So, you’ve woken up and decided that today’s the day.
Today you’ve decided to kick start your butt into action and get Fit …
Ok, so you want to get Fit, Great! Fantastic! Awesome!
Can you expand on that a little? I know what getting fit means, but it can also mean a whole ton of different things to different people.
Let’s start with some obvious questions:
Do you want to tone up your muscles?
Do you want to lose some weight?
Do you want to take part in a fitness event, like a charity run for example?
Do you want to be able to keep up with your kids in the park? play footy or cycle with them?
Do you want to take up a sporting hobby such as badminton or swimming or football?
Have you had some warnings from your doctor, and need to improve your health?
Are you fed up sitting on the sofa for hours on end feeling lifeless and constantly tired?
Do you want to be able to fit into certain clothes/outfits for a special holiday or event?
The list goes on, and as you can see there are lots of thoughts and reasons behind the term ‘Getting Fit‘
The best place to start is having a reason, a goal or even an idea. Something to aim for. To motivate you.
Well done, you’ve got yourself to the starting line.
Remember though, this is not a race – and the finish line will depend on your target in mind and the effort you’re going to put in.
I too had many ideas of goals – such as becoming a professional at martial arts, to do the splits, to become a bodybuilder like the guys that grace the front covers of fitness magazines, and to look cool like the surfers I followed in magazines and watched on DVDs. As you can see, I’m no different from any of you.
For me, it all started back when I was around 17 and a friend asked if I wanted to join a gym with him.
Guess what, I’ve never looked back. I love my exercise and the way it makes me feel, and I’ve never lost my enthusiasm or motivation to train.
Yes, I’ve had my share of injuries – mainly due to trying out stuff with bad form or improper technique, but I’m still pushing hard.
Even today I’m still trying, still hoping of achieving some of these goals.
What you need to do next …
You are now at the Starting Line with an idea of a goal, but you’ve no idea which direction to take or where to go.
Should you sign up at a gym, buy some equipment, get a personal trainer or just buy some so called ‘wonder’ supplements to do it all for you?
It’s like your standing at a roundabout, not knowing which exit to take, right?
Getting Fit, Changing your lifestyle or whatever you want to call it takes planning, time & effort.
First you need to decide what you want to achieve, and secondly (but most importantly) that you are actually prepared to get down and dirty as it were. You should also be prepared to start learning some new stuff. Your body, understanding how it works as far as Exercise, Nutrition and your general health.
Why should you bother?
When you start learning what works and what doesn’t you’ll be able to not only improve your overall fitness and health, but you’ll start to think of all the other things you could do along this road.
Take a step back and look at yourself today. You may not be overweight – just unfit, or you may have tried several fitness plans or diets in the past and just never got anywhere with them. You might think that some of these goals are out of your reach, but they are not. It just takes time, commitment and perseverence.
If you can improve a single aspect of your health such as taking the stairs once a week instead of using the lift then more will follow, I promise!
Once you start, you too will get those excited tingly feelings that you’ve started to accomplish something, that you feel better afterwards.
This is what drives me, feeling great after every time I exercise. Feeling happy with the way I look. Well, there are certainly some areas I hate but we all have those right. I’m talking about how you look to yourself, how you feel on the inside.
The best thing I can say you’ll get, apart from all the health benefits is improved confidence in yourself. Seriously. After making some small changes and giving things time you’ll start to feel differently about yourself, and others will notice it too, you wait and see.
5 Great Ways to help You Get Fit
There are a few things you need to understand about Health and Fitness which will make life easier for you. It’s not just about grabbing a dumbbell and starting pumping out some arm curls.
You really should try and understand some of the basic principles:
Today, you fuel your body with the foods you eat. You may think you have a realtively healthy diet or you may not.
Either way, the temptations around us in our everyday lives are huge and everywhere we turn.
Do you really care about what you eat?
Do you plan your diet according to food groups? Do you read the nutrition labels before you decide to buy? Do you eat mainly from Frozen or cook from Fresh?
Believe it or not, any of these can have a huge impact on the time, and possibly even cost of embarking on a fitness regime.
We all have the same time given to us every day, and you are no different. We all have 24 hours with which to shuffle our hectic lifestyles around, and we can all make time to improve our health and well-being.
