Returning to Fitness
Returning to exercise from a sedentary life can take courage. It`s not as easy as just going along to a local class – for many it’s daunting. Whereas fitness might once have been a way of life, children happen, work happens, injuries happens, and when life gets hectic something has to give. For many, it is fitness. When the time comes to return, here are some tips to ease back into the routine.
Throwing yourself in at the deep end and pushing yourself too hard too fast can 1) cause injury, but most importantly 2) be detriment to your confidence, which in turn impacts your motivation.
Don`t think the current fitness trend should be the go to exercise! Find something you like and enjoy, because it will be sustainable that way. Think back to school days, did you enjoy netball? If so, find a local team and give it a go, or try a sport you`ve never done but have always fancied. If you like it do it again, and if not, you can always try something else – fitness is supposed to be fun! Many gyms now offer complimentary free passes, so utilise these offers.
(Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Timely)
Set goals, but make them realistic! Returning to fitness and staying fit requires a degree of realism. Your aim may be to run the marathon, for example, but this takes time to build up to. To sustain a new fitness plan, set small achievable goals that will help you stay focussed and motivated.
This is really important, if you haven’t been to a class, gone for a run, or done any exercise for a while then you will be out of practice. Throwing yourself in at the deep end and pushing yourself too hard too fast can 1) cause injury, but most importantly 2) be detriment to your confidence, which in turn impacts your motivation.
Don't worry about everyone else in the gym!
I hear from so many clients returning to fitness that they worry about making a fool of themselves in a class or at the gym, and this puts them off returning to fitness. This is something no one should worry about! Honestly, honestly, honestly everyone in the gym or a class really are not looking at, or watching you, and if they are? OWN IT! This is your life, your body, your fitness.
(Non-exercise Activity Thermogenesis)
These are vital to upping your fitness level and don’t require a gym! NEATS (Non-exercise activity thermogenesis) include hitting your 10k steps per day, or the target that I set my clients of 70k per week (takes the pressure off) . Cleaning, gardening and shopping all contribute, especially if you go out your way to park the car in the furthest bay away from the supermarket. Just stay active!
Your gym buddy cancels, and you don’t fancy doing the session by yourself? Do a class that isn’t solo! Your PT is on holiday? Do an on-line, at home session! Always have a back up: even though it may not have been your planned session, doing something to keep the routine is better than breaking the routine. This is especially true within the first 3 months of returning to exercise, as it takes (apparently) 66 days to form a solid habit.
My clients all tell me (both online and face to face), that being accountable helps them stay positive and motivated. Find someone or something to be accountable to, and it might just keep you on track. Many take a PT, but social media, fitness apps, or a family member who will help nag until the habit kicks and fitness becomes a part of life again.