Where To Start?

We all hear those typical annoying sayings “Summer is coming”, “I have to get my beach body ready”, “I’m going to lose weight before my holiday” – which is all fine, but where do you start? Some of you may not have exercised or ditched the junk food for months or years; I thought I would write an article on my top 5 things of where and how to begin a healthier lifestyle.  Sometimes the hardest step is to just simply get your arse away from Netflix and get out that door.

  1. Firstly – I think the most important thing should be to decide what you want to achieve so that you can remind yourself why you’re doing this.  Do you need to lose some unhealthy weight? Do you want to be a little more active to feel better? Do you want to complete a race? Once you have that settled, the next thing is to think realistically about how you can do these things without breaking the bank.
  2. Research wisely – Are you going to join weight watchers or can you just research healthy meals yourself? Do you need to join that expensive gym in town because “That’s where everyone goes?” – Who cares, if anything it’s better to go somewhere less distracting! If you can’t afford a gym membership, can you buy an exercise DVD and some equipment and use it in your garage, garden or living room space? My personal favourite home workout DVD’s are Tae Bo and Jillian Michaels (which both offer beginners and advance) but there’s always YouTube these days, which offers absolutely everything for both men and women, beginners and fitness freaks.  The good thing about a home workout is that you can jump straight into the shower when you’ve finished. If you don’t like workout DVD’s but also don’t want to join a gym, remember that walking and running are free. Plan some routes, update your ipod, take your dog if you have to and go!
  3. Learn about yourself – There’s no point forcing yourself to swim 3 times a week if you hate it and would prefer to join a dance team and there’s certainly no point in forcing yourself to run 6 miles when you’ve not done it before, so be sensible. If you’re new to the gym and it’s equipment, ask one of the members of staff to sit with you and write out a gym plan, that will keep you structured and on target. If you haven’t been running for the past year or so, start steady, walk and run an easy route and build up from there when you know you can go to the next stage. The most important thing is that you’ve decided to make a change and you’ve got your butt out the door, so the last thing you need is an injury!
  4. Routine – Write on your calendar or on your phone what you’re going to be doing and when.  If you go when you ‘feel like it’ days can go by and all the hard work you’ve done will be undone (reversibility) and as you know, it’s hard to start from the beginning again.  Tell yourself how many times a week you’re going to be active based on your work and social life.  If you’re super busy and don’t ‘have time’ MAKE TIME. Before work, lunch time, after work, evening, late evening, weekends. Don’t make excuses, make the time. Today is Sunday and I have already written on my calendar what I’ll be doing and when for the next 8 days.
  5. Be prepared – Make sure you have all you need, have you been food shopping and planned healthy and nutritious meals? Do you have all you need for your workout? When I’m at the gym I take the following: A drink, my ipod, my locker key, a towel, sometimes something quick to eat and a plan of what I’ll be doing.  When I go for a run I take the following: A drink, my music, my phone incase I get lost or injured, an energy gel and tissues.  I think the key to being active and healthy is to be organised and plan ahead.

After you have completed those 5 stages, it’s safe to say that really all you need to do next is just to do it.  As cliché as that sounds, you just need to stop talking about it and go out that door (or wherever) and do it. It will all shortly become a part of your routine and you’ll wonder why you didn’t start sooner. Once you start to see the physical and feel the mental benefits, you will begin to enjoy yourself and it won’t feel like a chore but rather a lifestyle change.

Tomorrow is a new day

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© 2016 Naomi Laws. All rights reserved.

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