7 Things You Need When Starting Your New Physical Fitness Journey

“Where or how do I begin?” It’s one of the top fitness questions asked, and understandably so. Beginning any journey is intimidating, let alone one that is health and fitness related. But with the proper information and preparation it doesn’t have to be.  I’m guessing you’ve heard that if you want to make your goals a reality, then you must bring action to your intentions. However, this is isn’t completely true. In fact, it’s literally incomplete. The key is to bring informed actions to your intentions. Think about it for a second: If you blindly take action, but it isn’t thought through, chances are things will not only not workout, but you could even do more harm than good. Start a diet regimen or fitness program, but don’t have the proper plan in place you could harm your metabolism, injure yourself, and potentially beget a cycle of yo-yo dieting. So what that being said, what is the proper plan? Here I have outlined the steps I took when starting my fitness journey of loosing 40lbs on Revenge Body with Khloe Kardashian. These steps I believe will help every beginner and ensure you get off on the right foot and help with your success like they did mine.

  1. Always Carry A Water Bottle With You

My trainer Simone De La Rue of Body By Simone always asks, are you drinking enough water? If you’re like most Americans, chances are you’re probably not. In 2013, the National Cancer Institute’s Food Attitudes and Behaviors Survey found that an alarming 78 percent of people surveyed admitted to drinking fewer than the right amount of water each day. Because roughly 60 percent of the body is made of water, it is important to drink enough to maintain the body’s fluid balance, which helps transport nutrients in the body, regulate body temperature, digest food, and more.

The easiest way to remember to drink more water is to carry a water bottle at all times. And rather than buy a new plastic water bottle every day, consider carrying a shatterproof glass water bottle. Disposable plastic bottles are bad for the environment and contain chemicals like BPA that leach into your water. Glass, on the other hand, doesn’t have any chemicals, is reusable, and makes anything you’re drinking taste its best. 

Drinking more water delays hunger pangs and random cravings. It also increases the body’s metabolism. Some studies have shown that people who increased their water intake while dieting lost more weight than people that kept water consumption to minimal levels. As a plus, if you’re thirsty while on the go, you’ll have something on-hand right away, so you won’t be tempted to indulge in a soda from the nearest convenience story. Craving sugar? Add fruit to your water for a healthy beverage that quenches your thirst. Click HERE to see the type of water bottle I carry with me on the daily.

2.  Wear the Right Shoes

Whether your workout involves running, walking, sports or gym equipment, a decent sport shoe is a must. Injury caused by inappropriate shoes can needlessly derail your fitness or weight loss attempt. Investing in a quality shoe can help you to prevent foot and ankle damage, and make your workout a more pleasant and comfortable experience.

A variety of sport shoes are on the market for every type of exercise. Running shoes that have inbuilt shock absorbs are available for joggers, and lightweight walking shoes are available for walkers. Aerobic shoes are lightweight and shock absorbing to prevent foot fatigue and to cushion the ball of the foot, which is put under pressure from aerobic exercise. Tennis shoes have flexible soles to protect your feet from the quick side-to-side movement of tennis. Thick-soled, high top basketball shoes provide extra protection against ankle and foot injuries caused by jumping. Cross-training shoes are also available. These are suitable if you perform a number of sport or exercise types in your workout.

The McKinley Health Center recommends that you try on shoes in the afternoon or evening, or after your workout as your feet are largest at these times. Try the shoes on with sports socks to ensure a good fit and stand up when trying the shoes to make sure they fit. Leave a half inch between your big toe and the tip of the shoe and make sure you can easily wiggle your toes. Bend the shoe to make sure it is not overly flexible as this can indicate a lack of support. Also, If you can, find a place that will measure your feet. This will allow you to pick the type of shoe you need verse the one you like. When I worked out 2 hours a day 6 days a week I made sure to get my feet measured and picked a pair of shoes that were 100% correct for my feet according to the measurements.

3.  Download the Fitness Pal App

MyFitnessPal is one of the most popular calorie counters right now. It tracks your weight and calculates a recommended daily calorie intake. It also contains a well-designed food diary and an exercise log. The homepage provides a clear picture of how many calories you've consumed during the day. In addition, it shows your remaining recommended intake and the number of calories you’ve burned by exercising. If you're using a fitness tracking device, MyFitnessPal can likely sync with it to include its data in the exercise log. The app tracks your progress towards your goals and offers chat forums with fellow users. The forums include conversations, recipes, tips and personal success stories. MyFitnessPal's nutrition database is very extensive, containing over 5 million foods. You can also download recipes from the internet or create custom foods and dishes. The app even saves your favorite meals for convenient logging. Additionally, MyFitnessPal’s barcode scanner allows you to instantly enter the nutrition information of some packaged foods. Each day is presented as a pie chart, showing your breakdown of carbs, protein and fat. You can also write a note for each day, recording how things went or how you were feeling. The best part about MyFitnessPal? It’s FREE!

