‘I wish I could fit into that perfect pair of jeans I used to wear in college.’
‘I have to lose weight to look good in my friend’s wedding pictures.’
‘All my friends are running a 5K next weekend, I feel pressure to do it too.’
‘That article I read linking heart disease to obesity was really scary!’
Sound familiar? Everyone has his or her own reasons to want to get fit. Do you? If so, read on for some tips to get started.
Fitness should be fun
If conventional gyms are not your thing, pick an activity you enjoy. Swimming, aerobics, mixed martial arts or even a dance class can be fun alternatives. Consistency is key if you want to stay fit, and choosing an activity you like increases the likelihood that you will keep it up.
A little support is always good
Get a friend, or better still, a group of friends, to get on the fitness journey with you. There are bound to be days when you don’t feel like working out or you really want to break your diet. On those days, it helps to have an enthusiastic friend to keep you accountable.
While exercise is extremely important, it will be ineffective without a good diet. If you are confused, consult a professional dietician who will create a plan to suit your specific needs. Don’t deprive yourself too much but remember that the effects of unhealthy food last far longer than the delicious flavour! So maybe allow yourself a ‘cheat meal’ rather than a ‘cheat day’ each week.
Keep it fresh!
As far as possible, try to charge up your workouts either with different routines or different activities. This keeps things interesting for you and also gets different parts of your body working. Similarly, make sure your diet isn’t too monotonous. If you’re bored you won’t be able to sustain the efforts.
Make it a way of life
Getting fit doesn’t happen overnight, and when you get there, staying fit is a life-long commitment. Sounds dire? It doesn’t have to be. Start by making small changes – get enough sleep, drink lots of water, develop active hobbies etc. These paired with your exercise routine and healthy eating will soon become your ‘new normal’. As with anything else in life, it gets easier with time.
If you're finding it hard to get started or have tried before and failed, a counsellor will be able to coach you through the process and help motivate you to not only start on a fitness plan but stick with it!