every time you fall back into as thats whats normal, familiar and comfortable for you. Firstly understanding your current lifestyle and habits is essential to knowing what to layer in next. We like to find your state of equilibrium, which can then be adjusted slightly to make the biggest return for minimal work and minimal disruption to your normal life. Knowing the adjustment to make is where the professional must advise.

2. Give yourself some form of constraint

Most people starting their journey will begin fine, but with no end date or time frame. This gives the individual an unknown sense of complacency. Telling themselves they have got time, or theres no rush. But you can only start a journey and continue with it for so long without great results before you get disheartened or tell yourself its not working. If this is a weight loss journey, going months on end with only little reward isn't very inspiring or motivating. Having a time frame, a constraint that marks the end, or at least a point in time attached to a tangible goal is important. It will create urgency. You can reverse engineer the steps better to getting there. You can see if you are on track or not and believe it or not, actually arrive at your goal. This may be a goal body weight, a certain performance goal like a 10k, or a health related goal like a certain blood pressure or resting heart rate.

3. It must be Personal

As mentioned in the intro, your journey to the intended goal must have your personal lifestyle restrictions and barriers involved. Using a separate framework that someone else had success with does not mean it will for you. You may be asked to do something someone else was asked to do, but you have a full-time job and 2 kids to look after when you get home. Again the high motivation for a week or so may see you through these tough asks, but past that, you start to drop off, fail tasks and don't see any success. The personal approach might include a way of structuring food relative to you; that might be tracking, it might be a food diary, or it might even be something like time restricted eating or simply a substitutional approach. If this is training/exercising, realistically you may only be able to get tot he gym or exercise 2-3 times a week, so making sure those sessions give you the greatest return for your efforts, will have to be planned precisely by a professional that knows your constraints but also abilities and favourite methods.

Try these 3 things if you are looking to start your journey, and let us know how you get on. If you wish for further advice, for FREE just get in touch, we are more than happy to help.

Take a look at our upcoming events:

WOMENS DAY with Guest Speaker Dr. Anne Henderson, a menopause expert.


All the best, from the THRIVE team.

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