Working long hours, even multiple jobs. Looking after kids. Housework. Chores. The list is endless, and I’m sure like me you feel exhausted at the end of your day.
So mix it up a little. Write down the slots in your 24 hours which are yours, that you own for ME time.
Can you find 30 minutes a day, I’m guessing so. If your decision to improve your overall fitness is that great, then by watching a little less TV and playing a little less on your smartphone or tablet you’ll see where all your time goes.
Now you’ve found some time, you need to set this aside every day or every other day. Without this you’ll just wander in and out of your fitness regime, and those changes will just never happen.
3. Enjoyment 🙂
Yes, you’ll have times where you can’t be bothered and want to give up and times where something else more exciting might pop up, so this is why you need to base your exercise around something you enjoy.
Perhaps you enjoy a particular sport, or have always wanted to try your hand at something new.
Ask a friend to join you or join a group doing this activity. You’ll always find more enjoyment when participating with others than when going it alone.
You’ll also be more tempted to give up and quit without someone nudging you along. Pounding the treadmil in a gym when you loathe that type of environment is not going to do you any favours.
4. Think Small
Yes you can set goals, but goals only work if you’re the kind of person who can stick to them.
Alternatively, I prefer that you start with a single small change. Think about it. Change up one of your weekly meals to include more great tasting fresh vegetables, or once a week take the stairs, or better still replace one of your regular glasses of wine with some fresh citrus water.
Small changes over a long period can have a great effect, and spur you on to do a whole lot more.
5. Take Note
If you are starting from the top (or the bottom) your going to need something to compare back to. Some way of noting improvements in your fitness levels or fitness abilities.
How many times did you take the stairs today, and how did you feel? Out of breath, OK ?
If you like weights, note the weights and reps so next time you having something to improve upon.
If you never take note, you’ll never know where to start from next time or if you have improved. Changes to your body are slow, and take time.
Mistakes not to make
Ha Ha, and you thought getting fit was easy? How can you make mistakes right?
Well, there are some things to watch out for, mistakes you should NOT be making – check these out:
Try not to do too much from day one
Don’t expect miracles to happen overnight
Don’t expect supplements to turn you into superman an hour later
Don’t become obsessed by your scales
Don’t go mad completely changing your diet on day one
Don’t guess how to use gym equipment
Don’t try and follow advanced workout routines
Don’t focus only on big goals
I love this one; Don’t always believe what the glossy fitness magazines tell you – they get it wrong sometimes!
Yeah I know, your head is going to explode with confusion after that lot!
Just start at the beginning, and start small. Oh, and if you get stuck ask us at THI, we’d love to help you.
My Story …
When I was younger (ha ha that was a long time ago) I was really skinny with no muscle and no clues about fitness, health or even exercise for that matter.
After I’d started training with my friend at the local gym for a while, I got the fitness bug and thought, hey, I could do this for a living. Teaching other people how to use the equipment, get fit and get paid for it. So, I looked into courses and eventually got myself qualified as a Gym Instructor, Exercise Class and Personal Trainer.
The world was my oyster. I even started looking into working in Fitness on Cruise Ships …. how cool. Gym Instructor goes global!
But I never did any of those jobs purely because of the hours required and the low pay. Bugger!
So, instead I helped a few friends and continued on my personal keep fit path, even to this day.
As you can tell, I love exercise. Some types more than others, but I made a promise to myself (well kinda) to never let myself go as I got older.
I may go grey and eventually bald but I’ll never let myself get overweight. I love my physique and I still try and train five days a week to push myself.
If you’ve tried it before, whats your story with regards to exercise & fitness?. What do you love or hate?. What works for you?
So it’s time to wrap up this article, and time to put your new found knowledge into action.
Go grab some paper and make yourself a weekly planner. Better still, there are a ton of apps available today which let you do exactly this for free! so no excuses.
If you wanted to go really mad you could also set up a food planner but I think you should start with one thing at a time.
Think about the food you regularly eat, and making some small healthy changes
Think about your current activity level. You can always do a little more
Phone a friend and ask them to join you for your next exercise session
Put it in the diary. Some new daily actvity and stick to it.
Think small changes, not large unrealistic goals.
Take note of your daily activities. Record them. As you start noticing improvements think of ways to reward yourself, but not by eating 6 chocolate bars!