I think it’s safe to say I am pretty keen on the gym. I keep active, going at least five times per week. I not only enjoy the exercise but the social side of it as well.
However not everyone is as mad about exercise as the next. We know it is good for you – it not only helps with your fitness and weight loss, it also helps with building self-confidence, reducing anxiety and depression, assists with sleep and relaxation and helps to boost energy.
While the current recommendation for physical activity is around 30 minutes per day, many of us finding excuses.
That first step
I know how hard it is to start an exercise regime … it is all about taking that first step.
Following are some tips I have come to live by that definitely helped me to get active and stay that way:
1) Do something you enjoy
Exercise isn’t meant to be a chore and getting active doesn’t necessarily mean sweating it out in the gym. If that kind of thing isn’t for you then don’t sign yourself up for failure! If you aren’t enjoying what you are doing you are more likely to find excuses to get out of doing it and eventually give up.
Change your perception and view ‘exercise’ as a time to have some fun and ‘get active’. Find an activity you love, be it jogging, team sports, cycling, swimming, trail running or group classes and partake in those activities regularly. Make a plan and stick with it.
That being said …
2) Mix up your routine
As with everything in life, too much of one thing soon gets boring. Not only that, but your body will ‘get used to’ and adapt to the same activity over and over. The results won’t come as fast nor will the improvement in your fitness be as noticeable.
Mix up your activities, even if it’s the fact you normally run on the flat, change your route to include some hills, run on the beach or insert some intervals into your run (short 30 second bursts of running fast with 30 seconds of running slower).
Making simple changes challenges your mind as well as your body and keeps you constantly pushing harder.
3) Remember why you are doing it
Starting a regular exercise regime should really be about a lifestyle choice and not just about weight loss.
Make sure when you first start out you set yourself some realistic goals to work towards and track your changes and progress. On those days when you do lose your mojo (and let’s be honest here, it happens to all of us), a good way to overcome it is thinking about how far you have come. Do you really want to set yourself back by quitting now?
4) Have that rest day to recover
An important part of ‘being active’ is to have a rest day to recover and replenish your body, however, if you are one to let one rest day snowball into weeks or months of inactivity it is good to be armed with a plan.
In which case just getting out and doing something on those days for around 30 minutes, such as a walk, yoga or stretching session can be both restful and keep you on track for success.
Share your tips
Do you have a secret to staying active? I’d love to hear it.
Anna Johnson holds a Diploma in Remedial Massage and Certificate in Advanced Sports Massage. She has applied treatment for a number of ailments in her time as a Massage Therapist.
She excited by health and fitness and is a great advocate for the ‘prevention is better than cure’ theory.