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4 Ways to Finally Start Exercising and Participating in Sports

4 Ways to Finally Start Exercising and Participating in Sports

How many times have you promised yourself that you will begin exercising next Monday, or when the new month starts?

Whenever that Monday comes, you usually find an excuse not to start. Or the best scenario, you start something that turns out to be way too painful, boring, or taking too much energy.

I don’t know why it happens, but we usually make the diet or exercise decisions when we can’t button our favorite pants or devour an entire chocolate. But the moment the guilt disappears, we forget about the promise. Some of us are bound to laziness; there are too many unpleasant sensations, side effects like dirt, sweat, and much more. The unwilling brain can find dozens of reasons not to participate in anything away from the couch.

I can understand your attitude if you’re not into sports, but the reality is: if you aren’t physically active, you’ll get weaker and develop some kind of illness. Still, it’s not that scary; working out and participating in sports is a very fun way to burn calories, develop muscles, and boost your overall health. It doesn’t have to be that hard.

Let’s get you out of that chair and develop some healthy habits – this time for real.

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1. Find something that will interest you

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    As a regular couch potato, any activity will get you somewhere. Depending on how long has been since your last outdoor recreation or visit to the gym, the more painful the first encounter with activity will be.

    The trick is to find something that will interest you, and use some possibilities to your advantage. Even if you’re ultimately not interested in sports, I can guarantee that you can have fun trying out different sports with your friends. Any sport out there can be good: lacrosse, table tennis, golf, soccer, paintball, swimming, cycling, or bowling. You never know until you actually try it.

    Just be creative and give the sport a chance. Here’s what you should do next:

    2. Find a partner

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      To start and endure in the decision to exercise or regularly participate in sports, find someone to accompany you. It can be your emotional partner, a friend, sister or brother, or anyone else you like to spend time with. Doing it this way, you will connect two useful things – physical activities and socializing.

      To have some extra motivation, arrange some activity linked to a workout that you both will enjoy, like a post-workout dinner. That can be a reward for a productive exercise or sports session. If you’ve decided to hit the gym, try to find a partner who has experience in exercising. Your partner can assist you with weights, show you how to do some exercises or correct you if he or she sees that you are doing an exercise incorrectly.

      If you choose some other sports activity, such as group training or running, a partner can give you advice that will help you achieve better results. Of course, there is the competitive aspect; try to beat each other’s records will improve both of you significantly. If your partner has no experience in training, you will have someone to answer to. You can’t evade the training when your partner awaits you. Even when you aren’t in the mood, you’ll have to meet your partner and go through the workout.

      3. Get yourself a new equipment

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        One of the things that always helps you stay motivated is getting some new sports equipment. It would be a pity that a fancy new pair of shoes or a new tennis racket gets left behind in a closet, right?

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        If you do workouts in the gym or some group aerobic sport, a new sportswear will always be handy, such as stylish sports T-shirts & shorts and a pair of good sneakers. As soon as you refresh your outfit and look at yourself in the gym mirror you will feel much better. Besides the sportswear, getting yourself the equipment for the sport might lead you to pick it up more often. For example, if you play tennis, buying a new racket could be a good motivator.

        Here’s an interesting trick; get yourself the clothes and the equipment somewhere you can see it every day. Some people go a step further and put it right next to the bed so as soon as they wake up, an upcoming workout reminder is there. Another interesting method to get you out of the house: get yourself a set of golf clubs and put it in your hallway. The sight of your new fancy equipment will increase the probability of a new golf session. It won’t require much sweat, but you’ll still be outside and active.

        The space in which you exercise can play a vital role in how you feel. If you are getting bored of the same old gym or program you are participating in for some time, try to find something new that can get you more interested in and don’t be afraid to experiment. After all, the most important thing is to enjoy whatever you are doing.

        4. Music is a great motivator

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          Image Credit: GoToVan, Flickr

          A good motivation plays a key role in keeping you primed during your sports activities or workout session whatever that may be, and is there a better motivator than music?

          Music has the power to affect and boost our emotions in powerful ways, and that is why it has been known that working out with the help of music can give you the edge and push you much further. First of all, you should get a pair of good earbuds; besides that they are much smaller, earbuds are more resilient when dealing with moisture especially when used in sports activities, being soaked with a solid sweat.

