Everyday we are inundated with pictures and stories of exercise and nutrition regimens. You may hear and see things about how the newest exercise trend has transformed someone’s life, or an amazing fitness class that helped someone fit into clothes they haven’t worn for years. You may also hear things such as “I’ve switched to a Paleo diet over the last month and have lost 10 lbs.” Although it is great to hear others success stories it can be frustrating at times to hear about everyone else’s success when you don’t have your own story to tell.

Instead of getting frustrated or depressed in the fact that you don’t have that success story to tell quite yet, make a decision to get started and never look back. The best way to do this is to to start small. If you have never exercised before, do not start by vowing to go to the gym five days a week. You may not meet this goal, then get discouraged because you didn’t, and decide to stop going to the gym all together. Start by committing to exercising two days a week for the first few weeks, then increase to three days. Additionally, start out by doing something physically active that you enjoy. If you enjoy walking outside, commit to walking around the neighborhood for 15-30 minutes two days a week. Not only is your goal manageable, but you will be more likely to continue because you are doing something you enjoy.

When it comes to nutrition small steps are also crucial to getting started. If you currently drink 3-4 caloric beverages a week, start by replacing two of those with a bottle of water. Maybe you need to start eating more vegetables…try getting in 1 additional cup this week, strive for 2 the next and 3 the third week. Gradually build up so that you’ve improved numerous areas in your nutritional health by taking one step at a time. Starting a fitness and nutrition routine can be a daunting task. But if you make small changes and set small goals for yourself, you can stick with it and soon be the one telling your success story!

Article Written by:
Ciara Floyd, M.S., NSCF-CPT, NSCA, CSCS
Health & Fitness Professional