Starting a New Fitness Program

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The end of 2013 has arrived and it’s coming to that time of year when many people start thinking about setting goals for 2014.

If you have a fitness goal in mind, here’s a few handy hints to help realise your goal.

Becoming fit and being active is something that should be seen as an enjoyable part of your life and not a chore. Whether your goal is to lose weight and be healthy, finish a race, achieve a new personal best or be a part of a team, getting started can actually be the hardest part. Once you get into a routine and start to enjoy the great feeling exercise provides, the hardest part may become trying to stop. To assist you in becoming fit and healthy, here are 5 tips for starting a new fitness program. 

1. Set yourself a goal
Setting goals whether you consider them big or small is very important when completing any form of training/exercise. This will keep you focused on your training and provide you with drive and motivation for self-achievement and satisfaction. When setting a fitness goal you want to consider questions such as:

  • What is my current fitness level?
  • What form of exercise do I enjoy?
  • Do I need others around me to get motivated or am I self-sufficient?
  • How many days/times a week can I train?
  • Is there an event I could partake in?

2. Have a plan and direction
The most important thing with any training is direction and structure. Here you should look to identify what days you are able to get active and how many training sessions a week is realistic for your lifestyle. It always helps to write this down so you can hold yourself accountable to your training at a later date. Choosing an event or planning a weekend away to get fit and healthy is always a fantastic and rewarding option and provides drive and motivation.

3. Acquire the right equipment
Gather your training equipment for your chosen sport such as shoes and clothes for the gym, bathers and goggles for swimming or a bike, helmet and clothing for cycling. You do not need to go and spend big money on the latest and greatest equipment however sometimes purchasing a new item will motivate you and provide some drive to get out there amongst it. If you choose a sport that requires expensive equipment such as surfing or cycling then try to borrow or acquire some cheaper second hand gear. You can always upgrade later if you become hooked on the sport and this can also be seen as a reward for your hard earned work.

4. Surround yourself with the right people
Training with a fitness group or with friends is advantageous as it keeps you motivated and your training mates will hold you accountable to sessions. Another great reason for group training is that you push each other to new fitness levels and you also learn from training mates and their experiences. This might also be in the form of team mates if playing a team sport or a coach/personal trainer if you require some additional assistance and feedback.

5. Start slowly and progressively build
When training and exercising you always want to have somewhere to go and aim for (e.g it’s no good trying to run 20km if the farthest you have previously run is 5km). This means that you need to start slowly and progressively build your training each week allowing your body to adapt. If you start out training too hard your body will not condition to the training and run the risk of injury and illness. This is a common mistake I see often and it leaves people injured on the sidelines and sends them back to square one.

Ryan Bourke (Triathlon Coach | Head Swim Coach of Tri Alliance)

If you want to discuss any aspect of swim training, other exercise, or health with one of our practitioners, please feel free to ask a questioncontact us or email us at

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