4. Wear A Fitbit 

I recently purchased a Fitbit to help me track my steps/workouts and measure how many calories I’m actually burning on a day to day basis. Fitbit will help you improve your health by encouraging you to move, keep track of those movements and move more often. According to the Mayo Clinic article Walking: Trim your waistline, improve your health, not only can walking help you manage and prevent various conditions like type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease, walking helps strengthen bones, improves your balance and coordination and even helps to lift your mood. Fitbit stays with you either clipped on your clothing or worn on the wrist depending on what model you have. Your data is only a glance away. When you go to Fitbit.com or download the Fitbit app and register, there is a wealth of information available. Number of steps walked, calories burned, weight left to lose, friend list, sleep history and more. Features vary depending on available functions in the model you choose.

It's pretty cool to be able to track your stats so easily. You can challenge yourself and your friends to do more. Fitbits are pretty straightforward and easy to operate. The app and the website are visually pleasing to look at and enter data. It's fun to see how much you've accomplished which encourages you to do more. When I was working out I personally set the goal to burn 500 calories during each workout.

5.  Have A Good Pair of Headphones

A good pair of headphones makes your music sound better, of course. But they can also dull the din of the world, making trains and jackhammers and open offices more bearable. They can help you make hands-free phone calls. They can even be better for your hearing in the long run. There’s honestly no one right answer when it comes to headphones. We all hear differently, have different ear and head shapes and like different things. You have to pick the ones that work for you—and I don’t mean because they’re expensive or come with some questionable audio-science claims or purport to make you as cool as LeBron James.

Here are a few simple tests to run on any headphones you listen to. (If you can, try them in an actual store before you buy.) Listen to a song, and try to pay attention to just one instrument—good headphones will let each one shine through; bad ones will muddy the whole mix.

Close your eyes and try to imagine how far away the music is. A great set of headphones makes the music feel live and in the room, not packaged and fed to you in bits. You shouldn’t only hear the drums but also know where they are. Also, music produces energy and sometimes music can be that extra boost you need to make it though your workout, So a good pair of headphones is necessary if you look at it from this perspective.

6.  Invest In Workout Gloves

One of the main benefits of workout gloves is the grip advantages that they supposedly offer. You see, holding onto heavy dumbbells or barbells can be tough, and a lot of people will find that they tend to slip (especially when your hands get sweaty). Workout gloves are designed with this in mind, with the palm area being constructed specifically to help you firmly grip onto the weights that you’re lifting. And, of course, the gloves will also make sure that sweat never causes the weights to slip out of your hands.

Let’s face it, one of the major points in favor of workout gloves is that they can be a lot more comfortable than going barehanded. Yup, those weights can be cold, rough, and uninviting to wrap your hands around. Gloves help to solve this problem, effectively protecting your hands from the elements. This is especially true if you’re working out in colder climates. Iron can get pretty damn cold, and workout gloves will largely protect you from this unpleasantness. Now some brands of gloves also provide an additional benefit, in the form of extra wrist support. These gloves typically have a velcro strap that you can wrap tightly around your wrist, making it feel more stable. Some people feel that this prevents wrist injuries, and can also be used to rehabilitate current wrist issues while still weightlifting.

 7.  Invest In A Workout Bag

 It is only natural to want to carry a great bag that will hold all your essentials. Technically, a workout bag is designed for transporting necessities to and from a fitness center, studio or gym. Today, however, workout bags are used for so much more. They can double as an airline carry-on bag, overnight bag, backpack hiking, or anywhere else active people go with items to carry. By investing in pieces that we really love and have affection for, we are bringing attention and excitement to our workouts themselves.

The workout bags of the old days are no longer. The diverse offerings of bags have become elevated and excitable - they aren’t just for the gym anymore. Prior to making a purchase, consider the possible uses and frequency of need. Decide whether the bag will fit in with your lifestyle and what you are looking for. Determine how important a designer label may be, fabric, colors, textures and the potential of extreme wear and tear. I personally use a standard duffel bag.