Haven't worked out for a while?
Let me give you a some tips to help you get on the exercise wagon.
I don't need to tell you just how daunting it can be just thinking about exercising, let alone walking into a gym for your first session in forever! But we all know we are living longer and longer, and taking steps to lead a healthy & active life now can set us up for a more fulfilling lifestyle in our later years.... and to be honest, health aspect aside, I still want to be rocking an appropriate length LBD when I'm 90!
So where to start? Let me give you a few pointers that have been proven to make the journey to health and fitness easier. But firstly, there are two things you need to consider:
How is my health? Do you have any concerns or issues relating to your health? If you do, speak to your Health Care Practitioner and get clearance to begin a workout program, this will save time in the long run. Make sure you discuss the type of exercise you intend to participate in, and get confirmation that it is suitable for you.
How much time can I reasonably dedicate to my workouts? Decide this up front. Be realistic and don't over commit in the beginning, you can always allocate additional time to your exercise regimen down the track. Over committing and then cancelling sessions due to time restrictions can make you feel like you are failing even before you begin.
Once you have you been cleared to exercise and you have decided how much time you can afford, what next? Here are a few tips to help you smash through any exercise barriers you may have and help you enjoy you workouts more:
Hit up a friend - ask a friend to be your workout buddy. Having a supportive buddy can be highly motivating and you are much more likely to show up for your scheduled session if you know your buddy is there waiting for you. It's also a great excuse for a catch-up and perhaps a coffee after. So ask a friend to help you out by joining you for some scheduled sessions, it will make you more accountable and it will benefit your friend also.
Find a form of exercise that peaks your interest - find an activity and a Trainer, Gym or Studio that suits your needs and personality, this will make the whole process of getting fit & fabulous so much more appealing.
Ensure you have completed your Pre-exercise Screening Form accurately - most Trainers, Gyms and Studios will require you to provide information about your current health and activity level. it is important that you provide all of the info you can so your Trainer is aware of any issues that may make some exercises difficult for you in the beginning. Your Trainer will also need to know if it has been a while since you last worked out, so they can suggest suitable sessions for you and provide you with appropriate advice.
Create small achievable goals - How about setting a goal to attend 3 sessions in your first week & then sticking to it? Book the sessions in, schedule them with your workout buddy and commit to at least 1 month to give yourself a chance to enjoy exercise again (or perhaps for the 1st time ever!) and to create a new habit.
Don't go flat out in your first session! Ease into it & listen to your body. A good trainer will make sure you aren't going too hard and will support you in this. Ensure you stop if you feel any sharp pains, dizziness or discomfort other than the usual tired muscles, and alert your trainer. Sometimes you just need to take a breather, re-set and then continue with your workout.
Try a range of workout sessions - variety is definitely the spice of life when it comes to exercise! Keep things fresh by adding a few different types of workout to your schedule. This will help motivate you and prevent boredom, which can often make people fall off the fitness wagon.
Don't limit yourself to workouts you know - try something new that you may not particularly think is for you. Who knows, you could find something you love and keeps you motivated and wanting to workout more.
Don't give up - if at first you don't stick to your new workout routine, re-evaluate, and give it another try! It is definitely worth it...there is nothing more important than your health.
Taking small steps in the beginning will lead to BIG health gains and a healthier, happier future - so what are you waiting for, find a buddy, book in some sessions & take the small steps to becoming a fitter and healthier you... You Got This!