Set yourself small and realistic goals with a time limit. Write out on paper what you will achieve and pin where you can see it every day. Whatever your current fitness level, getting back on track may seem like a big step, so ease into it at a low intensity and build up gradually.
Mentally prepare yourself:
Start by telling yourself you can do it. You will be amazed at what you can achieve. Use others around you for encouragement by letting them know what it is you will achieve and have confidence in your exercise abilities. There’s always room for improvement whether you’re starting from the couch, or looking to complete a marathon as a step up from the half you did last year.
Are you doing it right?
Exercise technique is paramount for injury prevention and targeting the correct muscle groups. If you are unsure of your performance, ask an exercise professional to demonstrate and explain. (or contact me!)
Core strength doesn’t just mean sit-ups and abdominal ‘6-pack’ muscles, but everything supporting you spinal column. Having a strong core will improve posture, make you feel lighter on your feet and aid other activity greatly.
Get the right mix:
The national minimum guidelines are at least 150 minutes a week of moderate exercise (getting a bit hot and out of breath) made up from 30mins a day – this can be done in bouts of 10 minutes or more at any one time so you don’t need to do it at the same time. Fast walking is a good example.
Or 75 minutes of vigorous exercise (getting really hot and out of breath) a week made up from at least 20 minutes of continuous exercise. Or a mixture of the two. In addition, two-three muscular fitness sessions a week is also recommended. This may be made up of non-gym activity such as gardening!
Are you doing the minimum?
Regardless of your fitness goals you should always look to combine both resistance and cardio within your training. They will complement each other well when done properly.
Shift the festive weight – every year!
It’s inevitable we’ll consume more than usual during the Christmas period but be mindful and be sure to get back on track.
- Record your weight on the 1st January every year and create a separate log book for Jan weighings only. Assess your healthy ideal weight and maintain it every year. If your goal is weight loss, aim to decrease your weight every year until your target has been met, even if it’s just a pound or two. Once achieved, intend never to go above this – even if you have indulged a little too much! It’s all too easy to gain 1lb every year and reach 60 wondering how you got so huge. Going down on the scales gradually or maintaining your healthy weight will prevent that slight and often unnoticeable increase which adds up over time.
- Portion control: Use a smaller plate, or a cereal bowl to prevent piling up with food and stop when you feel full. The palm of your hand is a good measure for one portion of a food group.
Exercise with a friend once a week – You will increase your chances for success and you’ll have more fun.
Exercising with someone you know will provide a support system and create a more positive social experience and inspiration. Also – no one likes to be let down, so they’ll be no excuses not to show up!
Don’t let the sofa get the better of you!
The more you do, the more you’ll want to do – trust me! I’ve been there, feeling stuffy and tired after a long day at work and all you want to do is sit down. Don’t do it – get up and go and just see how much better you feel for doing so – Try it! Exercising will increase your energy levels and relieve that sense of tiredness and stress. Look forward to it and remind yourself of the physical benefits and social aspects. I thoroughly look forward to my next activity and the feeling of being fit is priceless.
If you have any additional tip whether tried and tested or yet to do so, I’d love to hear them via the comments box below.
Happy New Year!