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OK I hold my hands up; I fell off the bandwagon quite some time ago and got a little bit lost (Read: a lot lost). The most valuable and prized possession is our health; thankfully I've seen the light though and am feeling positive about getting back into shape – hurrah!
But I’m not going all Gwyneth Paltrow (might be worth considering to look that good in a pencil skirt mind). I shall however be focusing on nutrition and trying to eat clean. And of course there’s the exercise, I’ll need to move more (a lot more). So while I'm making these changes over the coming months, I thought it would be fun to share some tips as I go.
Tip One: Start Slow
I know I know, you're probably raring to go at this point and wondering how on earth starting slow is going to help, but it does I promise!
A problem many of us face when we start a new exercise regime is wanting to go head on at it to begin with, planning to work out every day for an hour and a half for the whole week, to find come Wednesday we're exhausted and frustrated by our sudden lack of motivation, causing us to give up completely.
Lets just say if you’ve never been a runner you're not going to be able to run a marathon by the end of the month, it's not you, it's just a fact! Try easing yourself in with three light workouts in week one, and increase as you get fitter.
Tip Two: Team Up
Studies show that when we work out together we are far more likely to push ourselves harder, less likely to skip a work out and more likely to commit to exercise.
We probably all have a friend or family member that wants to get fit too, get together and work out a plan. Exercise will feel less like a chore and a little more fun when you're doing it with someone who’s company you enjoy (and they’ll pull you up when you feel lack slacking).
Tip Three: Monitor Progress
When we first start out we often don't notice the difference which can leave us feeling demotivated, you see yourself on a daily basis, and so progress may seem slow or non-existent. When we are putting so much energy into slimming down and toning up it can be frustrating if we feel like it's making little difference.
Take measurements are the start (gulp) and progress photos every few weeks to chart your success. When you look back a month in at week one you'll be surprised at how far you have come and will be reminded of why you're doing what you're doing. You may be pleasantly surprised to find that you're exercising just the right amount to meet your fitness goals.
Tip Four: Don't Go Cold Turkey
One of the reasons why so many of us struggle with new diets is because we try and cut literally everything out all at once, leaving us feeling miserable just a few days in and cravings at an all time high. If you currently feel like you don't eat brilliantly, swap your processed foods for lovely fresh produce, and allow yourself the occasional treat (a couple of times a week) to keep yourself going.
Tip Five: Plan Ahead
Many diets go awry when you're caught short. Often when on the go the only options are convenience foods, or foods that don't fit in with your plan. In many cases sometimes this occasion of stepping outside our plans can lead to a feeling of failure, often causing us to ditch the diet for several days, until we find our feet again.
If you know you are going to be in a situation where you won't be able to make or access healthy food prepare a meal or snacks to take with you to help you stick to your plan.
Starting a new exercise program is an important decision, it’s not about “having" time, it’s about making time, but it doesn't have to be overwhelming and it should be fun. Check back next week to read my 2nd lot of tips. I’m off to buy a new pair of trainers.