Sometimes the hardest part of exercising is just getting started
We find it easier to come up with excuses such as; we’re too busy, we’re too tired, I’ll start when the kids go back to school or when the weather gets better.
But the hard truth is there is no excuse good enough out there to get in your way. Exercise brings so many health benefits including improving your mood & energy levels, giving you a more positive out look and of course can help you get into shape as well.
Exercise helps to speed up the good results you reap from eating better, so when you couple the two your hard work will pay dividends.
All that said I know how tough it can be to get started so here are my top ten tips to help you on your way.
1. Start slow and build up time & intensity gradually
One of the worst things you can do is throw yourself in the deep end and go flat out for the first few weeks. If you start a program that is too intense too soon you will be sore, tired and much more likely to quit before you start to see any real results.
A more gradual approach will ensure that your new commitment is achievable and sustainable. Once you are sure your new exercise habit is here to stay, you can start to turn up the heat by increasing the intensity or the time or even the frequency.
2. Enlist the help of a professional
It really helps to get the advice of a Pro – that could be booking in with a Personal Trainer, taking a Group Ex Class or even enrolling in an online fitness training program. There are hundreds of options and one size does not fit all so get some recommendations from friends who have had good results. Sometimes a helping hand is all you need to get started to know you’re on the right track.
3. Do something every day
Remember that exercise is cumulative – You don’t need to dedicate a solid hour every day to working out to reap the benefits – fifteen minutes here and there each day will go a long way. So get out for a walk on your lunch break, take the stairs not the lift, get off the bus a few stops early. Anywhere you can sneak some extra workout tie, grab it and go.
4. Make a new Playlist
Studies show that music helps to motivate us to move our bodies and with all these new music apps, it’s so easy to create a playlist of your favourite tunes. My favourites are Spotify Premium and also Sound Cloud. You can make playlists for different workouts and even share them with your friends.
Upbeat music really helps when doing cardio & resistance work and chill out music can be great for stretching.
5. Rope in a friend or a training buddy
Speaking of sharing music – even better why not share your workout. Research shows that people who exercise with others are 70% more likely to adhere to exercise than those who don’t. Don’t worry if you don’t have someone to workout with – there are lots of amazing group exercise classes that you will really enjoy the social element of including Pilates, Yoga, Cross-Fit & Bootcamps.
6. Mix it up so you don’t get bored
Doing the same workout every day becomes monotonous and counter productive. Make sure you mix cardio workouts with resistance and HITT (high intensity interval training) as well as stretching and flexibility. This is a great way to keep you from getting bored and dropping out.
7. Don’t rely on motivation to keep you going
Motivation gets you started but discipline is required to keep going. Remember that and the days you don’t feel like working out – You can’t expect to be motivated 365 days of the year – nobody is.
If you rely on motivation to keep you going you will run out of steam before you know it. Instead have some self talk and on the days you feel like quitting, remind yourself that discipline is the only way you will ever get results from your workouts & healthy habits.
8. Workout like a Pro
Professional athletes workout in planned cycles. They have preseason and post season workouts. Carefully calculated downtime to ensure they don’t over train for their event. You may not be a pro but you still need down time. If you do a lot of cardio & strength training, adding a flexibility or relaxation session into your week could do wonders for your workout.
9. Keep a diary
Looking back at where you’ve come from can really boost your self esteem & your sense of achievement. If you document every workout you will easily be able to track your progress and take great pride in what you have achieved.
10. Once it becomes part of your daily routine don’t let a change in your schedule upset it.
Always find a way whether that means getting up before work, taking your workout kit on business trips & using the hotel gym, exercising on your holidays, roping the kids in too – if you make is an important part of your daily routine you will always find a way no matter what hurdles come your way.