So, you want to be Russell Wilson or Damian Lillard. It’s possible, but Oregon’s rising sports stars didn’t get that way overnight. It took grit, determination, raw talent, and hard work.
Work, above all else, is the key to sports greatness. But going from watching on TV to pumping iron and running laps can be challenging. Knowing how to start a workout regimen and sustain it is critical, and our tips will help you get started.
Set Your Goals
If you were going to go on a road trip, you could get in the car and start driving. But if you didn’t know where you were going, you’d probably end up sitting on the side of the road, directionless and out of gas. The same can happen when you don’t have a clear idea of what you want out of working out.
Remember, when you’re setting workout goals, you want to be as specific as possible. That way, you’ll know when you’re hitting them or when you’re not. Here are a few examples:
- Losing a certain amount of weight
- Being able to lift a certain weight
- Participating in a 5k
- Getting your blood pressure down
- Consistently working out for a specific amount of time every week
Switch It Up
If your goal is to build muscles in your arms, you may not think twice about leg day. Or if you settle into a routine with a certain type of workout, you may not see a reason to change it. But swapping out your workout every now and then will help avoid muscle overuse, break through weight loss plateaus, and improve overall fitness.
Additionally, if your goal is to start and sustain your workout regimen, switching your exercises will help you avoid the mental fatigue of doing the same thing over and over again and get you excited about working out.
Listen to Your Body
When you’re working out, delayed onset muscle soreness is inevitable. But there’s a difference between a little soreness and fatigue, strain, or injury, and knowing the difference will help you prevent turning a little problem into a serious injury. Taking the time to rest and do some light stretches instead of going all-in is still valuable when you’re working out.
Manage Your Expectations
One of the easiest ways to burn yourself out is having expectations that are too high. Yes, pushing yourself to the next level is a good thing. But having an all-or-nothing approach in which you push yourself to pain isn’t healthy.
Also, keep in mind that working out takes self-discipline, and self-discipline takes time to develop. It’s ok to start slow and continue building. Accept that some days will be harder than others. Trust us—you’ll make it eventually.