Fitness Over 40

Getting Started: 5 Tips for Taking the First Step

Posted by LeeAnn Langdon on Thu, May 12, 2011 @ 04:12 PM

If you've found your way here, you're probably thinking about starting a program of regular exercise and healthier eating. And if you're like most people, getting started for the first time or getting started again after a long layoff can be pretty intimidating. Well, writing the first of many blog posts is like that for me. I have so much to say, but where do I start?

As I thought about how to begin the process of connecting with you, I realized that starting a blog and starting a fitness program have a lot in common. Here are some of the tips I'm using to get started. Maybe some of them will help you, too.

Just one step gets you going.

    Taking the First StepYou've heard the old saying, “a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” The idea is that a big goal is easier if you break it into smaller, more manageable pieces. I expect to write thousands of blog posts over the next few years, but each one is a single step—and the first one is done! Your workouts will be just the same. Getting fit is a lifetime journey; it starts today and lasts the rest of your life. It's a long journey, but every day is a chance to take one more step. The first one gives you that momentum that can keep you going.


    Know why you're starting.

      This is huge. So many people fail in their fitness plans because they don't have a meaningful, compelling reason for changing their habits. I'm starting this blog because I believe so strongly that everyone can live better, feel better and age more vibrantly and independently with a good fitness foundation. I watched my grandmother spend the last 10 years of her life in a nursing home, completely dependent on the kindness of strangers. I want my golden years—and yours—to be stronger, fitter and more independent. What really motivates you to get fit?

      Start with the end in mind.

        If you don't know where you're going, how will you ever get there? Sure, it's pleasant to just wander aimlessly, but that's not the way to reach your destination. Have a goal—a finish line if you will—and build a plan to get there, one step at a time. If you know where the finish line is, you can more accurately gauge your pace and work efficiently.

        Give yourself permission to get lost.

          Even the best intentions and plans can get blown off course by unexpected events. Maybe your schedule changes when you get a new job, or the strain of caring for an ill family member takes its toll on you. Whatever blows you off course, give yourself permission to start again, no matter how much time you've lost. Remember tip #2? If your reason is compelling, it's easy to get back on track. And it's a lot easier to start if you acknowledge from the start that you won't be perfect.

          Don't forget to enjoy the journey.

            Of course you want to reach your destination and achieve your goal, but especially when it comes to fitness, you'll never get there if you don't have fun along the way. So before you even begin your journey, commit to making your workouts fun, don't be afraid to get a little goofy, and enjoy the ride!

            That's my plan for getting started. What helps you get going when you've got a big project ahead of you?


            Photo credit: Rance Costa.
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