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At this point we have discussed diet and supplement changes for a “new and sustainable you” many times, and again I think this should be the first lifestyle change you make. The next change to make is in your fitness routine, but without the proper diet you’ll be constantly trying to out-train a bad diet, which never ends well.

And similar to diet changes, don’t make fitness changes drastic and overnight. Don’t go spending a ton of money or all of your time at the gym. Make these changes slowly and really find what you enjoy doing.

So Many Options

This time of year is perfect to start a fitness journey because most people are doing the same. This can work in your favor because a lot of gyms will offer discounts and coupons. If the gym is calling your name, then now is the time to join. You still don’t have to go every single day for hours on end, but take advantage of classes offered and learn from others around you. Just getting started is the hardest part.

If a gym is not in your budget, or you’re like me and prefer working out alone, then it’s time to do some research online. There are tons of websites that offer free at home workout plans—and not to mention videos, free and otherwise, that you can follow at home. You can find weighted and non-weighted workouts such as plyometrics, yoga, jump rope, etc. that you can explore in the comfort of your own home.

And some people find having a goal, besides just being healthier, such as preparing for a 5k, Tough Mudder, or Spartan race to be a very good motivator as well. So see if any race types spark your interest and go from there.

Life Happens

Finding the right combo of diet and exercise can be difficult and honestly will take time. It has taken me years of trial and error since high school sports ended. I’ve tried everything from 5am workouts and very strict meal plans to only running and no meal plan at all and a lot in-between.

As weird as it sounds, even though I’ve started and stopped many different lifestyle changes through the years, the effort was constant and I still saw results.

Whatever changes you decide to make, even if you go bigger than advised in the beginning, be sure to keep track of the changes that happen to your body. Throughout the many years of my health and fitness journey, I kept pictures, measurements and even downloaded apps to help me track and see progress. Because even when I felt I wasn’t seeing any results, I could look back years later and see that over all I’m moving in the right direction.

My journey changes constantly as my life changes and there are inevitably going to be hiccups. You don’t have to have one plan and stick to it forever and you don’t have to feel bad if you get bored or run down. You still need to push yourself to make better choices but take your journey day by day as it fits in your life.

Paige Peterson