Starting a Healthy Fitness Plan 

With so many exercise and weight loss programs available today to get you started, knowing how to get fit is really the first step in the battle. It seems every magazine, afternoon talk show, and professional trainer has a healthy fitness plan you should use, and the sheer volume of information can be overwhelming. 

We hear about diet and healthy fitness plans that are based on your blood type, your body shape, and your metabolism.Then experts toss out words like “alkaline”, “paleo”, and “whole food”. 

Then experts toss out words like “alkaline”, “paleo”, and “whole food”. Every month, there is a new program to try, and a list of famous people who will claim that it ABSOLUTELY works. 

The “yo-yo” effect often happens because we are always switching from one thing to the next, trying to find that magic pill that will melt away the fat and leave us tight and toned without having to make any lifestyle changes.

Yes, there are products that make this promise, but starting a healthy fitness plan and getting fit is only the first half of the equation. Staying fit is something else entirely.

Starting a Healthy Fitness Plan

The answer? The only way to start a plan, get fit and stay fit is through a lifestyle change that promotes a healthy lifestyle that can be maintained for, well.....forever. Moderation rather than extremes. Fun rather than torture. And, real food rather than pills or replacement meals.

side lunge with overhead press
sumo squat with weights

See How Kim Has Used Core Exercises to Keep Her Body Toned After Turning 50

  • Make changes that you can live with. If you change too many things too quickly, you – and your body - will not be able to keep up. Drastic measures increase your risk of returning to your old familiar patterns. Start with one or two things at a time, and give yourself an acclimation period before making any further adjustments.
  • Have fun. Choose exercises that you enjoy. Your workouts shouldn't be a chore and something you try to find any excuse to get out of. There are fun and interesting ways to get into shape.

  • Choose the right exercises. It is important to combine regular cardio workouts with strength training. In a typical week, Kim will do 2-3 strength training sessions, with each session being between 30-45 minutes. Each workout will target the entire body.

  • Increase your flexibility. Nothing makes you look and feel older than having overly tight muscles and joints. The simple act of stretching your hips will correct bad posture and help to eliminate lower back pain.
  • Fuel your body. To reach your goals, it is important to know what foods will slow down the aging process, give you energy, and build or maintain muscle mass. Health experts will talk about things like “antioxidants”, “omega-3s”, “superfoods”, and “probiotics”.

    But, it's really not as complicated as it sounds. It is very easy to follow a healthy low calorie diet plan that gives your body all the nutrients it needs to function properly. And, you don't have to spend a fortune on fancy supplements.
hip lifting bridge exerciseKim Demonstrating the Bridge Hip Raise
  • Make your workouts social. Working out with a friend or joining a class is a great motivator. It pushes you to work harder and achieve more. And, it's also less boring. Studies have shown that women will exercise more if they have the support of friends or family, and working out with others not only improves physical fitness but also has a positive impact on mental health. 

    For the social networking buffs, start a blog about your fitness journey or get an App that posts your workout stats to your facebook. It's surprising how motivated you can be when the whole social media world can monitor your progress.

  • Fitness Tracking Devices. Many of us are great at starting a healthy fitness plan, but sticking to it can be difficult. Fitness tracking devices like Fitbit can be used as a motivating tool and also to keep track of how well you are doing to meet your daily goals.

Some of Kim's Favorites

forward lunge with overhead pressKim Demonstrating the Lunge with Press

Work and Travel Fitness Tips

  • Find ways to fit health and fitness into your busy schedule. Often, health takes a back seat to busy schedules. But, when you aren't fit, you can't function at your best and you put yourself at risk for serious health issues. Remember, it's all about lifestyle, so make some changes that will allow you to keep your commitments without compromising active living.

    Take your weights to work and do short 10 minute sets at lunch or on breaks. Park farther away from the door, take the stairs or do something active as a family. Or, choose workouts that take less time to complete. Plan your meals ahead of time and prepare as much as possible in advance. Pack your own lunch, and keep healthy nutritious snacks in your purse, desk, or car.

traditional plank exerciseKim Demonstrating the Traditional Plank

  • Stay fit even when you travel. A vacation is time to relax and treat yourself to a few special indulgences. But, that doesn't mean you should toss your healthy fitness plan out the window. If you aren't careful, you may be returning home with a few extra pounds. And, that is one souvenir that you can do without. If you travel a lot, whether for business or pleasure, then finding ways to stay fit is a priority. Use the equipment available in hotel gyms or swim laps in hotel pools. Take your resistance bands with you or do some weight bearing and yoga exercises in your room. Go for a walk or run in a safe area. If you don't have access to any fitness equipment or a gym, there are many body weight exercises you can do to maintain your fitness levels.

Healthy Eating Tips

You don't have to deny yourself delicious food, but pay attention to what you eat and drink. A margarita can have as many as 600 calories, so treat yourself to one and then switch to red wine. Have a few special meals, but try to avoid deep-fried foods and calorie-laden sauces as much as possible. And, pack some healthy snacks so if you get hungry between meals, you won't be sacrificing precious calories on fast foods or candy bars.

traditional squat exerciseKim Demonstrating the Body Weight Squat

Your Healthy Fitness Plan

Starting a fitness plan and maintaining it takes hard work and commitment. But once you embrace the personal lifestyle changes that makes healthy eating and regular exercise a priority, the positive mind and body changes are enormous. So, choose some activities or exercises that will help you meet your fitness goals, start eating nutritious balanced meals and begin your journey to a healthier YOU!

Other pages that might interest you:

I will continue to share ideas about diet and exercise that have helped me along the way. If you have any questions I can help you with, or if you have any ideas you want to share, feel free to contact me or visit our Q&A forum.

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