It’s always nice to do a bit of regular exercise, even if you’re not trying to lose weight. If you are though, apparently the trick is 80% diet, 20% exercise. I feel like statistically, 20% doesn’t really mean anything. But the thing about exercise is A) it means you can eat a bit more cake during the day from the calories you’ve burned and B) it makes you feel really good, gives you more energy, a rush of endorphins and better mental clarity. I KNOW all these things. But it doesn’t make me want to exercise more.
When I was a wee teen I used to do Jillian Michaels 30 day shred at 6 in the morning and then walk 2 miles to 6th form every day without fail. God knows how I managed to convince myself to do that. When I wake up in the morning I barely even want to do 10 minutes of yoga, let alone actually sweat. When you’re starting out exercising after a long break or if you’ve never been much of a work out kind of person, it can be really really hard to get going. I do think the first month is the hardest when it comes to establishing a routine. Having *started* exercise routines and never seeing them through, I need to remind myself of how to start. Here are my tips:
Pick something you really like
If you HATE running or going to the gym, don’t bother. Life is too short to do something you don’t like when there are so many alternatives out there. If you’re thinking there is no activity you like above all others, you probably just haven’t tried them all yet. I really like yoga, going on long walks in pretty spaces and I do like going to the gym, but with moving so much and not having a lot of spare cash, I haven’t been a member of one in a couple of years. If I settled in one place and had a bit more money, I would definitely join one so that the personal trainers could create a plan for me. If you’re self conscious about working out in front of other people, do some stuff at home first. There are loads of tutorials on YouTube or you can search my workout and yoga board on Pinterest for some good ones.
Pick something you can realistically do
Don’t bother signing up for marathon training if you’ve never run a mile or trying an advanced yoga class if you can’t touch your toes. Even if you’re really enthusiastic and want to get going straight away, set yourself realistic goals so you don’t get disheartened and give up before you’ve even really started. Start with going to the gym for half an hour twice a week, or if you have a FitBit, try doing your 10,000 steps every day for a week before upping your goal. Beginner yoga tutorials are also a great way to get flexible at a pace that suits you. Just start with one routine and once you can do all the moves perfectly, go on to a slightly harder one. Any progress is good progress, because there’s no rush in making sure your lifestyle habits are permenantly changed.
Don’t give up
This is the most important thing to remember. If you’ve set a goal to work out 5 days in a week and only manage 4, that doesn’t mean you’ve failed. 4 is better than 3, 2, 1 and especially 0 days. Even if you feel like you don’t have time to get out and about, even doing 50 squats or a half an hour walk around the block will keep you active and keep progressing. If you are looking to lose weight, write down why you wanted to do this in the first place and what your goals are. If you want some visual aids to help you on your way, check out my Pinterest board of weight loss inspiration. Even though most things like that are a bit superficial, I find it really helps me when I feel like packing it all in and eating a packet of jaffa cakes.
Let me know what tips have really helped you get started, because I’m sure they’d help me too!