We are well into Spring now and have had a few beautiful days. When the temperature starts to climb, so many people decide that they have been hibernating for too long and need to start working on being fitter and healthier. I hear all the time I want to get fitter but I just don't know where to start.
I have put together 8 steps to help those of you who are feeling unfit but just don't know where to begin.
1. Start slowly.
You get up one morning and decide today is the day! I am going to get fit! So you head out the door for an hour long workout. The next day you can hardly sit on the toilet. Ouch!! Are you then likely to jump up the following day and do it all again? No!
So my first big tip is to take baby steps. Start with going for a walk or some gentle stretches and pilates type exercises to get your body awake and loosen up all those muscles that have been dormant over winter.
2. Remember how good you feel after a workout
Getting back into exercise can be tricky and often that little voice inside your head will try and sabotage your great efforts and whisper away to you - "this is hard, why are you putting yourself through this?" "Stoppppp!!!!"
When your head is filled with these thoughts, stop and focus on the great feeling after a workout. Those exercise induced hormones always leave you feeling on a high after a great workout. So focus on this great feeling. I know after a workout where I have worked hard, I feel proud of myself and look forward to my next workout.
Also take note how you sleep better on those days you have exercised. Another thing I find is that most people tend to eat better when they work out. Try focusing on all the positive aspects of your new routine.
3. Schedule exercise into your week
Routine is so important when it comes to exercising. Schedule your workouts into your diary or write them on your calendar so they become like important meetings.
If you don't schedule in time it is just way too easy to skip a workout. At times, I am the queen of procrastination. I always schedule in my workouts and this way I am far more likely to stick to my schedule and get my workouts done.
4. Be prepared
Preparation is key. You have planned when you are going to work out, so now get organized. If you are planning to do a workout early in the morning, put your exercise gear next to the bed. This way you just get up and get dressed into your workout gear. If you exercise after work, pack your back with your exercise gear and remember your shoes. So many ladies come to a session after work and are shoeless as their shoes are still at home.
Another great idea is to keep a pair of sneakers in the car. This way if you are waiting to pick up kids from school or after school activities, you can pop your trainers on and go for a quick walk or jog while you wait instead of sitting in the car scrolling though Facebook and Instagram.
5. Get an exercise buddy
Exercising with a friend is twice the fun and keeps you accountable. So grab a friend or family member and make a pact that you will meet up and exercise together. Can't find anyone that will work out with you? Then join a group exercise class and meet up with other ladies just like you. In no time at all you will have a number of new exercise buddies to have a laugh with while you work out.
6. Mix it up
A big mistake many ladies make is that they just do one type of exercise. For many it is a walk around the block or just one formal class each week. To keep it interesting, try a range of different workouts. There are so many different things you can try. Strength training (both body weight & using equipment), interval training, boxing, pilates, yoga, swimming, jogging and organized team sports such as tennis and netball are all perfect for getting fitter and stronger. So mix it up and have fun plus this way you will get even better results.
7. Have realistic expectations
So often expectations of how quickly you are going to reach your goals are a little too overzealous.
Remember the saying it takes 4 weeks for your body to feel a difference, 8 weeks for your friends to notice a difference and 12 weeks for the world to notice a difference. All good things take time. So hang in there and just enjoy the experience of getting fitter and stronger.
8. Do it for you
This is the biggest thing. Do it for you. So many women put their own health and fitness last. When I talk to ladies I so often hear, "I don't have time or I can't afford it." But when you chat to them, the kids are all doing 2 or 3 afterschool activities and hubby plays sport or goes to the gym. Is this fair? No!! You have just as much right to be able to look after your own health and fitness needs. Remember a fit and healthy partner and mum is both a role model for the family and a happier and healthier person.
I hope that after reading my simple steps to getting your fitness back you are feeling inspired to get moving towards feeling fit and healthy.
In October Libby's Fitness For Life is having $5 Happy Hour sessions for all new ladies who are looking to get fit, tone up and feel healthier and happier this Spring. Email me to find out more or to book in your first class.