Train your brain to say ‘yes’ to exercise!

Here are our top get-started tips from experts in the know.
Published 8 August, 2016

The hardest part of any workout? Putting on your trainers. You know you have to do something, but actually doing it can take Herculean resolve. Until, that is, you learn a few tricks. 

Make your own mantra
‘I like, “Even a world champion was a beginner once”,’ says our fitness expert, Jennie Gadsby. ‘Getting started might seem scary, but I bet your first day at work was, too, and now you do that every day. And remember, no matter how slow you go, you’re still lapping everyone who’s sitting on the couch.’

Learn as much as you can
The more you read and learn about fitness and health, the more inspired you become,’ says James Trevorrow of Virgin Active. ‘Read one motivating article a week. Combine that with setting some realistic goals and soon, you’ll have the mindset of an champion.’

Think about the afterglow
‘I try to remember how good I’ll feel afterwards and use that to keep me motivated to start,’ says Katie Bulmer-Cooke, former Apprentice star turned fitness trainer. ‘There’s no better mood boost than exercise and I think about how I always feel so much happier and more positive on the days I work out.’

Give yourself options
‘If I’m not feeling motivated, I’ll just work through my warm-up,’ says trainer Pierre Pozzuto. ‘Normally this is enough to inspire me to keep going, but if not, I’ll swap my planned workout to do something I know I’ll enjoy. For me, that’s some mixed martial arts, but it could be a walk in the woods. No time you move is ever a waste of time.’

Work the numbers
‘Rate how much you want to exercise, from one to 10,’ advises Russ Harris, of London’s Six3nine training studio. ‘Unless you’re feeling super-motivated, it’s likely to be less than 10 out of 10. But even if it’s a low figure, there must be reasons that got you there. If you’re at, say, five, list the things that got you that far: one of them is sure to motivate you to head to the gym or out for a run.’

Get a workout song
‘I have a routine that gets me to my jujitsu class,’ says Dalton Wong of London’s Twenty Two Training. ‘I take my favourite T-shirt to work, and don’t check emails in the 30 minutes before leaving, in case they give me an excuse not to go. When I set off, I play my favourite workout song to get me in the mood.’