How and where to start
Every year millions of Americans make a resolution to go on a diet lose weight and get into shape. Every year a significant number of these millions will fail due to a few basic mistakes. Whether you decide to go to a gym or exercise around the house do a little home work before you start and you will increase your chances of meeting your goals.
Determine your goal before you start
One of the common mistakes I see is goals that are not clear. Before you start have a good idea of what you want to achieve. Do you want to loose weight? Do you want to loose weight and add or tone muscle? Do you want to add muscle? Do you want to work on cardiovascular? The big mistake is trying to reach all these goals at the same time. The danger of having too many goals is that the amount of time and effort is not sustainable, especially when you first start. The results are you become discouraged and quit. If you want to lose weight make that your first goal and work on other areas later.
Use a personal trainer
Many gyms have personal trainers with reasonable rates so take advantage of them. This is money well spent and will get you off on the right foot. You need to know how to use the equipment and what a good exercise program looks like. Nothing sabotages beginners quicker than showing up at the gym and not knowing where to start. This is a quick route to frustration and losing interest quickly. Generally a few sessions with a personal trainer is adequate.
Keep your routine basic and consistent
Once you have decided what your goals are set aside 30 to 60 minutes 5 days a week. For the first 6 to 12 months make your exercise routine easy to light medium in difficulty. Another basic mistake is exercise routines that are extremely difficult and a test of wills just to get through. Adding difficulty will come with time and as goals are reached. But for the first year keep it light and do the exercises that you enjoy most. Once your exercise routine is a way of life for you then began to change up and add exercises and difficulty.
Learn your calorie needs and your calorie intake
Formula for weight maintenance: Calories eaten equals calories burned=you stay the same weight
Formula for weight loss: Calories eaten is less than calories burned=you lose weight
Formula for weight gain: Calories eaten is more than calories burned=you gain weight
Read the ingredient labels for serving size and calorie count
One of the biggest mistakes you can make is not being aware of the number of calories food you eat contains. Foods that fall into the junk food category are especially high in calories. I make reading the labels part of my life. Without using any high tech equipment or large amounts of time I can limit my calorie intake to what I need to stay the same weight and still eat healthy. Granted I do not eat much junk food.
Straight forward and basic
This might seem over simplified but these mistakes are the same ones I have seen for 30 years that I have been going to the gym striving to stay healthy and fit.