You want to get fitter, feel healthier. You’re enthusiastic and motivated. Great – but let’s not fool ourselves that it’s going to be easy. It requires effort, dedication, and mental commitment. In the early days, it’s also vital to have a few good rules to follow, nothing too complex, just some pieces of grounded, proven advice from those who have successfully taken that path before you. So, here are five things to say to yourself, firmly and with commitment. Following our essential beginners guide to fitness will make it easier to both start and then maintain your journey.

match your behaviours to your goals

If you want to be substantially slimmer or considerably fitter, then your clear personal commitment to help you achieve should be in two parts. First, you set ‘achievable with effort’ goals over a time period that doesn’t seem to stretch too far into the future; secondly, you understand the actions you must take to reach where you wish to be. These actions must be realistic – one half-hour gym session a week while continuing to overeat, or eat the wrong foods, just ain’t going to do it. Starving yourself while trying to conduct four-hour training sessions every day is ludicrously off the other end of the ‘nonsensical scale’!

Beginners guide to fitness Part 1: start with small and sensible steps

These are individual to you; others can offer advice but while aiming to emulate their achievements is fine, simply trying to copy what they do doesn’t work well. You need to change your lifestyle in ways and at a pace that you can relate to and accept. Like driving, smooth acceleration is much better than a tyre-burning racetrack start followed by heavy braking!

Beginners guide to fitness Part 2: there will be ups and downs

good days and poorer ones will happen. Know that you are better reflected in your good ones, so focus on what went well with them. Constantly picturing the poorer ones will drag you down, with their ready-made excuses. Aim for upbeat realism.

Beginners guide to fitness Part 3: tolerate reasonable progress

The word ‘tolerate’ is specifically chosen. It’s human nature to want to see big improvements in short periods of time. But imagine someone running their first 10K. Off they go at an enthusiastic sprint, perhaps leaving the more experienced briefly in their wake. But who is going to finish first – and be in better shape when doing so? Therefore, be a tolerant improver – we’re back to those small and sensible starting steps again!

Beginners guide to fitness Part 4: ask the right people for support

It’s a sad truth that there may be people in your life – let’s not call them proper friends – who could be jealous if you succeed. Consciously, or not, they might seek to drag you down. It’s important to know who will realistically support you, without allowing your excuses. They’ll help you up on bad days, keep you level-headed in better times. They have your best interests at heart – so treasure and rely on them.

Funnily enough, the last sentence seems to be a great description of the team of coaches and mentors here at Advantage Personal Training. Thank you for taking a minute to read our essential beginners guide to fitness. We hope it will help you become the you that you want to be?