Personal trainer and fitness guru Michelle Bridges shares her top 10 tips to get you back on track with exercise.
1. GET STARTED
This whole 'I can't get motivated thing' is a crock. You don't have to be motivated to exercise, you just have to turn up and do it. And the more you just do it, the quicker you'll lay it down as a habit. Think of it as beating a path through a jungle - at first it's hard to find your way, but the more you walk it, the smoother and easier it gets.
2. CHOOSE CAREFULLY
Be sure to choose an exercise that suits. Think about the exercise you like to do, remembering that cardio (such as skipping and running) is king! Then set up what you need to make it happen, such as getting a gym membership.
3. BE REALISTIC
Set yourself realistic goals. Keep your targets in perspective. The best progress can be made in bite-size chunks, so avoid goals such as 'lose five kilos by Christmas'. Maybe try 'lose two kilos per month' or 'increase my running distance by 10 per cent per week' instead.
4. MAKE THE TIME
Exercise at any given opportunity. You can even exercise while watching television - rather than sitting on the sofa at every commercial break, jump up and bang out some exercise - squats for first ad, push-ups in the second, crunches the next. If being time poor is your number-one excuse, you just lost it.
5. MIX IT UP
Maintain motivation by varying your training. Mix up your training - get a personal trainer, go for a run, do a fitness class, etc.
6. SCHEDULE IT IN
Make firm exercise appointments. Sit down with your diary and set time aside for your new exercise regime. This is important! Don't let other people or circumstances get in the way.
7. THINK AHEAD
Don't let things slip in the winter months. I believe winter is actually the best time to train because you can set yourself up to be looking and feeling your best for spring, and then you can enjoy summer socialising knowing that you've put the hard work in over the cooler months.
8. DO IT WITH A MATE
Find yourself a training partner. Get someone that's like-minded, someone that wants to achieve something like you - share and commit your goals with them. And kick each other in the butt when you need to. And you'll be surprised how much harder you can train when you're working with someone who wants it as bad as you do.
9. EMBRACE TECHNOLOGY
It's good to weigh yourself, it's good to measure yourself, it's great to have a heart-rate monitor to see if you're goofing off or if you're actually training hard and you know how many calories you're burning. It's nice to know the numbers, we've got the technology, why not use it? Play mind games with the heart-rate monitor and tell yourself you cannot leave the gym until you have burned 600 calories.
10. WEIGHTS ARE GREAT
A lot of people focus on cardio and don't remember to include some weight training in their regime. Someone once told me to train with weights because weight training is the fountain of youth. I'd have to say that, after years of watching exercisers and non-exercisers get older, that person was right. It's not that weight training is more important than any other training; it isn't, but it helps you look and stay younger.
- Daily Life
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