Whether you’re just starting out on your fitness and health journey, or perhaps you’re an old hand, these are some little tips and reminders that we can all benefit from.
The hardest part is starting…
It really is. However, once you do start you’ve already achieved a fantastic goal – one that most of the world’s population NEVER choose. You should be proud!
Start where you are
Start at whatever level you are currently at, set achievable goals that suit your level of fitness. However, you need to make these goals progressive. Revisit them regularly and continue to ‘up-the-ante’ so you progress and move forward.
Identify barriers early
It’s important to not only know what motivates you, but to know what is likely (or will) de-motivate you or become a ‘reason’ (ahem…excuse) for not exercising. Perhaps you need to organise to meet a friend for a walk twice a week, meeting up with someone makes you more accountable and more likely to keep your workout ‘date’.
Perhaps having less “fuss” for actually getting out the door to go for a run is what you crave. For example having your gear ready to go in one place. You can throw it on after work and head straight out. No searching for your socks, your iPod or your hat, only to declare 20 minutes later “I can’t find them, now it’s dark outside so what’s the point!”. We’ve all been there.
Do something you actually enjoy
I know, this seems like a no brainer….BUT, so often we do an exercise or activity because we think we should, and if we’re really honest with ourselves…we don’t enjoy it. Now you’re probably wondering how do I know what I enjoy…? Trial and error my friend. Try different activities, exercise styles, classes or even trainers. Allow yourself time to enjoy something too, perhaps you’ll hate your first Pilates class, but by the third one you really start to enjoy it. Or, you still hate it so you try something different. Simple.
Doing a little of something is far better than doing a whole heap of nothing. When you’re pressed for time, feeling really frazzled, over-run with all of life’s “stuff”…scheduling time to exercise can often become a very low priority. However even if you can manage just 5 minutes of SOMETHING….you will be far better off than if you just did NOTHING. Who knows….perhaps that 5 minutes of gentle stretching will end up as 20 minutes of yoga and core exercises? You might just surprise yourself.
Celebrate the wins
Always! Whether they’re big or small, celebrate your achievements. Share your wins with family, friends or even here with me. Find people who will celebrate with you and always be there to high five you and return a fist bump.
Listen to your body
Ultimately you know it best. Know when you need to pull back and be a little gentler with yourself – and be okay with that. Having said that it’s important to remember that you are capable of more than you think. It’s an important (and not always easy) skill to understand the difference between challenging yourself and harming yourself.
Don’t be scared to lift weights (heavy ones!)
This is mainly for the women out there that avoid lifting weights or doing other body weight type exercises for fear it will make them bulky. Let me tell you ladies…it will NOT make you bulky – not even close! Building lean muscle will boost your metabolic rate, improve your overall tone, increase your strength and endurance (especially for everyday tasks like…lifting grocery bags and small children) and improve your overall shape.
Exercising to “just lose weight” is bullshit
Exercising with the sole purpose of weight-loss is not a good enough motivator, especially in the long run. What happens when you hit your target weight..? You stop? You state that you no longer need to workout as you’ve reached your target weight..? No, that’s a load of crap. Exercise is about more than weight loss…
- cardiovascular health, endurance and strength
- Bone health
- Better sleep
- Stress reduction
- Improved mood and mental clarity
- Greater self-confidence
- strength and endurance for everyday living
- Muscle protection & building – greater metabolic rate & energy expenditure
- Set a wonderful example for your friends and family – be their inspiration and motivation!
Simply changing all of your “I CANT’s” to “I CAN” will dramatically change how you feel about yourself and your ability to achieve your health and fitness goals. Some days will be easier than others…but the more you practice using positive self talk the easier it will get, and the better you will feel. Promise.
Now go forth gorgeous people and fall in-love with physical activity. Be the person that exercises, that takes the stairs, that takes a less convenient car park so you can walk just a little bit more. I’ll be here, cheering you on and offering a high five or a fist bump as required 🙂