So, we’ve made it past that daunting first month of the New Year where everyone around you is ‘new year, new me, new fitness goals. For some, the pressure of a fitness journey in the new year can be a lot. Where do you start? What do I do? These are some of the many questions many newbies to fitness will ask themselves when starting their wellness journey. Here are some of the best tips to get you started so that you can crush it!

Start With Nutrition

Allowing yourself the space to focus on one ‘discipline’ at a time is a great way to stay on track if you’re feeling overwhelmed. Starting a fitness routine, as well as learning new,  yet still, tasty healthy recipes can be unnerving. Give yourself a timeframe to focus on your nutrition knowledge by building your relationship with healthy wholesome foods. This is also a great time to experiment with new healthy recipes you’ve been wanting to try. Using the time needed to focus on your nutrition will better help you prepare for your fitness journey.

Replace Foods

Start right in your kitchen by replacing certain foods and/or ingredients in your kitchen with healthier options. If you’re someone who needs a food item to be out of sight out of mind, opt for replacing ‘trigger’ foods for healthier more nutrient-filled options like:

  • Fattier cuts of Meat  for Leaner Cuts
  • Potato Chips for Plantain Chips, Nuts, Tortilla Chips
  • Milk Chocolate for 70%+ Dark Chocolate
  • Soda for Flavoured Sparkling Water

Replacing foods that no longer serve you on your fitness journey is a great first step in making long-term nutrition changes that will last a lifetime.

Starting Slow

If you’re a newbie to fitness, don’t feel compelled to dive into a 5 day a week workout routine. If you’re a busy mom, there aren’t enough hours in a day. So a 30-60min of moderate to intense exercise 2-3 days a week will suffice. Remember that any movement for X amount of time is better than no movement at all. If you’re short on time, choose the times and days that you are sure you can commit to. For some that may mean getting a workout in before everyone wakes up in the morning. Or, if you’re like me, I find great comfort in putting my children to bed at night and focusing on myself for 30 minutes, even if it’s a yoga flow.  This is your journey! Use the time you have, but use it wisely.

Start with Compound Exercises

Compound exercises go a long way. I cannot stress this enough. Even just a few of these in a single workout is more effective than a handful of isolation exercises, in the same amount of time. They are a great calorie burner, and they allow you to get a complete full-body, well you did a workout done in less time. I live and die by compound functional lifts, and swear they improve your quality of everyday movement. Here are some compound exercises you can try:

  • Squat Variations
  • Lunge Variations
  • Step-Ups
  • Thrusters
  • Wall Sits
  • Good Mornings
  • Pull-Ups
  • Pushups
  • Plank Variations

Use What You Have

The only tool you need and already have is your body. No gym? No equipment? No problem especially if you are new to fitness. Use your own body weight for strength training and work on progressing to added weight as you master and get strong in your own body. Having a set of stairs in your home can be a way to get some cardio in as well. Your body is all you ever really need. Here are some easy ways to use items in your home when you want more of a challenge.

  • Grab a laundry basket full of clothes
  • Loaded Backpack
  • Towel used as Slides
  • Your kids- They make the best weight for front and back squats. Trust me!
  • Furniture- Chairs for tricep dips
  • Laundry detergent Bottle – Mimics the kettlebell

Show Gratitude

Having the ability to move and strengthen our bodies is something we take for granted.  Short of flying (although some would argue against this), our bodies can do a limitless amount of things. They really are a playground of endless possibilities of movement. The more we show gratitude for what our bodies can do, the more willing we are to progress and challenge ourselves in more ways than one.

Be Gentle with Yourself

Will you perform an exercise wrong ten times before getting the form right? Yes. Will you miss a scheduled workout day? Yes, plenty of times, because life happens. Might you indulge in foods you swore you would never touch again? Yea most likely. This isn’t a race to the finish line. This is a journey to self-discovery. You will learn a lot about what you love and what you don’t love. But understand that this takes time, patience, effort, setbacks, and failures. Be patient with yourself along the way and most importantly, when you fall into a rut, do yourself the biggest favor and get back to it.

Remember that this is your own unique fitness and wellness journey. And it’s a marathon of your very own. Take your time and figure out what works best for you along the way.