Monday, 10 August 2015

Things I've Learnt From Fitness...

Almost two years ago now I decided to jump onto the workout bandwagon. Having always been a team sports/social sport kind of person the idea of working out consistently wasn't something that ever appealed to me or was something I thought I was capable of. But after finally reaching my 'goal weight' and realizing that what I actually wanted was to be fit and strong I decided to give working out solo a try. Here are some things I've learnt along the way:

Find what you love doing. Growing up I was always playing sports and getting involved in different activities, but since leaving high school and entering the real world my level of fitness had dropped significantly. Over my twenties I've always done the odd pump class or have been involved in a once-a-week social sport but nothing that really made a different to my muscle capacity or noticeably changed my level of fitness. I used to love going to Pilates classes but at $16 per session I turned to Youtube instead to see if there were any videos that I might like. I ended up finding out about Blogilates, pilates videos done to pop music and really started to enjoy them. I think once you find something you actually love to doing it doesn't become a chore anymore.

Remove the excuses. We all have our weak points and one of mine seems to be that I am a major procrastinator when it comes to doing things I don't enjoy (exercise being one of them!) Working out at home with my iPad and my yoga mat is so perfect as there is no excuse in the world for me to not do it. What I liked about doing team sports or joining a class was that I found other people's presence to be really motivating for me. Now even if it's howling a gale outside or boiling hot I can really don't have an excuse not to get my mat out.

Get the right gear. The right gear does not have to be expensive but it sure can improve your performance or make your workout that much more enjoyable. I use a $12 yoga mat from Big W, butone thing that is worth investing in are shoes if you are running and don't scrimp on the sports bra!

Schedule your workouts. If working out or exercising is important to you, make sure you make the time to put it in your schedule. Since I work out three to four times a week, I try and make my workouts on the same day and time each week. This means that exercise is a priority in my life and I know if I'm coming home on a Tuesday I need to get a workout in after work. The good thing for me about not working out every day is that I can still be flexible with things that crop up, but I'm still realistic about how many times I week I can achieve my goals. You may find some people find it funny that you schedule a workout but if exercise is a priority to your health or lifestyle then do what works for you!

Get a workout buddy. I don't have one but one thing I have found helpful is that my boyfriend also works out on a regular basis from home. He's been working out solo for about five years now so I find it really helpful to have someone to keep me motivated if I'm feeling like a couch potato (happens more than I'd like to admit!) Whether it be a friend you go to the gym with, or someone at work you can chat about being a gym bunny with (or whatever floats your boat) it's good to have any extra level of motivation!

Don't be too hard on yourself. I aim to work out three times a week but you know what, sometimes even with the best intentions life just gets in the way. Or as more recently happened to me you pull a muscle doing a weights routine you probably shouldn't have been half-arsing and need to take a break for a few weeks. I never really worry too much or guilt trip myself about workouts since I know that it's such a part of my weekly routine now. I guess I'm still amazed nearly two years on I still enjoy getting sweaty which in itself feels like a big achievement.

Its not about the number on the scales. If exercise has taught me one thing, it is not to worry about the numbers on the scales. Since I've begun exercising I never really weigh myself anymore and all in all I'm pretty amazed at the things my body can do now. Mastering a new move that I found really difficult when I first started gives me more of a buzz than any number on the scales can. If you do like to weigh yourself getting a set of scales that tells you your muscle percentage and body fat percentage is awesome, as your weight doesn't tell you the whole picture.I find I'm much more interested in those numbers than my total body weight.

What tips do you have to getting into exercise?

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