If you want to get in shape but are unsure of where to start, don’t be intimidated. While there’s a wealth of knowledge that can sometimes seem like an information overload, a handful of common themes will always be obvious. Most fitness professionals will agree on a few overarching mantras that can apply to everyone who wants to shed kilos and get toned. Develop a Routine Running kilometers every day or lifting an enormous amount of weight isn’t as important as the frequency at which you exercise. You can take six days off and run 4 kms on the seventh day, but that won’t do you any favours. Fitness experts unanimously agree that working out on a consistent basis is fundamental to physical health. This means establishing a routine and sticking to it. As a start try to work out every other day. Even if you can’t go all-out with an intensive routine during your sessions, at least get up off the couch and get active. If you are short on time or energy, take a walk around the block, do some sit-ups or clean the house. Strive for a Reachable Goal Everyone who starts an exercise routine should have a clear goal in mind. Don’t make it too hard a goal to reach though. Settle on a reasonable expectation, something to work toward. A realistic goal will provide you with the motivation you need to stick to your routine. Once you reach your goal, reward yourself with some positive reinforcement, perhaps by way of a “cheat day” in your diet or a day off from your typical exercise routine. By setting a series of benchmarks throughout your fitness regimen, you’ll always have something to strive for. Find a Friend Fitness professionals stress the importance of making exercise a social activity. Working out alone can become monotonous and even depressing. You’ll be more motivated to work out and stick to a schedule if you have a friend who exercises with you. If you don’t know anyone who exercises on a regular basis, join us at the gym – we’re nice people! – and introduce yourself to everyone that you can. All you need is one workout buddy to reap the rewards. You’ll also provide someone else with the company they might be craving as much as you. Simplify Your Workout Can’t get to the gym today? You can perform sit-ups, pushups, lunges and other floor exercises in any space you can find. Turn up the music and burn off the calories with an indoor dance session. Take the stairs not the lift, do some skipping or clean the house extra fast! Choose the Right Time Everyone has a preferred time of day to be physically active. Some like to burn off stress after working at the office. Others like to kick start their day with a morning workout. Pay attention to your body clock; figure out when you typically have an excess of energy, and exercise at that time each day. You’ll burn the most calories and work your muscles better when you are in a good mood and full of energy. Choose Exercises You Enjoy Fitness experts agree that people reap the most benefits when they choose exercises and activities they enjoy. As long as your favourite exercises meet minimal standards in terms of intensity and duration, you’ll get a sufficient workout while having fun. By choosing something you love to do, and that is convenient, you’ll be motivated to exercise on a consistent basis and at an intensity level that benefits your health. The Body (and health) of Your Dreams Awaits Fitness professionals agree that exercise needs to be custom tailored to the individual’s unique needs, desires and abilities. While there’s a wide range of opinions about what types of workouts are best, industry experts unanimously agree on a collection of universal ideals on how best to slim down and build muscle through physical activity. The keys are to establish a routine, set obtainable goals, find friends with similar exercise interests and make use of every resource at your disposal. And most importantly – have some fun!