Five Fabulous Fixes For Furthering Fitness

By Rick Ashworth – MSc Applied Sports Science

What are your expectations when you begin a new training regime, how much time do you have and what are you willing to do to achieve your goals? Wanting to get in shape for Christmas is a great starting point but are you willing to do what’s necessary to achieve it?images

If you’ve not followed a specific exercise plan before or it has been a long while since you did, you may initially struggle to hit the targets you set yourself; a good entry point is to do 30 minutes of exercise each day, which may not sound like a lot but without a good extrinsic motivator you may begin to prioritise other activities or blame other factors such as the weather for not hitting your target.

The ideas listed below are five points you really need to focus on to reach your goals:

  • Exercise Enjoyment – If you are not enjoying yourself then why would you continue? This is one of many reasons why personal trainers are a good investment. A good personal trainer will keep changing the exercise program so you stay motivated and, therefore, engaged in the process; which is, ultimately, to make you fitter and healthier. Also, just having someone there to share in the experience and help you not to fixate on how hard you’re working can be a great help. Further, a personal trainer will design an exercise program around exercises you enjoy and will work hard during but the doesn’t mean that you can’t try different exercises outside of that to find the ones that you like. Not everyone enjoys doing biceps curls until their arm can no longer fit through the arms of their t-shirt, much as others cannot see the joy in running flat out across the hills of the Peak District in mid-December. Finding something you enjoy is key to sustained exercising and should open you up to new experiences and new people who can help develop the talent and enjoyment you have.
  • Your Health & Fitness Needs You! – Many magazines and blog posts suggest joining a gym, which is hardly bad advice, yet, there are many memberships left unused after the first few weeks. Picking a good gym, with fitness trainers who will help and encourage you towards your goals (one such gym is unarguably the Cheshire Health Club & Spa) is worth it’s weight in good salads and protein shakes but be aware that there are plenty out there who are happy to receive your monthly direct debit and do nothing at all in return. Perhaps a better first step would be to hire a personal trainer or join a bootcamp, something that you are only paying for in the short-term but that will certainly provide a benefit for your fitness with not only training plans but advice and personal tailoring for nutrition and overall health – pushing you appropriately to your level of fitness and strength.
  • Steady As You Go – Thinking about the long-term journey ahead is great: have that bikini on the beach body, the full marathon, the doubling of your bench press always in mind but appreciate the shorter-term goals and celebrate them. The first couple of percent drop in body fat, the completion of a 10k run or extra 5kg lifted off your chest. These are the stepping stones that get you the whole way across the river and without them you will never get to the other side. Your motivation will not see you through to a goal that is a year away without any celebration of the milestones reached. A personal trainer will keep you motivated through each week and month and allow you to appreciate the smaller but no less important goals to keep you progressing and keep your motivation high all the way through to the beach, finish line or growl of power that sees the bar bend high above your chest..
  • Don’t Give In To Temptation – The main reason people give for not exercising enough (or at all) is life. Life is full of temptations or, rather, excuses. Time wasted commuting, working, eating, picking up the children, being too tired and many more are all reasons and responsibilities you can use for ducking exercise but all of them are worse for you health and fitness than exercise; a good healthy diet full of fruits, vegetables and whole grains and so on is great but exercise is the element that will turn all that into making you fit and healthy. So, you can’t fit exercise in after a busy day? Here’s a radical thought, exercise in the morning. Sure, you’ll have to be out of bed earlier, which means you’ll probably have to plan your day the night before but that will only mean you’ll be more productive. Not just because you’ll have your diary arranged better but because exercise in the morning raises your metabolic rate and improves your mood, meaning you’re less likely to have an energy slump and with the whole day ahead and no need to fret about how you’re going to fit in any training you’ll have no reason not to feel amazing!
  • Get A Habit – Habits can take a while to form, give-or-take a month, and even if you can’t stick absolutely fastidiously to it, try and aim to do some sort of exercise every day. If you plan on doing an hour but something urgent crops up then just fit in 15 minutes or half-an-hour; like we said, life happens and sometimes it’s unavoidable but by doing something rather than ignoring it all together you are building habits and pathways that will begin to drive you towards doing exercise rather than making up excuses. Putting off exercise only reinforces the sloth in us. This is not to say that you have to exercise every single day for the rest of your life but it should mean that it becomes a choice not to exercise rather than a hardship to begin in the first place with any missed day meaning you’ll be desperate to exercise the day after.

By implementing these ideas for a month you should be setting your body and mind new parameters from which to draw strength against excuse and enjoyment against obligation. If you it, you can achieve it. Good luck and feel free to get in touch for a free consultation and helpful hints and tips to get you on track or push you on even closer.

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