How to get started on (or re-start!) your fitness journey
You’ve come to realise that things maybe aren’t as pert as they once were, you don’t have as much energy as you used to or you’ve realised that your lifestyle isn’t as healthy as you’d like (especially after 6 months of Covid craziness)......and now you're thinking something needs to change! Admitting you need to do something is the first step. It’s the second step of actually starting a new lifestyle that’s the daunting and difficult part. So I’m going to give you some tips that will help you make the move:
1) Set your goals – SMART ones. Think realistically about what you want to achieve- there’s no point saying you want to be a size smaller in 3 months if you can’t commit to more than half an hr a week for example.
2) Work out what you like doing and take into consideration the recommended balance of activity you should try and get in a week (150 mins of moderate cardio activity, alongside strength and flexibility workouts).
3) Look at your diary and work out the time you can dedicate to it – pop it in your diary as you would a meeting and you’re more likely to adhere to it.
4) Check out your local options and finances – what can you afford to do? What sort of accountability do you want, what sort of commitment do you want?
5) Try different things until you find something you love. If it’s a chore you’re going to bore of it quite quickly. Get creative too – you could play football in the park with the kids, do some gardening, do some dancing….it doesn’t have to involve going to a gym or a class.
6) Keep track of your progress – fitness levels, energy levels etc. Do some tests* (as well as measurements) to check your fitness levels at the start and then re-test at certain intervals (every 6-8 weeks). And don’t forget to celebrate the small achievements along the way and not just the big end goal.
7) Tell your family friends what you’re doing – get them on board as support and to help with your motivation levels
8) Don’t go too gung-ho. Start slowly and progress from there. Start with some hugely intense class where you feel like dying afterwards probably isn’t going to want to make you go back. Ease your way in!
9) Finally once you’ve got yourself into it, don’t forget to have rest and recovery days. Just as it’s not healthy to be sedentary, it’s also not great to exercise too much – give your muscles time to recover and repair themselves. Listen to your body!
I’ve created a checklist to help you with this planning - see blog homepage to download.
I know its tough to get started but once you do, you’ll wonder why you didn’t do so earlier!
I’m happy to have a chat about what you could do and what direction you should take (no obligation) so please get in touch.
* TESTS you could do
· Take your pulse rate before and immediately after walking 1 mile at a moderate pace
· Time how long it takes to walk 1 mile or 400 meters, or how long it takes to run 1.5 miles
· How many crunches can you do in a minute (or until your form goes)?
· How many press ups can you do in a minute (or until your form goes)? You could do this as a box, half or full press up but make sure you test yourself doing the same one next time
· How long can you hold a plank?
· How far you can reach forward while seated on the floor with your legs in front of you
· How wide can you stretch your legs out while seated – more or less than 90 degrees for example
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