I’ve probably said it a thousand times, but it’s always a good time to start exercising!
The only thing is that while we all have this idea in our heads that getting to the gym should, in theory, be a simple first step on your way to a new and improved body and mind, I can say from my own experience this first step is often the most difficult.
The good news is if you can put in this first burst of effort you’ll be over the hump and on your way to a healthier, stronger lifestyle before you know it.
Trust me – you want to start today!
If you’re reading this, you’ve probably seen or experienced a common rut. You might spend a lot of time thinking about joining to gym, starting running every morning, looking for personal trainer, but somehow eventually you end up spending your downtime back on the couch with Netflix. If so, there’s no need to be ashamed. This behaviour is common for most people and stems from a natural desire to avoid any experience of discomfort. Yes, exercising is not about feeling relaxed and cosy. Psychologist Sherry Pagoto uses theories of human behaviour and reasoning to explain how immediate pleasures often outweighs future rewards. This means that it is difficult to do something uncomfortable even when it will bring us something very good later.
But no need to worry too much. Another study has proven that you can easily overcome these typical behaviours and start exercising straight away. All you have to do is think about it as something that is improving your daily well-being – benefiting you.
If you’re reading this article you might already be at the stage where you are about to start working out, but believe me when I say this stage could last for years. If you mean it, my best advice would be to stop reading right after the next sentence. Find some space and do 10 push-ups, 10 squats and 10 jumps on the spot. No seriously, try it now.
Done? Congratulations! You’ve just taken the first step on your way to a new and improved body and mind! I bet you already feeling a little bit different and now if you like it and want to keep it going, here are a few more steps for you.
1. Check how fit you are
Remember to consult your doctor and get a physical medical examination if you are not used to strenuous physical activity. This is especially true if you are aged 45 and over. Now, we all know how difficult it is to book an appointment at the GP (even when you’re sick). If you’re looking for some quick information instead, you can self-assess your health at the NHS “How Are You Quiz”. Be honest with your answers and this quiz will give you a general assessment of your current fitness.
2.Set realistic goals
Take a moment to ask yourself, why do you want to start exercising? It helps to give yourself something real to work toward. For example, ‘I want to lose weight’ rephrased as a goal could be ‘I want this dress to fit in three weeks.’
Maybe your reason is ‘I want to look great!’, so your measurable goal might be to get 10 compliments after a month of working out. These goals will measure your results, so keep them clear, realistic, and concise.
3. Find out what you like and what you hate
This is the most important part. Some people say, that they really hate to exercise and usually I just ask them why? Which part? There’s so much diversity in fitness options available out there that there is something for everyone. For example, getting sweaty is the problem, why not try yoga or something that requires a less intense workout. Once you define your preferences, your fitness routine will become more enjoyable and personalized.
Generally, all fitness programs are based on aerobic, strength, callisthenics, HIIT, boot camps, flexibility, and stability. When possible it’s better to combine them. This way you can be sure that there’s something keeping you excited and motivated to keep exercising every week.
4. Make it a habit!
If after a month you suddenly realize it’s hard to imagine going days without exercising anymore, then you’ve made it! Once you make exercising a habit it becomes really difficult to give up. This has been confirmed by a recent study that found that replacing an unhealthy behaviour with a new healthy habit helps in maintaining it long term.
So if you followed my directions I know you already warmed up earlier at the start of the post. Now it’s time to start exercising. Yes, right now!
REPS Level 3 Personal trainer UK,
Personal trainer at EasyGym, Chelsea Harbour Club,
Les Mills Teacher (Body Pump, Body Combat, Cxworx)