Fitness is SO personal.
People ask me if I run?….’Only if someone is chasing me’ I say! Living in Dubai I ran on a treadmill very morning at 6.30am for half an hour interval training so I get it…but now that is not my pace. I have a good friend who runs 5K a day and for her that is the ultimate – keeps her lean, fit and full of endorphins. Could I run 5K along side her no! But I can jump around high paced aerobics for an hour with no problems, which she couldn’t do so. What works and gives enjoyment for one doesn’t necessarily mean it will do the same for someone else.
Working out is addictive. There are many people who start a regimen to lose ‘X’ amount of weight and for whatever reason don’t stick to the plan.
Here are my top tips for building an enjoyable fitness regime that you can stick to for life:
1. Find something you LOVE
It is vital that you enjoy going to and doing the exercise you set yourself. So if pounding a pavement in rain or shine is your idea of hell then perhaps Zumba classes if you like to dance, circuit or boot camp training if you are competitive, strength training if you want to build muscle and be strong, yoga or Pilates if you are more spiritual and want to be flexible etc. Today we are spoilt for the number of different fitness programs out there – there really is something for everyone so do some research online and at your local gym to find your fitness fit. Be ‘Internally motivated’.
2. Mix it up
I say find ‘something’ but really it is best to have three or four different types of exercise that you enjoy. To keep your body from getting too comfortable and plateauing in terms of weight loss and for your own satisfaction the more varied your workouts the better for your body, muscles and it will stop you getting bored.
When I’m away near a pool or the sea I will always swim every morning – rain or shine! In London public pools or the Serpentine do not appeal to me so one day I’ll do aerobics for an hour, then the next day weights, the following day yoga and so on. I listen to my body when I wake – I actually ask it ‘What do you want to do today?’ If I feel full of beans and want to burn some calories jumping around then I’ll do some hardcore aerobics. Other times I’m drawn to Pilates or maybe it’s my gym ball, or even my kettle bells. There is so online and I have a wealth of DVD’s so usually one of those is calling to me and I get going on that.
3. Timing and routine
Figure out what time of the day you are going to make your fitness hour – before breakfast / lunch hour / after work – it’s different for everyone. You need to make time in your weekly diary for at least 3 or 4 workouts around your schedule. Once you have these STICK to them. Don’t let outside factors such as a friend asking you to come for afterword drinks or a big girlie brunch get you off track. You need to establish habit but a habit that you look forward to – YOU TIME – this is something you are doing to look and feel better for yourself – Self Care.
I work so well with routine! I wake up, scrap my tongue, oil pull, drink my baking soda in water, put my workout clothes on and do a good hour of exercise in the living room. This is ‘My Time’. No looking at my phone or interruptions. I get in the Zone and only once that is done can I shower and the rest of the day start with my protein shake juice. This is everyday unless I’m travelling and I thrive on it.
I would say I workout 355 days on the day – of course they are not all full high impact heart racing workouts – if they were I could never sustain it! They are varied as I mentioned so I never get bored and I love the way my body feels afterwards and the clarity of mind it gives me.
Once you have the routine in place don’t give it up too easily. Try not to go longer than 5 days without a workout. Mentally the longer you leave it the harder it will become to get back into the swing of it. Plus your body’s endurance levels will fall and your muscle mass will start to change to fat.
I see this happen too often – people go great for a few months then holiday comes and they travel, eat and drink to their hearts content …all with the notion in their mind that because they are on holiday they don’t need to exercise – they’ll take a break. However when they are back home they find it hard to get motivated again. Consistency is key. You should make keeping fit part of your everyday life….no matter what.
So do it today if you are not already.
Exercise is one of the most important habits you can develop to transform your life. You will be internally healthier and happier. You will sleep better, your memory and concentration will improve, you will be mental sharper and your self-esteem will soar.