Reviewed by: Tim Pittorino, BHSC
Every year millions, possibly even billions of people around the world have the same New Years resolution; to exercise more, lose weight and eat more healthily. The fitness industry loves these resolutions as thousands of people sign up to yearly contracts to the gym with 92% never making it to February!
To save your money and feeling like a failure here are 5 simple, yet effective ways to get started on your fitness.
Start small on your fitness journey
Too many of us start with an MASSIVE overzealous goal that requires a full time commitment, e.g. lose 20kgs in 3 months. While this is humanly possible, this would require zero other commitments, such as no: partner, job, children or distractions of any kind. A much easier feat for a 20-something Hollywood actress getting paid 5 million a movie.
So step 1 is to start with something easy, achievable and build on it. For example rather than setting a goal of conquering Everest, start with a 5 minute walk around the block and simply build on it each and every week. Even if it’s by just 30 seconds. As you achieve each small goal your fitness and more importantly your confidence will snowball and you’ll be turning that walk into a walk-jog soon enough.
Most people want to rush straight to the end result of standing on the scales and seeing a magic number appear. However that would be like a high school student graduating one day and expecting to start as the CEO of Apple the next – it ain’t gonna to happen.
But let’s say by some miracle it did happen, you’d miss out on all those soul-enriching experiences of climbing your way to the top and most importantly having the time of your life hanging with all the other beginners in the mail room.
So rather than focussing on standing on top of the proverbial pyramid, set a goal to see how many people you can meet, how much joy you can spread and how much fun you can have. Even scientific studies have proven this is the best way to achieving and maintaining long-term results.
Yes you read it right – sleep. Sleep as much as you can, whenever you can. Although getting 8-9 hours straight every night is ideal, if you need naps to fill your quota then do it.
This unrated resource balances out all your health & weight loss hormones. Being ‘Tired All The Time’ aka TATT syndrome becomes a considerable stress to your body. When exercise is thrown on top of this exercise becomes painful and counterproductive. As a protective mechanism your body hates to exercise when it’s tired. This is a major factor why all the parents, especially mums of newborns, struggle with weight loss.
So before you cause distress to your body with intense exercise, give it as much sleep as possible and then exercise transforms from as distress into a eustress. Eustress is a positive form of stress. It brings countless benefits including more energy for your entire day and a higher quality sleep at night! By going to bed just 1 hour earlier each night you can get on the upward spiral of; Waking up feeling awesome, having the physical and mental energy to train hard, lose weight way easier and sleeping soundly at night.
Although it would be nice to have the live-in chef prepare your every meal; a personal trainer meet you at your door each morning and massage therapist to help get rid of any tight spots this isn’t a reality… unless you’re a Kardashian. However there are dozens of places you can get help from:
- A friend who has similar fitness goals that will help keep both of you accountable.
- A favourite playlist that gets you primed and pumped up to lift up lions and wrestle crocodiles.
- The Kids – See how many squats you can during the next ad break. The kids will love joining you on this one. In fact kids will love whenever you make a game out of any exercise.
- Track your steps – In terms of weight loss the bottom line is, the more you move, the better. All smartphones come with inbuilt trackers, or there are dozens of wearables on the market if you want to see a little more detail. Your goal – move MORE than last week.
- Have a Salad party – This is more exciting than it sounds. Get your friends together for a Salad-off. See who can make the tastiest salad made from 100% natural ingredients. Transform a boring lettuce, tomato and cucumber salad with walnuts, goats cheese, avocado, sweet potato and an array or herbs.
Even though those (often doctored) before and after photos on social media light up a part of our brain and lead us to believe results are instant. What you don’t ever see is the months or even years of early mornings, countless hours of training, thousands of healthy meals prepared and millions of saying ‘no thanks’ to the endless offerings of calorie-dense, refined foods and alcohol.
So be kind to yourself and practise patience. This is one reason men tend to have more long-term success than women. Men generally don’t want the weight off for a specific event and get there in the end. Women are more prone to extreme diet and exercise to get the weight off yesterday! The lifetime journey of health and weight management is just that, a lifetime, not a 2 week sprint.
Join 12WBT today. It will provide you all the knowledge and support you’ll need to achieve your goals.