I understand how overwhelming and confusing and downright scary it can be when you are wanting to get 'into fitness'. Maybe you have certain goals you'd like to achieve or simply just want to be more active but have absolutely no idea where on earth to start! Sound familiar?
Don't panic, I've got you boo.
There is so much information out there about how you 'should' workout, what the 'best workout' is for you, the optimal training time, what you 'should be doing' and the list goes on. It's a minefield to be honest. So I'm here to strip it back to basics and help you transition into a more active lifestyle without you having a meltdown.
Before you start...
1. Remember everyone was once where you are right now, including me. That's cool, we all have to start somewhere.
2. You won't know everything right away, and neither are you expected to!
3. You will not feel motivated all the time. There is nothing wrong with you, that is normal, promise.
4. You don't need expensive fancy activewear to successfully do this 'fitness thing'.
5. There is more than one way to train. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise (if they do, then run for the hills) If you don't like something then don't force yourself to do it. The key is to find something you enjoy.
6. Be patient with yourself. Things don't happen overnight and there is no magic shortcut when it comes to health and fitness. Learn to enjoy the process and remember this is a marathon not a sprint.
First things first...
If you are completely new to exercising and gyms and this whole 'fitness' world then take a breath and remember why you are doing this. When it gets overwhelming just remember you are doing this for you. This is your journey and no one else's. So when Susan from the office who goes to spinning 15 times a week is trying to pressure you into going to a class with her because 'it's the best way to get results', smile and politely let her know that this is your journey and you're figuring out what is best for you (unless you want to try the class then by all means go for it girl). Get clear on what you want and then find someone that can help you. Don't be afraid to ask for guidance and be prepared to learn.
Just another word of warning, as soon as you start to become interested in fitness you will realise that e v e r y o n e thinks they are an expert...including your Mum who hasn't exercised since the 80's (no offence to any Jane Fonda fans but times have changed). There is a vast sea of information out there, especially with the boom of Instagram from people claiming to be 'fitness professionals', but just be careful as not everyone is as genuine as they may appear and not everyone has your best interests at heart. Do your research and follow your gut.
My top tips...
1. Don't try to do everything at once. Start by introducing small changes that are realistic and maintainable. Small changes equal big overall shift. Check out my blog post '4 Steps To Begin A Healthier Lifestyle' to find out the 4 things you can do that are easy and free but will make a huge difference to your lifestyle.
2. Hire someone that knows what they're doing. As I said above, you will come across a lot of people claiming they are 'experts' but always be wary and don't be afraid to ask for their qualifications. Hire yourself a Personal Trainer or Coach that is qualified and arguably more importantly that you click with. It is important that you actually like this person and agree with their ethos and approach to your journey. Don't be afraid to upset anyone, if they are a good coach, they will understand. If you would like to know more about the training I offer click here as I would love to work with you!
3. Find something you enjoy. It takes a bit of trial and error to figure out a form of exercise that you really love and that suits you and your lifestyle. For example, some people absolutely love classes and swear but them (like Susan) but others much prefer being in the gym environment and lifting weights. There is no right or wrong and there is no 'best way'. The best way to train is a way that you enjoy.
4. Mix it up. Leading on from point 3 I want to make it very clear that fitness is not exclusive to the gym. You can lead a healthier lifestyle, get fit, be more active and feel great without having a gym membership. There are so many ways you can move outside the confines of a gym. For example, dancing swimming, hiking, group sports, rock climbing, surfing, outdoor running, cycling...you get the idea. You could even work out from home! You don't necessarily need equipment to start your journey so don't panic if you have absolutely nothing at home. Lots of trainers offer written plans and if they are a good PT then they will be personalised to you and your circumstance. So if you wanted a home plan that involved just body weight then they should be able to do that for you. Alternatively, you can find some great programmes to follow (for example I offer an 8 week mind, body and soul transformation fitness guide in the form of an ebook, called Reignite, that you can follow from home with absolutely no equipment needed).
5. Don't get too hung up on physical results and numbers. When you start your journey it can be easy to get sucked into the numbers and aesthetics of it (especially as that is how fitness is unfortunately portrayed these days). But I want you to remember that you are doing this for your health. When you focus on how you feel, all the other stuff will inevitably come with it but if you are purely focusing on the number on the scale for example it can become obsessive and create an unhealthy relationship with exercise which we don't want!
6. Wear something that makes you feel comfortable. As I mentioned earlier, you don't need to splash out on the newest Gymshark or Lululemon matching set in order to have a good workout. Just wear whatever you feel comfortable and confident in.
7. Grab a friend. Training can be great fun if you do it with a friend. It could be a class, gym session or even just a walk. It's a great way to move your body and still keep up with your social life! Also, I find scheduling in workouts with friends is a brilliant way to keep yourself accountable. You wouldn't want to bail on your friend would you?!
8. Keep it real. There is no point telling yourself that you are going to go to the gym for 2 hours a day, 7 days a week. A). It's completely unrealistic and B). it's totally unnecessary. Start with 1-3 sessions a week (they can be anything, refer to point 4) and listen to your body. As you start this journey you will find that your body is achey because it isn't used to what you are doing (don't worry, over time you will become more accustomed) but as you progress you may feel like you want to train more often which is great. However, don't get carried away! You need to rest, which leads me nicely to my next tip.
9. No rest = no results. Don't feel you have to go 100% everyday. It is actually possible to overtrain, so make sure you are giving yourself adequate time for your body to recover and on those rest days fuel your body appropriately. There is this weird mindset floating around on Instagram with the hashtag 'team no rest days'. Please don't buy into this, it's silly and irresponsible. You are allowed to take days off and it isn't the end of the world if you miss a workout so don't waste time feeling guilty for it. Your body needs rest, end of.
10. Consistency is key. I would much prefer that you do something small, often (say 10 mins a day) than just one super hardcore session every week. It is more beneficial to your body, your mental health, your lymphatic system
11. Bonus tip: don't just see exercise as a way to counteract the food you eat. If you start with the mindset of 'exercising to burn off calories' then it's a slippery slope. Moving your body is so beneficial and quite frankly crucial for overall wellness. Here are just some reasons you should move your body that are NOT aesthetic related...
Support your immune system
Support your lymphatic system
Help with digestion
Release endorphins (which boosts your mood)
Reduce blood pressure
Increase sex drive
Improve sleep quality
Support your mental health
Make new friends
Improve core strength
Increase bone density (to prevent osteoporosis when you're older)
And the list goes on!
Basically there are so many incredible reasons to exercise and move your body other than how your body looks.
The fact that you are reading this blog post means you are ready babe! You have the motivation, drive and passion to achieve anything you want. All you have to do is start. Don't put it off and wait for 'the perfect time' because there is no 'perfect time' and the longer you procrastinate the longer you are putting off feeling incredible! You have totally got this girl!!
I hope you found this blog helpful but if you have any questions please feel free to contact me and I can help you!