You may be among the many men who know that they are out of shape. Looking into a mirror hurts because you once looked good, but things have slipped for one reason or another. You are thinking about hitting the gym again, or you at least you want to start a fitness routine to regain your previous physique. To help you get back to where you were, here are some tips that make starting a fitness program easier.

  1. Set some realistic goals

Instead of just hitting the weights or exercise machines, take some time before you start and write down what you hope to achieve through your new fitness routine. If your goal is to lose weight, then choose a realistic number of pounds that you want to lose each week or month. Of course, reaching this goal will depend largely on two things: what you eat each day and how much time you can give to exercise.

If you have not been exercising at all for some time, realize that it will take a little time initially to overcome your sore muscles and stiff joints. Allow for this by starting out slowly and setting your early goals low. You might start out, for instance, at 15 minutes and then increase by five minutes per week until you hit the desired length of workout. You can increase or readjust your fitness time once you know what is realistic.

  1. Make a plan

After you determine what your goal is going to be, decide on what mode of exercise you will use to reach that goal. There are many ways to get into a fitness routine, but you need to pick a good one. You can choose free weights, weight machines, cardio routines, treadmills, elliptical machines, aerobics, Tai Chi, swimming and more. Bike riding, running and boxing are other choices.

A plan can be expected to work only so long as you can keep it up. If the format that you choose is not enjoyable, then you are unlikely to do it for long. It is also important to exercise when you have energy. If your energy levels are low after work, try getting up a little earlier and exercising in the morning instead.

  1. Get some motivation

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As you get started with exercising, expect your body and mind to want to quit early. This is especially true if you are overweight. It is apt to hurt somewhat, but if you keep your eye on your goal, whether it is to lose 40 pounds or to look like Arnold Schwarzenegger, you will have the motivation to keep going.

Mental barriers will arise as you exercise, such as the thought “Why am I doing this?” Emotional thoughts, such as “I don’t feel like doing this today,” are likely to occur as well. An easy way to overcome these barriers is to make your daily exercise routine a habit. This takes about 40 days, but once it becomes a habit, it will just be a natural part of your day. You will expect to do it, no questions asked.

  1. Wear the right clothes

Being equipped to work out includes having the right clothes to exercise with and feeling comfortable enough in them. They should allow you to stretch without fear of them ripping, cutting off your circulation or exposing too many body parts. There are several excellent options, and you can choose from a great collection of fitness clothes and specialized items such as compression socks.

  1. Work out with a friend

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There are a lot of things that are more enjoyable when you do it with a friend. This includes having a regular fitness regimen. Having someone else with you while you work out, even if it is a fitness coach, can provide you with the added motivation that you may need to keep up your routine. Be sure to find someone who is positive and who is not going to criticize.

Making plans ahead of time to meet someone to exercise with will go a long way toward helping you maintain your commitment. Each of your expectations of meeting the other person at the location of choice will enable the both of you to keep your routine going. Your friend will likely appreciate the motivation too.

Getting back into shape is a great idea. Having a good plan, an exercise you enjoy and some motivation along the way will help you reach your fitness goals. Finding someone else who needs motivation to accompany you is an ideal way to ensure that your own fitness routine works.

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