Top 3 Tips to Get Fit with Rob Heffernan
For many people, beginning an exercise plan or starting a new routine can be the most challenging part. It is difficult if you are stuck in a sedentary rut and many people do struggle to start despite having the best intentions in the world.
We all know that there are great reasons to exercise. It will improve energy, mood, sleep and also improve your health – from reducing stress, anxiety, depression and much more. And now, more than ever before, we are only a few clicks away from online exercise classes, fitness tips and health advise. But, in order to make exercise a habit, it takes much more. You really need to be in the right mindset, and you need to want to do it for yourself.
There are always barriers as people have busier schedules than ever before and also, those in poor health can make exercise more challenging but quite often the barriers that are in place can stem from mental barriers with a lack of will or want. Sometimes, people can have a lack of self-confidence and that does halt action and reduces motivation. But whatever age you are or whatever your fitness level is – even if you have never exercised, there are measures that you can take to make exercise more fun and less intimidating.
Our Wellness Ambassador and Olympic Athlete Rob Heffernan shares his top tops to get fit here:
1. Go easy on yourself!
Do not start by beating yourself up about your body, your fitness level or even your lack of willpower. Instead, just maybe turn around your previous unhealthy choices or lack of willpower as opportunities to grow and to learn. Be kind to yourself. By having self-compassion, it can in fact improve your likelihood of success.
2. Quit the excuses!
So often, we all make excuses as to why we cannot do something. However, once you clearly know that having exercise will improve your health and life expectancy, you will know that making time is essential. I know that people working from home are probably working more hours now and feel compelled to answer emails and calls but it is important to take time to get out – even for 30 minutes. Walk from your home for 15 minutes and then turn and walk home. Do this during a coffee break or lunch break. Being fit, healthy and active leads to higher levels of productivity so, employers should be encouraging their staff to get more active.
Tiredness is also a reason that people avoid exercise, but even though it sounds counterintuitive, exercise in a roundabout way, increases energy and will make you feel better.
Also, some people say they “hate exercise”. Find a way to combat this and just introduce movement into your life. It might be walking, dancing, kicking a ball, playing with a frisbee – but there are clever ways of introducing exercise into your daily life in a fun way. And even better if you can do that with your kids and family.
3. Manage your expectations!
When people start a new exercise plan or diet, they can often expect immediate results. But it is so important to acknowledge and accept that the place that you are in this moment, did not happen overnight or after a 7-day or 14-day ‘plan’. Changing ways and creating habits takes time. When you are beginning a new exercise routine, be realistic so that you will stick to it. Do not say you will be doing 10,000 steps, 7 days per week. That saying ‘slow and steady wins the race’ is true. Start small, enjoy the feeling of your fitness improving and slowly build up your time and speed over time. It is important that you feel challenged by your exercise in order to build your fitness but not challenged to the point that you hate the feeling and want to quit. A little exercise is so much better than nothing and it can have such an effect on your mental and emotional health. Try not to obsess on the results and instead focus on consistency. Usually, the improvements in mood and energy will come quickly, the physical results will take more times.