The First Day

The First Day

Welcome to your first day of fitness. And believe me when I say that today is the easiest of all the fitness days. So far you should have defined your goals for your future fitness, decided the best workouts for you, and developed your support group.

Today you will set the precedent for all of your future workouts. The level of commitment you show yourself today will motivate or de-motivate you in future sessions. Before we begin there are a few things you should consider doing.

First, take a picture of yourself in your bathing suit. This is your first day, this is the beginning, and this is what we want to improve on. This picture will be used for comparison in the following weeks. Six weeks from now when you’re ready to take that day off from your workout or splurge from your diet you can look at this picture and look at yourself in the mirror and compare your progress to your “old body.” To accompany this picture measure your entire body, every part. Bicep size, waist size, thigh size, neck size, hat size, everything. Create a table to track these on a weekly basis. These numbers will not change daily, but weekly you will notice a change.

The next step is to create a fitness spreadsheet. This sheet should have dates on the first row and exercises on the column. This will be used to track your progress.

Sally Wally 8/20/07 8/21/07 8/22/07 8/23/07

Leave some space for comments at the bottom and leave several blank rows for adding exercises you discover.

As each day comes and goes mark what activities you completed and measure your success. After a few days you may have this as your table:

Sally Wally 8/20/07 8/21/07 8/23/07 8/24/07
Run 2 miles 16 min   2 Miles 16 min  
Stretching 15 minutes 20 minutes 18 Minutes 20 Minutes
Water 20 Ounces 18 Ounces 24 Ounces 22 Ounces
Rest   XXXXXXXX    
Sit-ups 50     120
Swim     10 Laps 15 Laps
Sleep 8.5 hours 8.75 hours 8.2 Hours 8.5 Hours

Comments: The water in the fountain at the city park is not very tasty, bring a water bottle.

Our table here has added a few new exercises as we discovered them. I want you to notice the big ugly “X” in the “Rest” row. We did not do any exercise on that day. We are telling ourselves that this was not a very healthy day for us compared to what we want to be doing, and making that day stand out in hopes of not having many more. At least we still stretched that day. Stretching is something you must do every day. Doing so improves flexibility and endurance. Proper stretching can also increase muscle mass and usability.

We also added our water and sleep totals. This is important as well. Water and sleep help fuel and rebuild our muscles to improve our health.

Our sheet also shows comments. We discovered that the public fountain at the park is substandard, we will need to bring our own supply of water. This is your sheet, take ownership of it. Write down what is important to you.

Begin your diet today if you have not already. The correct food will help your body feel energized and comfortable. Soda and junk food is the enemy. These things actually make you feel less energized and complicate your work out. Water and natural foods are our friends.

Make sure to stretch before and after your workout to help remove the lactic acids from your muscles. The stretching not only prevents injuries, but also helps ease you into your work out and makes it more enjoyable, and less painful. I can not over emphasize the value of stretching. An effective stretch when you wake and one before you sleep will improve your total health feel and sleep cycles.

For your goals for your first day I offer two. The first is “do not quit,” you will surprise yourself by pushing past the pain tolerance you have learned and accomplishing more. When you want to quit, when you “think” you are tired, go a few minutes more. You will like your self better that first day for what you have accomplished. You will feel more energized and read for the next day.

Your second goal is very simple; it will be our mantra for all of our workouts, “All you have to do is Breathe.” Keep breathing; keep focusing on your breath. Take your mind off of your workout and listen to your marvelous body breathe. All your body wants to do is breathe, so let it. Feel the rhythm and let it take over your body. During any workout there is one constant, breath. If it’s during a competitive sport, make your self breathe. During your run, feel it come in your nose and out your mouth. The good goes in… The bad comes out. From this day forward you will know and think one thing for every exercise:

“All you have to do is breathe.”

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