So, you have made a decision to get fit. Great news, but I’m sure now the the questions have started in your head ! Where do I begin ? What’s the best exercise for me ? What if I lose interest ? Will I still be able to enjoy myself socially ? I am here to help you rid those doubts and offer some advice.
The big question is where to begin. These days there are is no shortage of articles in the media on the best form of exercise, the newsagents are full of fitness magazines and it’s all a bit of haze. It’s confusing for fitness professionals never mind the beginner ! Let me give you some suggestions.
The first thing you need to do, as a fitness beginner, is to start moving! I mean this literally. Get up, and walk out your front door. Now walk down the street. Now turn the corner. Keep going! Do you get the picture? Start introducing your body to fitness by going on walks. These walks will probably start out slow and short, but before you know it they will be brisk and long. Try to work up a sweat as you tour the neighbourhood. Make it a habit to wake up early to go on your walk, or consistently go on a walk before you go to bed. These walks will get you to start burning calories each day, and will also begin to build your cardiovascular endurance.
Once you become a pro at walking, you will need to add something new to your routine. Stretch before and after your walks. Start by reaching down to touch your toes and holding it for 30 seconds. You will feel tightness on the backs of your legs, in your hamstrings. Now place your palm against a wall at chest level and turn your body away from it. As you hold this for 30 seconds you will feel a stretch in your chest. Most inactive people have tight hamstring and chest muscles due to prolonged sitting, so it should be your priority to stretch these muscles out. You will be pleasantly surprised at what this will do for your posture!
Clean Your Diet
Easier said than done I know that. However it is undoubtly true that if we eat unhealthy food then it is of little or no benefit to us. Fast food is available, cheap and yes can taste good but there is precious little nutitional value in it. It is time to clean up your diet, so you can continue on your fast track to fitness.
So, cut down on the fast food. In the long term get rid completely but like everything this will take time.
Eat 5 servings of fresh fruits and vegetables everyday. Your body needs the nutrients found in these foods, and they will fill you up without empty calories.
Try and eat 4-5 small meals a day, rather than 2 large ones. This will keep your metabolism high all day, and turn you into a calorie-burning machine!
Consider Joining a Gym
After you have mastered walking, stretching, and have started to clean up your diet, you are ready to join a gym. If you feel intimidated or scared of this concept, then I’ll take you and show you the ropes. The gym I use in Stockport is a friendly place. It’s full of people of all ages and is made up of poeple who want to either burn calories or tone and in some cases build muscle! Find a local gym that has a convenient location near your home or work place. The key to making your gym membership worth its monthly dues is to use it consistently. Go to the gym no less than three times a week. While you are there begin a resistance training program as well as a cardiovascular program. If the gym is not for you then no problem I can work out a programme that does not involve setting foot inside a gym.
Find a Training Partner
There is no better motivator to get you to get fit than knowing that someone is there waiting for you. If you find yourself slacking off in your workouts, or skipping the gym, a workout buddy might be just what you need. Find a friend with whom you share similar fitness goals, and become workout friends. Agree to meet three times a week and encourage each other throughout your workout. You will find that this makes workouts motivating and fun.
There you have it, all you need to know to get yourself up off the couch and into a healthy, fit lifestyle! Making the decision to get into shape will be the best one you make in your life, and I wish you all the best.
Using a personal trainer
Of course all of the above sounds great in theory, but what if you feel you need some support, guidance and motivation. This is where I can help. Please see how under the section headed