New to exercise?

New to exercise?


New to exercise?

Have you been meaning to join a gym for years but somehow never quite signed on the dotted line? Did you agree to 12 weeks of 5 am spin classes in January and only make it to two sessions? Do you own a pair of jazzy Nike leggings and multiple backless yoga tops in all the colours of the rainbow but have never actually broken a sweat in them? Well fear not, because there are easy ways to kick-start your workout regime. So, here are five easy ways that can help you get in shape:

Set realistic goals

So you’ve decided to get in shape. Do you know why? Is there an end goal and if so what is it? It’s really helpful before starting your new fitness journey to establish some realistic goals. Rather than setting strict goals which can make exercise feel like a tremendous effort, try to make smaller, more achievable plans such as attending at least one fitness class per week.

Crucially, don’t beat yourself up if it doesn’t always work out. Think of fitness as a lifelong journey, not a destination.Shop aroundFitness is a lot like wine (the irony). Why, you ask?

You probably wont like the first ever wine you try — your first few workout sessions may be boring/painful/sweaty but persevere — they will get more enjoyable!

It’s unlikely you’ll only ever like just one type of wine — try lots of different types of exercise disciplines as you’ll prefer some to others. I hate spinning but love running!

Not all Malbecs taste the same — a Pilates class in one studio may be very different to a Pilates class in another studio. It’s often down to the instructor so find one you respond well to.

There will be something out there for everyone and if you’re just sitting on a spin bike hating life, it’s really not worth it. Find something else.

Buddy up

Studies have shown that training with a partner can increase the likelihood of you sticking to a fitness plan. Having someone else getting up at 5 am to go to yoga with you will make you less likely to hit that snooze button. You can take it in turns to buy the coffee after and it’s a great way of catching up with friends you struggle to see midweek. There are also some great social fitness events popping up around the country which are a fun way to meet other like-minded people.

Listen to your bodyNot being able to walk up the stairs because your glutes ache is fine. Not being able to lean forward because your lower back hurts is not. We can usually distinguish between ‘good’ muscle ache and ‘bad’ muscle injuries so be mindful of how certain classes make you feel.

Find the form of exercise that works for you. If you feel amazing after yoga, don’t feel bad about disliking running. Listen to your body and pick a class that makes you feel at your best. Unless it’s doing nothing, in which case that wont work.

Work out what has been stopping you until now

Chances are if you’re only just deciding to begin to exercise there’s a reason you weren’t
exercising before. Gyms, fitness studios and social media bombard us with unrealistic images of lithe fitness models, in tiny outfits and tanned oil limbs attending their classes. Social lives and late nights get in the way. Long hours at a desk leave little time, or energy, to workout.

Whatever the limiting factors facing you — take a look at them and work out how to overcome them. It may be that you need to choose shorter classes or ones that double up disciplines. You could even try online workouts that mean you can train at home. Work out why you don’t currently exercise and find a solution to that problem.

(The author is a fitness trainer)

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