Everyone starts their health journey someplace, and as embarrassing as this is, I started mine walking up and down the stairs in my house until if felt like my legs were going to fall off. It wasn’t graceful and pretty but it got me started. Fortunately for most people they have a lot more resources at their disposal, but where should you start?
Go see a medical health professional. Whether it is your family doctor you have known your whole life or doctor at the local walk-in clinic. Go and see a doctor get their opinion on what you should be doing to get healthier. I am not a medical health professional and I never will be, so I can’t tell you what you need specifically but they can!
Get some measurements taken. If possible when you are at the doctor get your bloodwork done. This is the single best health indicator that we have. Measure your height and weight and if you have the resources get an accurate body fat measurement. Then pull out that measuring tape and measure your chest, waist, hip, shoulders, thighs, calves, forearms and biceps, this will just help you know where you are gaining and losing. Also measure your ankle and wrist these measurements won’t change much but may come in useful.
Start a fitness/nutrition log and keep it simple to start you don’t need an entire journal of the day just an overview. When you wake up and when you go to bed, what you ate and when, what exercise you did and for how long, how you are feeling throughout the day, and anything else that your doctor or even you deem important.
Make breakfast your starting point for Nutrition. Breakfast is undoubtedly the most important meal of the day. Drop the bagels, the toasted breakfast pastries and fruit juices. Instead have some whole wheat grains, oatmeal, eggs, fresh fruit and tea. Also don’t be afraid to eat in the morning, your body hasn’t been fed since the night before, your body needs food! A big, healthy breakfast will keep your fuller throughout the day, and give you much more energy to get your day started.
Every little bit counts when it comes to fitness. Start by making small changes, take the stairs at work, park as far away from the mall as possible, use those legs that you were given. It doesn’t seem like much but walking instead of sitting for as little as half an hour per day can burn up to 100 extra calories, that doesn’t seem like much but by doing that every day for a year that is 36500 extra calories burned which would mean a full 10 pounds of extra weight lost.
Try things out and learn. Don’t just go into the gym and use the first piece of equipment you see just because the guy with the body of a Greek god was using it. Ask the personal trainers at the facility how to use new equipment properly, start off with a small amount of weight and work your way up. Try every sport possible, just because you like to watch football doesn’t mean you will enjoy playing it and be good at it, for all you know you could have a natural talent for badminton. The key to fitness is finding something that you enjoy because it will keep you active and it won’t feel like a chore and always be learning and trying new things.
What about what you shouldn’t do.
Do not buy some random food to eat at every meal just because it’s healthy. Quinoa is a perfect example, it’s tough to pronounce, has plenty of health benefits, but have you ever tried to eat it? Not my cup of tea and I honestly don’t know a lot of people that actually like to eat it. If you get the chance sample everything first or buy the smallest possible amount and try it out.
Do not buy an unlimited yearly pass to the brand new yoga center just because you save $5 per month over the entire year. Try it out first and pay per class to begin. Maybe you like it but only once a month for a little variety, or you might love it, just remember the chance to upgrade is always there, but if you don’t use it then the money is essentially wasted.
Do not spend an arm and a leg at the local supplement store. I have seen it far too many times where a person walks into buy some protein powder and walks out with half of the store and you’ve spent so much that the sales rep can send his kids to an Ivy League College. Research, learn and try out everything! Do you really need that pre-workout drink or can you just eat a carbohydrate heavy meal an hour before hitting the gym. When starting to work out you don’t need anything at a supplement store, but once you know the products and the needs of your body better then you can go back and buy a couple products.