You wake up in the morning and look in the mirror only to find love handles* where those abs should be. You’re making breakfast, and find yourself spending five minutes opening that jar of jam. You’re walking to work, and notice that by the time you’re done your shirt is drenched in sweat. If any of this sounds like you, it’s time to focus on your fitness and head to the gym! Here are tips and exercises to help get you started.
Your health is a long-term commitment, so make sure you build discipline to stick to your goals over time. Motivation comes and goes, but discipline is what keeps you focused on fitness. Re-mind yourself why you really want to exercise, and repeat it in your head until you end up at the gym.
Make long-term goals, and adjust them week by week. Start off exercising three days a week, then aim for five. Start with weights you feel most comfortable working with, then gradually add on increments every week or two. Instead of telling yourself you’re going to become the next Dwayne Johnson or Klitchko brother, tell yourself, “I’m going to go exercise later today”.
Make it fun, not a chore
Strength training brings many benefits to your health and physical abilities, but don’t forget to mix things up. Lift weights on some days, but also do exercise you enjoy, whether it is running, martial arts, or soccer. Invite some friends to have fun with you!
Recover: Rest and Eating
Make sure you get proper rest and nutrition to recover from workouts. Eat a balanced diet, in-clude vegetables, lean meats, and fats like nuts, but treat yourself to sweets or whatever you enjoy. Aim for at least 7 to 8 hours of sleep.
Don’t forget to stretch
Stretching is necessary before and after a workout to prevent any physical injury over time. Try jumping jacks, shoulder rolls, or walking lunges to warm your body up before a workout. Try to stretch your arms, one above your shoulder and one behind your back, and touch the tips of the fingers of both your hands. That exercise will warm up your back!
Speed it up, slow it down!
During workout, try using HIIT - High Intensity Internal Training. HIIT involves short moments of intense physical activity between exercises by doing jumping jacks, jumping rope, push ups, or anything else. That’ll keep your heart pumping throughout your workout!
Plan out your workout beforehand
Make a game plan before your workout, which exercises and muscle groups you want to focus on, and the amount of weights you want to work with.
Make yourself a good playlist before your workout
If you’re strength training or running, good music can make a great companion to your workout. I personally enjoy filing my playlists with electronic dance music or R&B to zone me in on my ex-ercise!
Getting into fitness is no easy feat, so take it one day at a time, set goals, and keep these tips in mind, and before you know it you’ll be a fitness pro!
1. love handles - fat around the waist
2. commitment - dedication to something
3. stick to goals - start and continue goals
4. increments - increase by a certain number
5. chore - unpleasant but necessary task
6. nutrition - set of food choices for health and growth
7. lean meat - meat with low fat, such as fish and chicken
8. stretch - extend parts of the body to prepare muscles for exercise
9. jumping jacks - jumps done from a standing position with legs together and arms at the sides to a position with the legs apart and the arms over the head
7. shoulder rolls - movement of shoulders in a circular motion
8. walking lunges - an exercise that involves walking while moving one foot forward with the knee bent while the back leg
9. push ups - an exercise that involves lying facing the floor, keeping the back straight, and lift-ing the body by pressing down on the hands
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Yuri Nesen is a student at Georgetown University School of Foreign Service in Washington, D.C. studying Global Business, Diplomatic Studies, and Arabic. He enjoys watching animated movies, running and exploring new places, and he is a complete dessert fanatic.