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5 Expert Tips for a Successful Fitness Journey | An Interview with Certified Personal Trainer, Patricia Opong-Brown

Hey ladies, as you know in last month’s posts,  I’ve shared about my fitness journey! Many of you have popped into my DMs to ask for more details on how to get started and keep going.  So I thought, what better way to get you ladies what you’ve asked for than to partner with the expert! In today’s post, I’m sharing the expert fitness tea, as told by Patricia Opong-Brown, Certified Personal Trainer! Check out her 5 expert tips for a successful fitness journey! Enjoy and be encouraged!

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1. What is the best way to start a fitness journey?

Depending on your medical history, the first step is to get clearance from your doctor to rule out any restrictions. Second, define your why (weight loss for improved health, run a 5k, do 10 push-ups etc). Fitness is a habit for life, not a temporary fad. Once you determine your why, you can seek the help of a personal trainer, a registered dietitian or a nutritionist, join a gym, or take classes online such as on YouTube.

2. What is the best way to stay focused?

Set a goal that is realistic and manageable for your life. For instance, if you want to lose 40 pounds within a certain period of time, set small goals. Often times, people set goals that they want to complete in a short time period, and end up disillusioned when the pace of weight loss starts to slow down. Loosing one to two pounds a week is realistic, and will keep you motivated. Regarding time at the gym, it’s better to exercise a certain number of days per week than to generally tell yourself that you’ll workout. For instance, exercise three times a week and stick to that goal.

3. Any expert advice on food/balance?

I highly recommend you seek the help of a registered dietitian or nutritionist to help with healthy eating. In my experience, using an app such as MyFitnesPal is a fantastic way to track the food that you are eating and exercise to help you loose weight and stay motivated.  Remember that most of weight loss starts in the kitchen; keep yourself on track.

4. What is the best workout schedule to adopt?

I’m a strong proponent of adopting a routine that fits your schedule. When you do what works for you, you have a high probability of sticking to it. For instance, if you’re not an early riser and I tell you to workout first thing in the morning, you may not stick with it. If you’re exhausted or have a busy schedule in the evenings, but I tell you to exercise, you won’t stick to it. Do what works for you so that you’ll be consistent and set yourself up to succeed.

5. Any other tips/pointers you’d like to add?

There are no shortcuts to fitness or weight loss. Don’t compare yourself to anyone in a self defeating way. Instead, find motivating folks in your life or online. Due to genetics, you’ll loose weight and build muscle at a pace that works for your body. Remember this is a lifetime habit. When you fall off the wagon, dust yourself off and continue.

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Patricia Opong-Brown has a Masters Degree in Communications from Washington State University. She has been working in the fitness industry since 1997 and is a certified Group Exercise and Personal Trainer through Athletics and Fitness Association of America. Patricia currently works at L. A. Fitness and coaches at Orange Theory Fitness in Woodbridge.

You can connect with Patricia on IG @Afuah_Opong on Facebook Fitness with Patricia