What is a beginner's guide to health and fitness, where do you start?

So you've decided to put down the takeaways, clear out the cupboard of all
the white flour, high sugar rubbish and get fit, lose weight and totally change your lifestyle?


First step you need to determine your starting point, how much of a beginner are you? Have you ever bought and used gym shoes or are you someone that was once fit but has accidentally stumbled upon 10kg?

Let's say you are in reasonable health and are at least familiar with the term exercise, in saying that even if you aren't you just need to take the same advice but take it a bit slower.


Step 1- Get a purpose - a goal! This could be as simple as you want to fit into a particular size or big like run a marathon, but you need purpose.

To stop you putting it off till tomorrow, always stick a time line to it, a goal without a deadline is just a dream. A good goal should scare you enough that it makes you take action and so you can't back out you should tell as many people as possible about it.


  Step 2- Get some gear. It doesn't matter if you get it from the Warehouse, Rebel Sport or borrow it from a friend it just needs to be something you can  move in. If you're thinking of starting with running its worthwhile getting fitted for a sports shoe by a shoe specialist to help prevent injuries.
Step3- Enlist a buddy or some professional help. There will inevitably be times that are tough, times that you want to give up, when you can't be bothered or you get frustrated from not seeing results; having a buddy will help pick you up and motivate you when you need a little help.

Likewise if you don't have a willing buddy you could always sign up for a bunch of
 classes or a bootcamp and make some new friends.

Step 4- set a non-negotiable daily appointment with yourself to get your
 exercise done! Getting healthy should be your number one goal and making
 time should be a priority. 



If you set a goal to run a half marathon and have never run, then you are realistically looking at 6month plus to be able to run or run/walk it, so you will need to make a reasonable timeframe to fit your goal.

The first run, you might be out there all of 5 minutes before you need to sit down or turn back, but it does get better. Each time you go out (this should be 3-4 times a week) you will go further, feel better and not be so much of a heaving panting mess when you crawl  home.
In a few short weeks you will be able to run whole kilometres and make it past song 2 on your iPod and the feeling you will get will be amazing, you will, in time start feeling really good, better that you will have thought all those times you drove past  runners in your car wondering if you should give it a go.


If your goal is to get up on stage and compete in figure or body building then it all depends on what you are starting with, what the raw material is so to speak to determine your timeframe.

I do urge you to get hold of either PT or someone that has competed before who will take you under their wing as there's a lot of misinformation out there and you can waste a lot of time doing the wrong thing. Getting up on stage is the most amazing feeling and all the chicken, egg whites and broccoli is totally worth it.

 Whatever you decide to do, just know that everyone starts from somewhere, you can start from being a total couch potato and achieve whatever you can dream of, it just takes time, effort, a bit of planning and faith in yourself, so GET STARTED NOW.

Natasha Guy
Personal Trainer
Natarsha is a Personal Trainer based in Dunedin and she is currently training to compete in a figure show in May!

Find out more about Tarsh at www.balanceforlife.co.nz
  • • Catch fitness best personal trainer 2008,
  • • Fitnesslife Up and coming personal trainer (SI) runner up 2008
  • • Fitnesslife up and coming personal trainer (SI) winner 2009
  • • February/March NZ fitness magazines personal trainer of the month 2010
  • • September 2010 competed in IFBB South Island Champs

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