When first looking to get fit it can be daunting. It’s scary! You probably have a million and one questions that need answering. That’s why I’m writing the beginners guide to fitness.
I made so many mistakes when first starting out it was unbelievable.
I don’t want you to do the same.
It was a lot harder when I first decided to get fit. It was in the good old days of no internet.
Oh, I used to love those days :-).
Today’s world is so much different, we now have too much information.
At the touch of a button we can virtually find the answer to any question we may have.
Google has changed our lives. In the past you may have searched “how to lose weight” in google. At the time of writing this there are currently millions of answers to this question.
All answers will likely be different. Everybody will have a different opinion.
With all this info at our disposal we can become paralysed. After scrolling through pages upon pages of possible solutions, what do we usually do?
We research things so much that we never actually end up doing something with the information we have just found.
That’s why I wanted to create a no-nonsense simple guide to set you on your way.
These are the tips that I recommend to anybody looking to improve their health and fitness.
The Beginners Guide To Fitness
1. Start Small
One of the most popular new years resolutions is to lose weight. The end of the year sparks a new beginning for people. These new beginnings revolve around eating healthy, joining a gym and generally being more active.
Maybe you have set one of these resolutions yourself in the past?
With all the motivation of the new year, it is estimated that 80% of resolutions made actually fail before the end of february.
Why is this?
It’s because they try to do too much, too soon.
This doesn’t just apply to the new year, this applies year round.
If you jump in with two feet straight away you will likely become demotivated, exhausted or injured (maybe even all three).
The longer it takes to get the results you want, the longer you will keep them. This is because you will be learning how to form a new lifestyle and also how to sustain it.
Want a simple but effective tip? Change things one by one.
If you can learn to master one positive change at a time then you will be highly successful in the future.
Here are a few of my favourite positive changes to make:
- Walk more – start at 1000-5000 steps per day and aim for 10,000 per day
- Drink more fresh water– try swapping just one cup of tea or coffee for a glass of water
- Eat more protein – enjoy fresh lean sources such as chicken, turkey, fish, beef etc
- Form a decent sleep routine – aim for 7-9 hours per night if possible
- Reduce stress – stress can play a big part in improving health
You may not think the above points can make a big difference but they do!
The smallest changes will bring the biggest results.
2. Do what you enjoy
This is another tip that is so important.
I cannot stress enough how important this is. If you don’t enjoy what you do then you will not stick to it very long and you will definitely not give it 100% effort.
Think back to when you was in school.
It’s starting to feel like such a long time ago for me 🙂 .
In school, there was always a couple of subjects that you didn’t like. Let’s be brutally honest, you probably hated them. The end of the lesson couldn’t come fast enough.
Did you try your hardest in these classes?
Do you know why?
Because you didn’t enjoy them and was never actually interested in the things that you were learning.
The same applies to health and fitness.
If you embark on a training program that you don’t enjoy then you aren’t going to stick to this for very long. If you don’t regularly exercise then you may not get the results you are looking for. As I have said many times before – consistently is key!
The same applies to your nutritional habits.
I cringe at so many meal plans that I see being handed out to people online. These plans tell people, what foods to eat, how much to eat and when to eat.
This just isn’t real life.
What happens if you don’t like certain foods on the plan?
You probably aren’t going to eat the foods that you don’t like and will not follow the plan properly. This is why I tell everybody to educate themselves and find the best habits that work for their lifestyle.
This point even applies to your career.
If you don’t enjoy your job, then you are not going to give it 100%. If this is the case then I recommend to get out and find something that you love doing.
So in summary do what you enjoy. This may be walking the dog, running, swimming etc.
3. Master your bodyweight
You can get an effective, fat burning workout with only your bodyweight. This means that you can start to improve your fitness from the comfort of your own home.
I have been guilty of this in the past.
I wanted to get into the gym and throw around the biggest weights possible. I wanted to look cool and strong.
The truth is, I probably looked like a dick!
I used to perform chest exercises like a bench press without being able to perfect a push up with just my bodyweight.
