A Beginner’s Guide to Getting Fit this Semester

I know, trying to get fit and eat healthy can seem like this big change, and you may not know where to start. Here’s 5 steps you can take to make sure you stick with this rewarding change, and I promise your future self will thank you.

1. Set Goals

Do you want to lose weight? Do you want to gain muscle? Improve your diet? Whichever seems to be your goal, make sure it is specific, you write it down and place it somewhere where it’s in easy view. Make it public if that helps, as it can serve as another incentive for you to keep up with it. When you know why you are doing what you’re doing, it will give you that motivation to continue the hard work you’ve put in toward your fitness goals.

2. Start Small

A major reason why people tend to fall off their fitness resolutions is that they try to make substantial changes all at one time. Too much change at one time could cause one to revert back to their old ways since it seems too hard or too big of an obstacle. Instead try to implement little changes into your lifestyle one at a time. Start with small things like taking the stairs instead of the elevator or cutting out soda from your diet. Similarly, start working out 1-2 times a week for at least 30 minutes and, as that becomes a more natural routine, slowly increase the amount of times you workout. Eventually, instead of it seeming like a huge burden, it will become one of your everyday activities.

3. Track your progress

It’s hard to see progress when you look at yourself every single day. Take pictures at consistent angles and lighting, so when you compare, they’re as accurate as possible. It also serves as a great motivator when you look back after 2-3 months and you are visibly closer to your goal.

4. Track your Macros

Macronutrients (Macros) are the main building blocks of your nutrition. They include protein, carbohydrates, and fats. What people may not realize is that about 80% of your fitness results will come from your diet. As you begin working out more, your body needs more calories to provide for all that energy you are exerting. To build muscle and tone, there is a certain number of protein, carbohydrates and fat you must eat to support that growth of muscle. Apps like MyFitnessPal can help you keep track of your diet and make sure you are eating to provide the proper nutrition for the work your body is doing.

5. Stick with it!

Remind yourself of your goals and why you began this journey in the first place. Have people you trust to hold you accountable and to encourage you when you don’t feel up for it yourself. Educate yourself on workouts and nutrition so you can get a better idea of what will work for you and your goals. Try to find workouts you find enjoyable. It may help to start the journey with a friend, so even if you don’t feel like working out that day, you may do it just because you don’t want to let your friend down.

Also, know that most of the fitness girls you see and envy on Instagram or other similar outlets have been working for that for years. Be proud of the little changes you see and do and know that you’ll get to your goal with consistent hard work that you’re absolutely capable of.

Make 2017 your year of good health.