January and the first part of February are the most crowded time
of the year in most gyms and fitness centers.
It’s also boom time from a business standpoint. New customers come
in by the carload and sign contracts for a year. Gym owners lick
their chops. They know that most of these new signups will only last
a month or two. But the gym gets to keep their money.
Why don’t these people last? Why can’t they keep their resolution
or commitment to exercise on a regular basis?
How ’bout you. Have you given up on yourself already?
Why didn’t you last longer this year? What’s the deal?
In my experience, one of the biggest problems is that most people
have a misconception about what they need to do to get fit, and
don’t know the best way to embark on a rational, effective program.
If you’re starting to work out for the first time in a long time —
or for the first time ever — you may think you will have to devote
hours and hours to get into decent shape. You may remember past
“failures” — that is, other times when you began a program and
gave it up after just a few weeks.
Well, you’re not alone. Many, if not most, people jump
enthusiastically into a new fitness regimen. They’re all fired up
to take “drastic action” to get their bodies into shape.
Unfortunately, an estimated 70 to 85 per cent lose that enthusiasm
within a matter of days or weeks.
Because they don’t start smart.
They typically begin with a high volume and intensity of activity,
such as long sessions of walking, running, lifting weights, exercise
classes, or whatever their chosen activity is.
This approach is guaranteed to lead to undue post-workout muscle
soreness, excessive tightness in the muscles, joint pain, and
possibly even injury.
Also, long exercise or training sessions involving high volumes
and/or intensities usually mean sacrificing quality for quantity.
This leads to a focus on fatigue as the determinant of a “good”
workout, versus assessing how you feel as a result of your
These long, fatigue-producing sessions lead to a rapid decrease
in motivation. Pretty soon, that initial enthusiasm wanes and
excuses for not being able to work out start cropping up.
If you have been inactive or relatively inactive for awhile, it’s
not smart to jump immediately into a traditional fitness routine.
You need to give your body a chance to adapt to any new level or
type of activity. So begin rationally and don’t try to do too much,
Plan on doing LESS than you think you can handle, in terms of
both volume and intensity. Then begin to build up consistently
from that point.
Here’s one more thought:
Plan on training for an amount of time you KNOW you can fit into
Working out for an hour or two per day may seem impossible. What
about 15 minutes?
Is that doable? Yes, I know, “15 Minutes Per Day” is almost a
cliche now. But it’s a good place to start. And it’s certainly
better than doing nothing.
When you start smart, you initiate your fitness program in a healthy
and sustaining manner. You experience benefits almost immediately,
which gives you the momentum and motivation to keep up with your
Remember, when you begin a fitness or health regimen, you have
become the initiator, the catalyst for creating a profound change
in your life. Acknowledge and take pride in small achievements.
A small step forward each day equals 365 steps forward by the
end of the year. Over time, bits of progress accumulate and result
in substantial, even incredible, improvement.
So take that first step today. Start Smart!
You Can Do It!
P.S. The “Fire Up Your Metabolism” Program gives you an excellent
way to start smart AND get results right out of the gate. You’ll
feel a difference after just a few days. To build and sustain
momentum that propels you directly to your fitness and health goals,
order your copy today at the Best Breathing Exercises web site.
Copyright, Karen Van Ness, 2011