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          Also, they are a much better option regarding staying on your head while you are in motion, and some earbuds even have built-in stabilizing fins to ensure that they will stay in your ears no matter what you do during your workout. Now, when it comes to motivational music, everyone prefers something different. Try to find which kind of music suits you the best according to the type of sport or workout you are performing.

          Make a playlist of your favorite songs which will motivate you to get off the couch, start running, or push through some heavier lifts at the gym. It has been found that music with a strong beat often helps people’s movements to stay consistent during exercise.

          Get out and start the change

          You have one life, and you choose how to live it. It’s your turn; choose the sport or activity and enjoy it. You’ll get hooked in no time.

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          Dejan Kvrgic

          Blogger, Writer

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          Published on September 21, 2018

          How Long Does it Take to Build Muscle and Increase Fat Loss?

          How Long Does it Take to Build Muscle and Increase Fat Loss?

          “Can I look like you in 3 months?”

          The teenager stared at me, waiting eagerly for a response. It’s a normal day as a certified fitness coach and yet again, I had to grab some flying feet and put them down on the ground of reality again.

          “If I would be able to reach this body in 3 months, you think it would’ve taken me 5 years?” I responded smilingly.

          In the same moment I tapped the teenager on the shoulder and we both went to the training floor together. Fast forward to today, he eventually reached his dream body. But it took him a little bit longer than 3 months.

          In this article, I want to give you a broad overview and answer to the commonly asked question: how long does it take to build muscle and increase fat loss?

          Your biggest enemy for building muscle and fat loss

          I remember when I joined my first gym years back. After two weeks of continuous training, I saw absolutely no difference in the mirror.

          I googled “2 weeks body transformation” and was frustrated by seeing all these pictures by savvy marketers.

          We human beings have evolved to seek instant gratification. We can’t wait for things to happen tomorrow. We want them today or even better, yesterday.

          It doesn’t matter if we talk about business or our fitness results. If we truly want to make a long-lasting change, we have to delay our innate need to crave gratification instantly and focus on the big picture.

          In the book called Grit by Angela Duckworth, a predictor for future success in children was the so called ‘Marshmallow Test’.

          The Marshmallow Test works this way. Children are basically given two options:

          1. Eat the marshmallow in front of them right now.
          2. Wait 10 minutes without eating the first marshmallow and get a second marshmallow to eat on top.

          This is an insane test of willpower and the ability to delay gratification for an even bigger payoff, as a 10-year old school child. If the child already mastered that crucial skill at such a young age, it was a strong predictor for future success.

          We all have to learn how to delay gratification better. Most people overestimate what they can do in one month, but totally underestimate what they can do in 10 years.

          What you really need to build muscle fast

          Your ground zero

          It all matters on which point we start off. Because the reality is:

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          Everyone has to start somewhere.

          A former Olympic athlete will have an easier time building muscles and losing fat than an avid couch potato. There are mainly two reasons for this:

          • The pre-selected genetic blueprint of the athlete.
          • Work ethic of a professional.

          While countless of variables play a role in influencing your success in the gym, it all can be traced back to those crucial points. And the saying still holds merit:

          Hard work beats talent, when talent doesn’t work hard. — Tim Notke

          A mentor of mine told me years ago that you can succeed in life if you just don’t give up.

          You can have average skills, average genetics and average work ethic. As long as you keep improving on your craft, you will succeed.

          Not immediately – but definitely and finally.

          Setting the right expectations

          I’m great at setting unrealistic goals and having the wrong expectations. I wanted to have 100,000 subscribers on my Youtube Channel and at the end of my first year when I started, back in 2015, I ended up with 30.

          This is an embarrassing story, but I hope it gets one point across:

          Your goals need to be realistic if you can’t deal with the setbacks of not reaching them.

          Ending up with 30 subscribers even after pulling frequent all-nighters to get this endeavor rolling was soul-crushing. I contemplated throwing in the towel.

          With the right support from my network and discipline, I managed to keep going. The channel has now grown 100-fold in those 3 years.

          To find out what is realistic, consider the next timeline.

          The muscle growth timeline

          Here’s what results you can expect if your main goal is building lean tissue mass. Warning: Genuine muscle growth without performance enhancing drugs takes a long time.

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          Of course these time periods can vary individually depending on your genetic blueprint and work-ethic. You might see results sooner, or maybe even later.

          The time frame is set to training 2-3 times per week (continuously!).

