0800 040 7526
Ok, so you might have done a bit of exercise in the past, perhaps at school, or at some point had a go at some exercise classes or the gym but never quite stuck with it. Now the closest you get to breathless is opening the fridge door for another glass of Chablis. How do you get started again? And how do you keep it going? Here are some tips for success.
1-If you hate running, then it might not be the best thing to try and do. Whatever tickles your fancy, or whatever puts you off the least is the best thing to try and do. So if you like cycling, try that. If it’s gym based exercise try that. Starting exercise for the first time can be really scary, so it makes sense that you should try to enjoy it, at least a little. For many exercise classes are a good introduction, as you will have lots of other people around you to offer support and who share a common goal.
2-If you need to lose 2 stones, then setting out to lose 2 stones can be daunting and discouraging. So instead set yourself a short term goal and break the overall task into sections. For instance try to lose 6lbs in the first month. If you don’t quite do it be patient, and when you get there set another target, then another, and before you know it you will be a svelte waif looking for new clothes. Similarly, if you want to run a 10k don’t think too much about being able to do the whole thing at once, but break it into sections, increasing your goals by a little bit over a shorter time.
3-Take it steady. For some a good start might be jogging for 30 minutes and building it up from there. For others it might be a steady walk. Find your level and progress from there.
4-If you really want to get fitter then you are going to have to work reasonably hard. You need to be breathless so that talking is not easy but not impossible. With a heart rate monitor this would be 60-75% of your maximum heart rate (220 minus age in years times 60%). If you are walking with a friend and can easily chat then you need to speed up. Exercising at this level is not a waste of time, but it won’t make you fitter very quickly and you will have to do it for a very long time every day to make an impact on your calorific output and lose weight.
5-Resistance is never futile. Most women (and men) think that health, fitness and weight loss is all about CV, running, swimming, biking, cross training, rowing etc. But strength training (or weight training as it is sometimes known) is just as important for fitness AND weight loss. Basic exercises like push ups, squats, bent over rows, shoulder presses and the plank are some simple body weight/dumbbell exercises that will get you going. Have a look on our website on the homework pages where there are demonstrations of these moves.
6- Be patient. It takes time. Unfortunately for us we lose fitness much faster that we can gain it. So take your time and look at it as a lifestyle change, not something that you must have by next week. You only get disillusioned if you have illusions in the first place, so take your time and try to enjoy the journey!
7-Get support. Starting exercise can be daunting, so let your friends and family know and enlist their support. The ultimate help is of course personal training, so don’t forget that as an option. Compared to many of the other things that you may have tried in the past it’s the most effective way and not as expensive as you think. Even one session a week or very two weeks may give you the encouragement and accountability to keep going, especially when it gets hard or on an off week.
8-Don’t over think it. All athletes, at all levels find the prospect of exercise off-putting sometimes. The first 5 minutes of exercise is always the hardest. All of the top medal winners from Kelly Holmes to Victoria Pendleton say this. So don’t think about how hard it’s going to be or psyche yourself out. Just get your kit on, go out of the door, and start! Think about it later! You will ALWAYS feel better both mentally and physically after constructive and challenging exercise.