Sunday, 17 January 2016

My Fitness Journey

My Fitness Journey

I cannot believe I just typed those three words as the title of this post. It's mad!

Growing up, I was not an active child and it’s kind of bizarre to think that now I have a fitness routine that I look forward to every week, truly enjoy and something that I have successfully done on a continual basis. As always, new year brings new hopes, new plans and renewed resolutions, I thought I'd share a few pointers that led me to this fitness journey.

1. Try Different Things

Let’s face it. You are not going to do something that you don’t enjoy, are you? So it’s important that you find one or a few activities that you truly enjoy. Enjoyment is one of the things that would lead to repeat behaviour. And if you are like me, (i.e. inactive as a child), as much as I hate to break this to you, you may have to start from ground zero because you have no idea what you would enjoy. You need to conquer the mental block and try EVERYTHING even if you think you may not like it because you never know, you may surprise yourself. From my experience, I never thought that I would enjoy running so much so that I ended up participating in at least a few 5km runs back in 2014. I thought I was in love with yoga until I braved myself and joined the pilates class at the gym. My love for pilates grows even more after I tried a session using the reformer – which honestly, it does look like a torture piece of equipment. Boot camp was a phrase that I was very afraid of until I joined a trial session at the park opposite my flat and dare I say, I actually missed it when we had two weeks break during the Christmas and New Year period!

2. Invest in a Personal Trainer (PT)

Yes, they are expensive hence why I used the word ‘invest’. As much as I hate to admit it, sometimes we do need to pay other people to tell us what to do, to push and motivate us beyond what we think we are capable of. Furthermore, how often have we started the day with the best intention of going to the gym after work, and it remained as intention because something better came out (e.g. think about those ad-hoc after work drinks) or you had the worst day of your life that all you want to do is shut the computer down and go home? This is when having a PT helps as the PT will make you commit to a routine/schedule.

If you cannot afford or not willing to spend on PT (read: me!!), joining an exercise group can reduce the cost a bit. These could be a running club, a boot camp or a local fitness group. Whilst you may not get the full 1-2-1 attention, you will still get guidance from the fitness instructor. It is also worth discussing options with a PT because sometimes they are willing to reduce the rate slightly if you come with another friend.

3. Location, location, location

Personally, this is a key factor for me. Commuting an hour just to get to the gym is not going to be motivating for me, not to mention, the best use of my time. When choosing which gym/ classes to join, first you need to roughly work out your planned exercise schedule. Is it going to be before or after work? Weekdays or weekend only or a combination of both? If you think you are going to exercise after work and during weekdays only, perhaps it’s best to join a gym or class that is near your office where you can easily get to before or after work. If you prefer the weekend, then somewhere near home would be more sensible. I do a mixture of both – I do pilates during the week and the centre is two minutes away from my office and my boot camp session is either on Wednesday evening or Saturday morning and it is held at the park near my flat.

These are the three things that have worked for me so far. And if you are planning to improve your fitness level or if you are already active and want to up your game in 2016, I hope these are helpful. For those who are still thinking and talking about it, my suggestion is JUST START! As Nike said 'Just Do It'!

Good luck. x

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