You might have decided that 2016 was the year you wanted to get fit, or exercise more, or joined a new class or even (gulp) decided to start a new exercise programme and join a gym. It’s been a couple of months since I bit the bullet and decided to take control of my own fitness levels, giving me a bit of experience when it comes to starting from scratch.
Even if these few tips don’t come in useful right now, they might do in the future so maybe store them away until you need them.
1. Commit to yourself.
Gym memberships, classes etc are expensive and if you’re not committed then you’re not going to keep up with the schedule. Save your money and go when you are ready to seriously change what it is you’re doing for the future.
2. Function over style every single time.
Those lovely pair of gym trousers you picked up for working out? They’re useless to you unless they stay on and don’t sag after a couple of squats. It’s irritating having to interrupt a work-out to adjust your clothing. Trust me I know! There was an unfortunate incident with a loose top a few weeks ago. *ahem* Thank goodness I was wearing an industrial strength sports top underneath that’s all I’ll say.
3. People (in general) are far more concerned about how they look than how you look.
I have spent years worrying about how I look to everybody else. After leaving the gym a puce-faced sweaty mess several times a week and nobody even said a thing I realised this important truth. I’m only sorry I didn’t realise it sooner.
4. Your bits and pieces are awesome.
So what if you have a “mammy tummy”; that’s a badge of honour as far as you should be concerned. After all a measure of fitness is not how small or large your bits are, it’s your ability to carry out tasks, run for a few minutes, or participate in a fitness class.
5. Be open to new experiences.
With a little bit of prodding from a good friend I joined a hot yoga class before Christmas and I freaking love it. I never would have gone unless I was open to something new.
6. Measure your progress not by how you look (or weigh), but by how far you’ve come.
There was a point last week where I was bent over in yoga class, don’t ask me what the pose was as I never remember the technical terms because I’m so focussed on trying to carry out the instructions. Anyway I looked through my legs to the mirror behind and saw a girl with her hair swinging downwards with both palms on the mat and thought “oh awesome pose” and then I blinked and saw it was me. There is absolutely no way I would have been able to do that in October, or even in November.
7. Drinking water while exercising is not the big picture.
Drink water all through the day, stay hydrated and drink to keep yourself healthy. Taking a litre bottle of water to your exercise is daft unless you’ve made sure of a constant healthy intake during the day. Otherwise you’ll have to keep on interrupting your activity to find the loo. Tried and tested folks!
8. Have fun.
If you’re not enjoying your activity then what exactly is the point? Find one that you love. There are hundreds of options out there, you just need to keep on trying.
9. Get a buddy (or more) to encourage you.
I’m lucky I have a husband who pushes me out the door when I’m having a bad day, confident in the knowledge that I’ll return with a grin on my face. I do the same for him of course. Then there’s the extended circle of friends and family who exercise regularly and encourage one another to stay fit. I know I’d struggle some days without them and we’re all there for one another. I think they’re all brilliant, pat on the back pals (you know who you are) if you’re reading.
I’ve had such wonderful support from my readers since I began my new fitness regime. I started back training last night and I’m not going to fib – it was hard! Still I am heading off to hot yoga tonight to try and ease out some of the muscle tension and I’m really looking forward to it. One more (baby)step towards that handstand I’m working on!