By: Eric Cooper
Senior Blog Writer/Owner-Principal Fitness Trainer
Eric Cooper Fitness
Traditionally Jan 1st marks the first day of the year for beginning or re-starting a fitness or nutritional regimen. Millions of Americans are estimated to become engaged in some form of exercise or nutrition plan, and will sign-up with a gym, group exercise class, fitness trainer, nutritionist or life coach in the first two months of this year. When starting your program, it is important that you are mentally and physically prepared. Make sure that your goals are realistic and that your program is effective in achieving your goals. If you are unsure of your goals or uncomfortable in designing a program, it is recommended that you seek the advise of a health or fitness professional that can assist you in establishing a safe and realistic program.
The hardest part of a new regimen is staying committed. The first 30 days will be the most crucial period, because this is the average amount of time it takes for a participant to lose interest or adapt to the program. Before going into your regimen, I recommend that you designate two reliable individuals to serve as your support coaches. One as a primary coach and the other as a secondary coach, in case one is not able to fulfill their obligation. When selecting your coaches, make sure that your relationship is good, and that they have the time to commit. The overall responsibility of your coaches will be to provide you with full support and enthusiasm, and to ensure that you stay committed to your program. You should have a fitness or nutritional plan that includes the goals and programs for the full term of your regimen. It would also be wise to provide both coaches with a copy of your plan to help them coach you more effectively.
If you choose to hire a health and fitness professional, you will not have to worry too much about finding support coaches, because they will be your primary support. When hiring a health and fitness professional, ensure that they are licensed or certified by a reputable organization. Also a good health or fitness professional will maintain efficient and up to date records of your program, and will know the right time for your program to progress. Lastly, you want to make sure that you have their full attention and 100% support.
If you are designing your own program, consider these ACSM Exercise Guidelines For Adults.
Additional Recommendations from ericcooperfitness.com
INCLUDE A WELL BALANCED NUTRITION PLAN– Consume wholesome fruit, vegetables, lean protein, whole grains, seeds and nuts. Drink water and other beverages high in vitamins, minerals and electrolytes.
INCLUDE VARIOUS FORMS OF EXERCISE INTO YOUR WEEKLY ROUTINE– Low to vigorous aerobic training 3-7 times per week. Low to vigorous resistance training 2-5 times per week.
INCLUDE VARIOUS FORMS OF STRETCHING INTO YOUR WEEKLY ROUTINE– Low to mild form of static stretches for all body parts. Various forms of yoga 2-7 times per week, keep ballistic stretching to a minimum. Only use when the body is warmed-up.
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