How to finally start a fitness routine

By Kathleen A. Martin,

Posted at Jan 26 2013 01:55 PM | Updated as of Feb 04 2013 07:54 PM

MANILA, Philippines - January is almost over and you still haven't started on that "Get fit" or "Lose weight" New Year's resolution.

Scared of expenses a gym membership might cost you? Don't be. You have a lot of workout venues to choose from but you have to start with allocating a budget for your fitness venture first.

Lara Parpan, editor-in-chief at Women's Health Philippines, shared one should set aside about 5% of your disposable income for a gym membership.

"The 5% is just about gym membership. We're not even talking about the shoes, equipment, the gear you need, and all that," Parpan told ANC's "On The Money".

"But I'd like to think that the 5% or any number you put for fitness is not an expense but an investment in your future. I think that's one way that people should look at it," she stressed.

Parpan shared that current gym memberships cost around P3,000 to P10,000 a month. The basic packages already include being able to use all the venue's amenities, unlimited number of sessions and a couple of sessions with a personal trainer.

The rise in the rate comes as one opts to have a personal trainer for each session he visits the gym.

"For those who are starting out, first off, I strongly recommend that they go see a doctor to get a clean bill of health," Parpan said.

A check-up is important to alert the would-be gym rat of any medical issues such as a heart disease before hitting the treadmill or lifting weights, she explained.

"When you get a clean bill of health, you have to find out how much time you want to set aside for fitness. [You have to consider that] if you want to lose weight, you have to go at least three times a week," Parpan said.

And after only being given a go-signal by your doctor and allotting time for your workout, can you shop or try out different gyms before signing up with one.

Parpan pointed out that an important thing in choosing a gym is accessibility. One should find one near his home or his workplace to avoid being discouraged to go to the gym by a long commute or the traffic jam that comes with it.

When you're all set to sign up for a gym, Parpan noted one should not only aim to shed some weight but also get really fit in the process.

"For beginners, I know weight loss is always a number one goal and there's nothing wrong with that. But they should also consider increasing their level of fitness--that means getting the right amount of cardio and weight training involved," Parpan said.

Moreover, she advised gym enthusiasts, especially those who are only starting to work out, to be patient.

"I try to advise people that go to the gym not to expect results right away," Parpan said.

"They should be able to commit themselves to it and they should give it at least a month to three months just to see the results and then get used to it because it's something that takes discipline," she continued.