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7 Tips for Your Fitness Journey

Do you want to make a change in your diet, your fitness, or your lifestyle, but just don’t know how to do it? Have you committed to losing a few pounds, only to find yourself at the gym for a few days before you give up? Embarking on a fitness journey is a process, and if you’ve decided to begin, you’re already a step ahead no matter how far you’ve gotten. Here’s how to start a fitness journey, and see the results you want.

1. Set Goals. It’s much more motivating to set specific goals to work for at the gym and with your diet. If you’ve decided you want to lose a few pounds, or be able to run longer, it’s easy to quit when you feel like you’ve “done enough.” Set numerical goals, and even when you can run a mile 50 seconds faster than last time, you’ll feel accomplished. Another thing that might help with setting goals is setting a date. You might decide you want to lose 10 pounds, but do you want to lose those pounds by the time you graduate in three years? Or at the end of this year? Brainstorm everything you want out of your fitness journey, and jot it down.

2. Realize that achieving fitness doesn’t happen overnight. Or in a week. Or in a month. It can be discouraging to work like crazy and not see results for a while. Your friends who are drinking smoothies all day to fit into the formal gown and losing weight are not doing it right. That weight will find its way back in a matter of days. Changing your diet and exercising regularly will bring long-term effects, even if those effects take a long time to show up.

3. You can’t make up a bad diet with exercise. Maintaining a healthy diet is the most important part of achieving fitness! You can’t eat a burger and fries three times a week and tell yourself that you’ll work it off tomorrow at the gym. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work like that. The saying goes: “It’s 80 percent diet, 20 percent exercise.” And after you embark on your fitness journey the right way, you’ll find out that the saying is right.

4. You’re going to have off days. That’s alright. You’re going to go out of town and want to try interesting items on the menu. Life is too short not to. Just because you’re working towards bettering yourself, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t enjoy the good things in life. Eat the cake at your friend’s birthday party, try the $10 cocktail. A few cheats will not ruin how far you’ve come. I’ve got one word for you: Moderation.

5. Rest is key! When you start seeing results, you will want to go full force. Results are so motivating, but working too hard is terrible for your body. Always listen to what your body is telling you. If you ran three miles yesterday and your legs are hurting and you feel like you just want to sleep all day, then make up that hour in the gym with an hour of extra rest. Always, always, always, give yourself at least one day a week off of the gym. Let your muscles heal so you can be stronger in the long run.

6. Don’t overdo the cardio. Cardio may seem like the quickest way to shed fat and lose pounds, but doing too much is bad for your body. Switch up cardio with weight training. You will not look like man if you build some muscle! Building muscle burns fat in the process. You know what they say, “strong is the new skinny!”

7. Don’t lose sight of yourself. Here’s the thing: fitness Instagrams, Pinterest, even your own peers are probably the ones motivating you to be fit and lean and healthy. It’s easy to compare yourself to the chiseled bodies you see online. It’s very important that you don’t embark on a fitness journey to look different. Achieving overall fitness isn’t just about looks. Do it to be healthy. Do it to be nutritious. Do it to thank the only body you’ve ever been given. Do it to be the best version of YOU. No matter what, always remember that you CAN do it, and you will!

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