12 get-going tips for fitness beginners
Want to get into exercise? Take this advice from members and experts to get you moving more:
1. Stop seeing activity as a chore: instead, think of it as an opportunity for some me-time – an activity that will make you feel fantastic afterwards, or give you a chance to catch up with friends.
2. Tell your partner or a friend to keep you accountable. And, if you can plan a time for you both to exercise together, you’ll achieve more by keeping each other motivated.
3. ‘Be more active every day. I do two minutes of squats while brushing my teeth. My electric toothbrush has a timer, so I alternate between narrow and wide squats every 30 seconds.’ Kerry (member)
4. Just think: of the 168 hours in the week, how many are you dedicating towards actually moving? How would it benefit you to do more? Grab a pen and write down all the positives that go with becoming fitter.
5. ‘I pack my sports bag every evening after I’ve eaten my meal and take it with me to work, so there’s no excuse not to go for a lunchtime work-out.’ Nikki Jane (member)
6. If you hate running, don’t do it! Finding a workout you enjoy is a must – that way, you’ll actually look forward to going. Join a dance class, take up horse riding or, if you don’t like anything structured, get into the habit of taking a longer route when you’re out walking.
7. Write down your specific obstacles to exercising more – are you nervous? Busy? Then figure out different ways to tackle these obstacles. Ask yourself how you could build fitness into your life in a way that works for you.
8. ‘Tiny everyday changes can help. For example, I use my upstairs loo instead of the downstairs one, so I have to take the stairs much more.’ Janet (member)
9. If half the challenge of going to the gym is getting out the door, give yourself as many reasons to go as you can. Arrange to meet a friend there, for example.
10. ‘I keep moving while I’m in the kitchen. I belly dance while washing up by doing little hip circles and side-to-side moves. They’re barely noticeable but they keep me active.’ Larrissa (member)
11. When you’re finding it a struggle just to get up off the sofa, be kind to yourself. For example, put in five minutes of a home workout, and if you’re miserable after that, stop. But usually, once you get five minutes in, you’ll find the energy to do more.
12. Don’t let good intentions slide! Whenever you exercise – even if it’s a short walk or a 10-minute workout – record how happy you are in your diary. It will spur you on; US research found remembering enjoying exercise encourages us to keep the habit.