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Kick-start your fitness plan in 5 to 7 days

Making a short-term commitment can propel you to healthy habits and rewarding results
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3 min
Athletes often preach about focusing on one game at a time.

That same kind of approach works when you decide to begin a fitness plan.

Devoting five to seven days at the gym to kick-start your plan takes away the stress of wondering if you can go the distance.

“For people to commit to one week is a lot more close to most people's stage of readiness than to commit to something for a full year. You rarely see that,” says Kim Lavender, vice-president, team training and specialty group training for GoodLife Fitness.

“When people believe that they can do this, sometimes what that does is at least gets them started.”

And you will feel a difference in five to seven days.

“They will have more energy, their confidence will increase,” she says. “Chances are their posture will improve right away and they'll just start to feel stronger.”

Here's how a one-week kick-start might play out and roll into a longer, satisfying workout commitment.

The game plan
A meeting with a personal trainer tailors your program – after some important questions are answered.

How many days a week can you realistically commit to exercise, including recovery time?

“Allow your programming to meet you where you're at,” says Lavender, who's been in the fitness business for 28 years.

“If you've not been exercising at all, jumping into a high-intensity interval workout is probably not the best course because you're going to end up sore, not liking exercise and not wanting to continue.”

Do you prefer group sessions or working out on your own?

Many people enjoy the social aspect of group classes so Lavender put together this sample kick-start program with that in mind.

Day 1
This day is an introduction to the options for group workouts, which could be athletic- or cross-training based. It may be a boot camp or TRX Team Training with a suspension system that uses gravity and a person’s body weight to perform various exercises.

“On that first day, we would give them reminders about hydration as part of overall health and well-being,” Lavender says. “Your sleep is a pillar of your health and, obviously, eating whole foods and clean is going to give you the best fuel for these types of workouts.

Day 2
First full boot camp session.

Day 3
Since you may be sore after the boot camp, a yoga session is recommended.

Day 4
Time to repeat the boot camp, but don’t forget about hydration, proper nutrition and sleep.

Day 5
This day shifts to a core workout focusing on your torso and the muscles connecting your upper and lower body. Strengthening these muscles tones your tummy and buttocks and improves posture.

Day 6
Do a boot camp again.

Day 7
Dial in on recovery with a yoga or BodyFlow class, which combines tai chi, yoga and pilates.

The result
Now that you’ve kicked off your fitness plan, give yourself a pat on the back and then flow into the next week, whether it’s three or four or five trips to the club. You can even switch the boot camp for a different group session, but still maintain the yoga and core workouts.

“It’s important to have social networking and support and programming in which they start to feel successful and tally up some wins,” Lavender says. “When people are winning, they're going to repeat it. When they feel beat up, it breeds excuses.”

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