Now the festivities are nearly done and we usher in a brand new year, many people will be thinking about getting fitter and trying to adopt a healthier lifestyle.
It’s a busy time of year for me, but I thought I would spend a little time offering some tips to help you or your friends and family succeed in this endeavour. Here goes …
Set yourself a realistic goal
This can be something like losing x amount of weight, running for x amount of time, or anything that is measurable and set to a certain time scale. For example:
I want to lose 1/2 stone in a month from now or I want to be able to run for 20 minutes by Feb 12th
Slowly does it
Being keen is great but trying to run before you can walk is a sure way of getting injured and setting you back. Start slow and easy and build up gradually it will work. Some simple exercises you can do at home or without any equipment are:
- Walking, probably the easiest thing you can do to shift some weight and calories, the longer the better
- Housework, not the most interesting activity but will get you shifting some calories
- Cleaning the car, again not the most thrilling activity, but a good way to shift some calories
- Squats and lunges, great exercises for beginners and pros, burns mega calories and tones legs and butt at the same time!
- Push ups, to begin with a push up or press up will seem impossible, but there are variations that can start you off easily and build up to the real thing gradually
Pop in to the local gym
This in it self can be an intimidating thought, but it’s not as bad as you would expect. Granted, there are some gyms that more geared for bodybuilders but any decent gym will always make you feel welcome and encouraged to come and join them.
Buddy up and have some fun
You are not alone, guaranteed at least one of your friends or someone you know will be thinking the same as you. It has been shown that people training in groups or with friends are more successful in getting results and keeping them than those that are on their own. Don’t get me wrong, there are some very head strong individuals that will go it alone and do an amazing job.
Change your eating habits
This is probably the most important change you need to make. You may already have a healthy diet or you might think you have! Often people will eat too much of the wrong things and not enough of the right things. Reducing calories in your diet and burning calories through exercise will be like a double edged sword, slicing through fat and making you fitter and more toned. This may take a bit of calorie counting to begin with but you will soon find it easier and will pay off very quickly.
Change your mindset
Losing weight or getting fitter is not just about going to the gym and going on a diet. It is a lifestyle change and will play a big part in your life. Initially there may be some doubt whether it will work or if you can stick to it. It will and you can, as long as you stay on that path. Persevere, push your self (you are so much stronger than you know), be patient, it will be worth it, and progress: in order to reach a long term goal you may need to set smaller short term goals to help you reach the ultimate goal. You can also progress if your training becomes too easy or boring. Change it up, try something else; something more challenging.
Change it up
Training can be a bit samey, same set of exercises, same intensity, same duration. I will always try and change up my clients training to keep them engaged and challenged. It really helps and keeps you interested. Again this can be thought of as setting your self new goals or targets. Attending different classes is a great way of keeping it interesting. There are so many classes out there now and the atmosphere in most of them fantastic. Give it a whirl, you will wish you had tried it years ago.
Hopefully these few pointers will help out, you have to start somewhere and that spark will come from inside, you just have to act on it.