There is a great quote I love which is that "the start is what stops most people" and that is never more true then when it comes to exercise.
We all know that we should exercise regularly (at least 5 times per week - UK government guidelines) but if you have never done it before, how exactly do you start? It sounds easy in theory "just put on some trainers and go for a run!" is the advice you'll hear from experienced fitness fanatics. The lure of tempting membership offers from every gym start flooding in, and every newspaper and magazine invariably publishes a "10 ways to get fit" type article in their New Year edition. But are we going about it the right way?
The first step in solving any problem is realizing that there is one in the first place, so the very first thing to do is analyse where you are. Grab a big sheet of paper, and a pen and write down exactly what it is that you want to change. This is the point where you need to be completely honest with yourself. It's not a pleasant thing to do, to write down what you might see as your own shortcomings, but I promise that it is necessary!
Step 2 is to grab a completely new sheet of paper and write down write down your SMART goals, make sure every goal is Specific, Measurable, Realistic, and has a Time limit. An example of a smart goal is "To fit into my size 12 Jeans before 1st January 2018" as opposed to "lose some weight" - If you set vague goals, you will get vague results!
Step 3 should be an obvious one now - work out how to get from step 1, to step 2.
Now if you are new to exercise, this is where you need help. This is the point where most people fail, step 1 and step 2 are easy, step 3 is where it takes knowledge and experience, and most people try to take a short cut and figure it out themselves. I like to think of the human body as a car. It needs fuel, and needs to be looked after and it needs to be used correctly - if you don't, it's value will drop and ultimately it won't last as long! The other thing that makes it like a car, is that if anything goes wrong it is definitely where you call in a professional. Someone who has trained in every aspect of how it works, and how to put it right. We can all put fuel in a car, some of us might even be able to change the oil, replace the wiper blades and change a wheel, but you wouldn't try to replace the engine on your own! In the human body, if you need a new "engine" you'd book an appointment with a surgeon. But we aren't talking about replacing your engine, we're talking about a full MOT and service.
I'll move away from my car metaphor now and get back to you! There is a whole world of information on health and fitness out there, and it ranges from very good advise to very very bad advice! The good advice comes from experienced personal trainers, generally speaking the bad advice comes from the latest fad diet, newspapers and magazines trying to fill pages! The real benefit of an actual person - a personal trainer, is that they will be able to assess your individual goals, and take into account your body, your limitations, things you enjoy and what is best for you. Books, magazines videos etc. have to apply to a broad range of people, so have to apply a one-size-fits-all approach. Yes it might work, but it won't be anywhere near as effective as personalised advice just for you. A good personal trainer will write you a fitness programme to follow and show you how to do each exercise correctly and safely.
Step 4 is to find your motivation and figure out how this new exercise regime is going to fit into your life. A really successful exercise routine needs to be exactly that - a routine. You need to be able to complete it several times per week, every week. So find a slot in your day when you will do it, and change your mindset so that the 30-60 minutes you are going to workout are the most important thing in your day, and cannot be changed. If it helps to buy new gym clothes or make a playlist that gets you pumped then do it! This is where it gets serious, because nothing is more important than your own health and happiness. Invest in yourself.
Step 5 is the key piece of the puzzle, and for this I will borrow from one of the most successful sportwear companies in the world. "Just Do It".
Some days will be easy, you'll have energy, feel motivated and can't wait to get to the gym.
Other days will be horrible, you won't want to leave the house and just want to snuggle up with a book and a cup of tea. But each day is just as important as the last, so on those days, revisit your goals and your motivation.
Step 6 is the one most people forget about - review, reassess and re-motivate. Your body changes over time, especially if you have been following steps 1-5, so it's important to go back to step 1 every couple of months and start this process again. Always evaluate where you are, where you want to be and how to get there.
Of course now is the point where I tell you that joining Fitness In Time is the best way to achieve these goals. Our personal trainers can help with every step, our gym has the best facilities around and we have a membership for everyone. So if you are serious about getting fit, give us a call and book a free guest visit now!