Have you tried to get fit in the past? Tried many different types of exercise and never found anything you’ve enjoyed enough to continue for the long term? Then this article is for you. It’s no secret that to get fit you need to exercise. However, many people head off to the gym with good intentions, but after a few weeks or months the enthusiasm wanes, and they eventually stop going. Often this is because they are forcing themselves to go, slogging through unenjoyable runs on the treadmill, hating every minute! The secret to maintaining an exercise habit is to find a form of exercise that you enjoy. Read on for some ideas on how to find a form of exercise that you enjoy.
Couch to 5k
Running isn’t for everyone, in fact, for many people running isn’t ideal at all. However, running is one of the most popular forms of exercise around the globe; it is easy to do and accessible to most people as the only requirements is a pair of trainers. The biggest mistake most people make when taking up running is heading out without any guidance or support, they push themselves too hard and at best end up tired, sore, and unmotivated to do it again, at worst injured.
There are many different Couch to 5K training apps available, and local running clubs often offer beginner programs that use the same principles (find your local club here). By following a guided program, you will avoid the pitfalls of going out too hard and overdoing it. You will build up your running ability at a gradual pace that is optimum for progression. By progressing at a steady pace and taking in the information imparted by the app or a coach you may find that over the 8-9 weeks of the program you develop a love for running that was previously unimaginable.
After completing the program, you may be happy to run 5k a few times a week to continue improving or maintaining fitness. You may want to take your new hobby further by training for a 10k or even half marathon distance, for which there are also training apps available on all major app stores.
Join a gym
Gym sign-ups always hit a high in January with getting fit being one of the most popular New Year resolutions. However, by March most new sign-ups haven’t set foot in the gym for a while! But why? Head into any gym in January and the treadmills, exercise bikes and cross-trainers will be very busy with people sweating it out thinking that cardio is the secret to success. However, without a plan, and any guidance, boredom soon sets in as very few people enjoy spending long periods of time exercising in this way.
If you do opt to join a gym, consider asking one of the instructors to help you construct a plan. Many gyms have personal trainers that you could employ for regular sessions, however, if you’d rather work out on your own most gyms are happy to help you with a plan (some offer this service free, at other gyms this will be a paid service). Ask for guidance on resistance training, a balance of cardio with strength work will help to avoid boredom and provide an ongoing source of progression in the form of lifting heavier weight and learning new exercises. Regulars in the gym will generally be found in the weights room, it may appear daunting, but it’s well worth the effort to learn. Many people that are initially worried about strength training quickly come to enjoy it and look forward to their sessions in the gym, becoming a regular themselves, and enjoying a new found love for health and fitness.
Hire a personal trainer
Finding a good personal trainer is the difference between getting fit and giving up for some people. A personal trainer will usually do more than write a one-hour exercise plan. A service such as Ritual Fitness, that offers 1-2-1 personal training in the Stafford area or nationwide online personal training, has a holistic approach that will help you fit reaching your health and fitness goals into your life. One-to-one clients can exercise in a private studio with individual coaching, an environment that suits some people more than being in a busy gym. Every client will get workout plans customised to their requirements and nutrition advice tailored to their goals. With regular check-ins and progress reviews, a good personal trainer will know when to offer support, when to push you, and when to tell you to give yourself a break.
A Google search will help you to identify personal trainers in your local area, and there are many online trainers using technology such as Zoom and training apps to help support your requirements. Find a PT that meets your needs, and you will likely find a love for fitness that you didn’t know was possible. There are personal trainers that work solely in gyms, others have their own private studio, and others travel to you training you in your home or a local park. If you’re unsure what would suit you best contact some local PT’s, most will offer an initial consultation, and/or reduced price or free initial sessions allowing you to see if their style suits you.
Join a sports club/team
Working out alone just doesn’t suit some people, if you’re the social type then consider a team sport. Football, rugby, hockey, and netball are some of the options local to us in Stafford for both male and females that want to join a team. Most clubs have teams catering to different age groups and abilities, and while there is an element of competition with leagues to be played the emphasis is on showing up, being part of the team, trying your best and having fun. Moving the emphasis away from exercise and toward being more social can make the process of getting fit much more enjoyable for some people. With new friends, and an enjoyable hobby, you’ll be raring for the next game or training session and getting fit without even thinking about it.
Of course, there really is no need to do any form of planned exercise to get fit. Getting fit can be as simple as moving more during the day. Head out for walk with your dog or your family, or even by yourself. Walking or cycling to work, or when taking the kids to school instead of driving is the ideal way to build more activity into your day. Activities such as housework and gardening are also good for increasing your heartrate and increasing your daily movement. Aiming to increase your step count is a great place to start. Aiming for 10,000 steps per day, although not scientifically proven, is a great way to ensure that you move enough during the day. If your step count is currently way below that, just aim for 500 more than your average to begin with, every step counts!
Building more activity into your daily life can help you to improve your fitness levels and lose weight in a manner that is enjoyable and sustainable. Enjoying what you are doing is the most important factor in continuing long term.