Most of us have the tools to start our health and fitness journey. But where do we begin?
We often complicate things more than we should, which then paralyzes us from starting them at all. From my experience in the health and fitness world, it is easy to get bogged down by how much information is out there: what’s right, what’s wrong and how to distinguish between the two. It is important to realize everyone will have a different take on what health and fitness means to them, and that is OK!
Do your research, read reviews and talk with fitness professionals who can guide you in the right direction. But most importantly, start somewhere. If what you are trying does not work, learn from it and move on.
This year, you can take your life into your own hands and begin by starting somewhere because that’s better than not starting at all. Here are some practical ways to help you find what you are looking for:
- Talk with a fitness professional. This can be a personal trainer, nutritionist, physical therapist, health coach, etc. Find someone you trust and talk with them about your S.M.A.R.T. (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time-Based) goals and what you are interested in doing. A fitness professional will be able to guide you in the right direction by recommending programs that produce results. They will help you look beyond a computer screen to help you think realistically about what will work for you. In addition, they will not only know your limits but their own as well.
- Consult with your doctor. If you have limitations that restrict your movement, such as arthritis, diabetes or other diseases or disabilities, your doctor can help guide you carefully and recommend specific programs that will help you overcome and recover both mentally and physically.
- Do your research. Use the beautiful gift of the Internet to research what could work for you. Search your area for YMCAs, gyms, programs, apps and professionals to help you along the way. Reviews and referrals go a long way.
- Try out different programs. Once you have done your research, try different programs to see what works for you. Are you a social butterfly who works better in groups? Then group exercise or small group training may be what you are looking for. Do you have limited time and availability? There are thousands of programs and workout applications that lead you step by step. Do you need more accountability, specific instruction and someone to drive you? Working with a personal trainer, nutritionist or dietitian might be the most productive option.
Fitness is a journey. There are a million different ways to do it and a million different ways to get there. You just have to find what works for you and enjoy the ride. Do not be afraid to learn and evolve and be the best version of yourself you were created to be!
You’ve got this.
Hannah Franklin is the Wellness Director at the Plant City Family YMCA.