Feeling like you need a little motivation today? Got the hump day blues? Just because your goal isn’t to become a body builder or fitness model, doesn’t mean you should be afraid of starting your own fit journey.
Starting off with small changes to your attitude, diet, routine and lifestyle are the first steps in achieving a healthier life. You don’t need to make dramatic changes in order to improve and not all of them are as bad as they seem.
1. Let me begin by talking about your mindset. This is probably the MOST important thing that you need to realize before you ever will get ahead. You have to WANT to be healthier. You have to find value in a healthy and fit lifestyle. If it’s your partner who wants it, or your parents, or your kids or your dog, you’re not going to achieve it. YOU have to want it. Read that last sentence 10 times over. YOU YOU YOU have to want it.
2. You know the difference between right and wrong when it comes to your diet. You don’t have to live on chicken, rice and broccoli in order to consider yourself to be “eating clean”. Get adventurous with food and try looking at pics of food under the hashtags #cleaneating #eatclean #fitnessmeals #foodprep and try and find what your favorite fitness bloggers are eating. Get inspired to try new things. If you don’t know what’s in something, Google is a powerful tool …and try cutting out the crap. Everyone needs cheat meals, but try cutting back on the stuff that you KNOW is bad for you (fried foods, chocolate, ice cream, pizza, pasta, bread, candy etc…). Note that I said cutting back. I am no stranger to pasta and pizza on the weekend, but if you’re having it Monday-Friday, then…. well…. you get what I mean. Make those types of meals a reward for eating healthy during the week.
3. Everyone’s weekly routine (or lack thereof) is different. Whether you work a 9-5 or you work nights and weekends, everyone can make time for exercise. If you hear yourself saying in your head “no not me, I’m way too busy” or things like “I’ve got kids and you don’t, my schedule doesn’t allow for exercise”, then my advice is negligible. Remember what I said before… YOU have to want it. Life is about decisions. Choices. Here are some examples to counteract your excuses:
30 min walk with your stroller if you have a baby (I’m sure you have time to sit on the couch for 30 mins, so get outside and enjoy the day. You may think you’re too tired because you were woken up 5x last night but you’d be surprised how much energy a walk can give you, and the fresh air will give you a sense of relief)
Try something you’ve always been interested in, but too scared to try. I’ll tell you right now, one of two things will happen; you’ll love it, or you’ll hate it. There’s no reason to be scared, it’s not a shark. Try yoga, try crossfit, go for a run and if you suck at running then walk until you catch your breath and then run again until your stamina slowly gets better, try swimming, get a personal trainer for one session and then maybe 10, go to the gym, ride a bike, go for a hike, go skiing or snowboarding. DO ANYTHING YOU WANT! The only person holding you back from trying something is YOU. Remember how bad YOU want it? Don’t be afraid of sucking. Rome wasn’t built in a day. Just go try it, suck at it, get better at the things you enjoyed doing, and stop doing the things you didn’t enjoy doing. Thats how it works. Don’t be afraid of getting judged because there’s a high chance that everyone around you at any of those activities is focused on their own progress and not your lack of coordination or ability.
Make time and less excuses. Simple as that. Get a babysitter, drink less alcohol, go shopping less, get your ass off the couch. 30 mins of exercise is better than nothing. If you don’t have time for a full workout, do some exercises at home. There’s a beautiful thing called YouTube to help you find home exercises.
Start slowly, and don’t be afraid of getting sore. Work through it and set yourself goals like “today I’m going to walk for 30 mins, and on Saturday I’m going to walk for an hour”. Whatever your fitness level, make sure you have goals to improve, increase and maintainyour routine. Ride your bike 10km this week and 15km in 3 weeks. 10kg bicep curls today, 12.5kg next week.
4. Last but not least, give some thought into your lifestyle. Do you get enough sleep? Do you eat clean all week and then get drunk Friday-Sunday? Do you surround yourself with people who motivate you and inspire you or people who bring you down and make you feel bad about yourself? Are you happy in your job? All of these things play a huge factor in your success. Not just in fitness but in your own life. Make any changes necessary, and your progress will improve by miles.
5. Quit smoking.