I used to perform back exercises like a lat pulldown before being able to properly perform a pull up with just my bodyweight.
I used to jump on ab machines without being able to perform a plank.
I now spend more time perfecting bodyweight exercises before adding excess weights. There are numerous benefits of performing bodyweight exercises.
If you perform a bench press, you are simply moving a bar using your chest, shoulders and arms.
The bodyweight alternative to bench press is the push up.
When you perform a push up, there is a lot more going on instead of just moving a bar.
Your core muscles will be forced to work a whole lot harder to keep your body rigid and keep it stop it from falling over.
Also, if your body works harder during an exercise then you will burn more calories.
This will be beneficial especially when trying to lose body fat.
Some of my favourite bodyweight moves are:
That is just a very short list.
If you are interested in seeing some of the bodyweight exercises that I regularly perform, be sure to follow me on Instagram where I provide short 1 minute exercise tutorials.
4. Don’t Class Foods As Good & Bad
This point happens too much for my liking.
The terms “healthy food” and “clean eating” are becoming common in today’s society. The general opinion is that if you eat these type of foods you will lose weight and become healthy.
But it’s not that simple.
If it was, the majority of the worlds population would not be classed as obese.
What people fail to realise is that no matter how healthy you think something is, if you eat too much of it then you will gain weight.
So you can eat chicken, broccoli and rice and still end up gaining weight.
Instead of putting foods into categories, I think that we should enjoy all foods in moderation. All you need to do is be mindful of your current situation and your health and fitness goals.
This way you can enjoy foods like a pizza every so often without it affecting your fitness too much.
Below is a graphic that I made for my social media accounts.
It shows a healthy snack that is stocked by a well known health store in the UK. It also shows a 1 litre tub of vanilla ice cream.
The objective of the post isn’t to swap the healthy snack for ice cream.
The objective was to compare a so called healthy snack towards a food that is normally classed as unhealthy.
The ice cream actually contained less calories but would normally be classed as the unhealthier food of the two.
What are your thoughts on this?
5. Be Patient & Consistent
I cannot stress this point enough. It’s so important.
It’s that important that I’m going to say it again:
Be Patient & Consistent.
This is were the majority of people go wrong. I don’t have any statistics to give you, but in my opinion a good 80% of people will fail because they don’t follow these points.
Nothing happens overnight.
The top athletes in the world didn’t just wake up one day at the top of their game. It has taken them years and years to build up the skills and attitude needed to succeed at what they do.
All you see is the glory.
What you don’t see is the sacrifice. What you don’t see is them training consistently day after day. What you don’t see is them getting up earlier than everybody else to get ahead of the competition.
The same goes for fitness.
If you are looking to sustain a healthy body long term, then you need to be consistent.
What will bring you results is the small daily habits that you perform day after day, week after week, month after month, year after year.
People don’t think the small results will bring you good results.
The reason they don’t believe the small results will work is because they aren’t sexy.
They aren’t sellable by the big fitness companies out there.
This is also why you must be patient. It takes time to get the body that you want.
It doesn’t happen in 6 weeks.
Take your time and enjoy the process. If you can enjoy getting fit and healthy, then you will likely keep the results for a long time.
6. Find A Support Buddy
Losing weight and improving health can be one of the hardest things that you ever do.
If it was easy then everybody would do it.
This is why it helps if you can find like minded people that will support you along your journey.
Somebody to call upon when times get tough. Somebody who will motivate you to carry on when you think you can’t.
This can just be a simple text to see how you are doing.
Ideally your support buddy should be a close family member or friend. This way you know they will have your best interests at heart.
This is the reason that weight loss groups such as slimming world and weight watchers work so well.
They bring a group of like minded people together to support each other on the way to reaching their goals.
This support system is also the main reason people hire personal trainers. They may think that they are paying them for the expert knowledge.
Are they really?
Think about it. When can find the answer to any of life’s problem on google.
We are at a moment in time that we have too much information. We become paralysed and actually do nothing with it.
What a personal trainer will do is hold you accountable to follow a plan so that you can reach your goals.