          Pro tip: Ask a friend or hire a coach to boost your progress tremendously.

          This is what happens when you decide to join a gym, out of my experience training hundreds of clients:

          Month 1-3

          Eat – Sleep – Gym – Repeat.

          Your motivation is at your peak at this point. You will tell your friends and family about your new workout regime. You will notice slight differences in your appearance, which are mainly nonexistent.

          You will experience immense strength gains on your training because your body finally realizes how to use its muscles properly.

          Month 3-6

          This is the time period where most people break. You will be going to the gym consistently, yet the results won’t come just now. It’s the big dip in the whole process.

          Your goal in this phase is to build a habit around your gym visits. You will most likely discontinue to have the all-in mentality as in the first 3 months. You will seek sustainability. Breaking news: It will still be hard.

          But in the end it’s all worth it. Trust me.

          Month 6-12

          “I’ve seen a new vein in my arm!”

          The guy came up to me excited. This is the time where the normal person starts to see considerable results in his training.

          An old friend will talk to him and see a difference in his body shape. Suddenly, his old t-shirt gets too thin. The frequent gym-goer feels amazing.

          Month 12- 24

          Fitness is a trojan horse. While you might think frequent training will only change your body shape, your character will be impacted too.

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          Your friends and family will notice. You’re more confident, assertive and more happy with your self-image. You feel confident and sure in your abilities because you have achieved what you set out to do.

          Breaking news:

          You will still not be satisfied. And that’s a good thing. But don’t forget to enjoy the fruits of your labour.

          They haven’t come easy.

          Month 24+

          “That’s what works for me!”

          If you’ve been going frequently and consistently (twice every week for 2 years), you can pat yourself on the shoulders.

          If you’ve done most things correctly and with a certified coach, you will reach the goal shape at this point. But this is also the point where it can get frustrating.

          Further results will come painstakingly slow at this stage. You increasingly have to work on your weaknesses and constantly alter your training to see further results. Be it applying different repetitions, intensity, workout duration, speed or machines.

          A lot of people will not see results after this stage because the benefits are not worth the work for them. We have to realize that what got us here, will not get us to the next level.

          The fat loss timeline

          If you’re trying to lose fat, I have 2 pieces of news for you:

          1. It will come faster. Fat loss has a shorter timeline.
          2. It will be exactly as hard as building muscles, if not harder.

          Here’s what you can expect if you’re starting to lose weight. Here again: Proper guidance can speed up the process.

          Month 1

          “I’ve lost 10kg in the first week!”

          Your results will come fast. Too fast.

          You will feel exhausted. Most of your weight that you lose will be water. This is the big dip in the whole weight loss process.

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          The shocking news: Most people stop their diet in the first month.

          Month 2-3

          You will reconsider your dieting strategy and opt for more sustainability. You will reintroduce “bad foods” in your diet that you’ve most likely blocked out in the first two weeks or month.

          Because balance (and not quitting your diet) is more important to you at this stage than seeing rapid weight loss. Your life quality will increase at this stage.

          Month 6-12

          At this time frame, you have probably lost more than 10kg. The majority of the people looking to lose weight will be satisfied with their results and shocked by how much of a difference it makes in their appearance.

          You will feel more confident, more energized and more self-assured. You would’ve never guessed that you could make it, that you could finally lose your weight – yet you did!

          And everyone will notice. “What happened to you?!” – your friends will ask you jealously. Old crushes of you will suddenly initiate contact again just to know what you’re “up to this weekend”.

          The fat loss after this stage will come slowly if you haven’t been obese to start with. The goal at this stage is to have created a rock-solid habit out of your gym and eating patterns.

          Then you don’t have to worry about the Yo-Yo effect.

          Conclusion

          “You changed my life!”

          The same teenager took me aside at a Monday evening. He had his first date the weekend prior. Apparently it went well.

          In the whole time frame we worked together, he built up more than 10 kilograms of muscles. It took him more than 2 years. Yet I’m sure if you’d ask him today, he would tell you that it was all worth it.

          Focus on the things that you can control. Losing fat or building muscles might be an overwhelming task to start out with. We have to delay our innate need for instant gratification and focus on the things that we can control.

          Changing our genetic blueprint or the responses our muscles have to the training stimulus is not in our hands. But training at least 2 times per week, eating the right foods and setting the right goals and expectations is.

          Featured photo credit: Arthur Edelman via unsplash.com

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