When it comes to motivation, your brain is a mysterious creature. One minute you’re pumped, full of enthusiasm. A few weeks later the excuses start to creep in, and before you know it you haven’t been to the gym all week. SMART START is a beginners plan for fitness that is based on scientific research. Follow this simple approach to guarantee that your first steps to fitness are not your last.
THREE SECRETS TO SUCCESS
START SLOWDon't push your body too soon. It’s okay to stop working out when you’ve had enough.
BUILD GRADUALLYAim towards completing full workouts as your fitness builds.
MIX IT UPMix strength, cardio and flexibility training options and learn what workouts consistently motivate you to get moving.
SIX-WEEK GUIDE TO STARTING OUT
Follow this scientifically-proven set of recommended activity levels for your first six weeks of exercise.
AFTER SIX WEEKS
Well done for making through your first weeks. To really lock in your healthy new habit, the next 12 weeks is just as critical to success. Each week from now should include 3 x 60 minute cardio workouts, 2 x 60 minute strength workouts and 1 x 60 minute session of core/flexibility work. If you want to find out about cardio, strength, core and flexibility workout options you can discover more here.
People who work out in a group are far more likely to stick at exercise than those who go it alone.
Get Fit Together, a study conducted by Dr. Jinger Gottschall from the Pennsylvania State University, followed 25 sedentary adults through a 30-week program of group fitness classes.
The 30 weeks started with an initial six week period encouraging the exercisers to “dip their toes” into fitness before building up to a six-day-a-week exercise schedule. The gradual introduction meant that instead of feeling sore from overworking unfit muscles and giving up, the group actually enjoyed their path into exercise.
The results were awesome – so good that participants delayed the onset of cardio vascular disease by an average of 3.6 years. Over the 30 week study, 20 out of 25 study participants never missed a workout – a compliance rate of 98.8 per cent – almost unheard of in exercise studies. This commitment is proof that, when it comes to exercise, you shouldn’t go it alone – combining a steady start with the support of others works wonders.