Be sure to find a support buddy if possible. You will not regret it.
7. Move More
This sounds really simple, but is so effective.
With this tip, i’m not talking about going to the gym. I’m talking about increasing your activity level of your day-to-day life.
Best way to do this?
…. Walk more!
Increasing the amount of steps you walk each day can help you burn a few hundred extra calories without adding an exercise schedule to your already busy lifestyle.
The target …. 10,000 steps per day!
This may sounds like an impossible target at first but those steps quickly mount up.
The key to mastering this amount of steps takes us back to the very first step in this guide.
If you don’t currently walk much, aim for 1,000 steps, then 2,000, then 3,000 then … you get the idea.
Walking 10,000 steps per day will burn around 400 calories for the average adult.
That’s before setting foot in a gym.
8. Control Your Portions
Portion control is one the main reasons why people struggle to lose weight.
The reality is, we are eating too much food.
If we wasn’t, then we wouldn’t be in the midst of an obesity crisis that the world is currently facing.
If you don’t know how much you are eating then you may struggle to keep off the weight long term.
A good way to monitor your food intake is to track how many calories you are eating each day.
If you are a beginner then you may not want to go down this route straight away.
If you want an easy way to control your portions without counting calories then you are in luck. I have created a free portion guide that will learn you a method of portion control by using only your hand.
This method will enable to plan meals for yourself while still controlling your portions to fit your needs.
9. Don’t Neglect Mobility
This is something that I did for a long time. I just wanted to get into the gym, lift some weights and go home.
You may also do the same?
When you start neglecting your mobility you will start to encounter problems with your muscles, joints and tendons in the future.
What is mobility?
My definition of mobility is: the ability to move freely and effectively with no pain.
We should be able to perform all of our daily tasks such as working, exercising, playing with the kids etc without being in pain.
You may think exercise can help relieve this pain but sometimes it can have the opposite effect.
Certain exercises and movements we perform do not take our muscles and tendons through a full range of motion.
This can cause certain muscles to get tight and start to cause us pain.
Take back pain for instance. The majority of lower back pain is not caused by a problem with the back. Usually it is tightness in the surrounded muscles of the hips.
When we sit for long periods of time the hip muscles will become tight and start to pull on the lower back for support.
Putting a mobility program in place to loosen problem areas can fix your pain without having to see a specialist.
If you are interested in improving mobility then you can download my free 7 day mobility program that you can do from home.
All you will need is your body and a sturdy, raised platform such as a couch, box or chair.
10. Don’t be afraid to fail
Everybody fails at something at some point in their lives. It cannot be helped. You cannot escape it.
Failing is what makes us evolve as people.
I can guarantee that you will make countless mistakes regarding health and fitness. The reason for this is that fitness is not a one-size-fits-all activity.
Everybody is different.
If you looked at 100 people right now, each one would be different. Well, unless they were twins 🙂 .
The outside of the body is no different to the inside of the body. They are all different.
We each have different likes and dislikes. We all have a different metabolism. We all have different genes. We all have different lifestyles.
This is why you must find what works for you.
Try different things.
If you see a workout that you fancy doing, then try it. If you don’t like it then simply look for something else that you think you will enjoy.
Once you find what works for you then it will be a whole lot easier to sustain in the long term. You will also be a lot happier doing something that you enjoy.
It took Thomas Edison 10,000 attempts to invent the lightbulb. He summed things up perfectly with the following quote:
The beginners guide to fitness
I hope you have enjoyed reading this in depth guide for getting started on your health and fitness journey.
Hopefully I haven’t complicated things.
I have tried to keep things as simple as possible.
If you take action on the 10 points that I have mentioned then you will be well on your way to a lean and healthy body. Also a healthy body that you will be able to maintain while still juggling a hectic family life.
In case you missed these above, be sure to download the following guides to help you on your journey.
The best thing about these guides – They’re free!
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If you enjoyed reading this in-depth beginners guide to fitness please leave me a comment. I would love to hear some feedback and maybe get some ideas for future articles.