So you want to get fit?
Good for you! So do I! So where do you start? The first thing I would advise here is take your time. Make this fitness regime a lifestyle rather than a momentary get fit fix.
The mistake a lot of people make when deciding it’s time to get into shape is to go out and do an hour long run on the very first day, or do an intensive spin class at the gym. Of course you give your body the shock of its life. It then sends out all these negative signals to make sure that it never occurs to you to try it again and in a way it’s right, because a sudden, intense exercise regime could do serious damage to your heart and other organs. The following day, after your mad attempt to get fit in one hour, you can hardly move because you’re feeling muscles in parts of your body that you never knew existed. And you wonder how on earth people can make out that doing exercise is healthy? Because your back has never felt worse.
Don’t expect to get fit in a week or even a month. For you and your body to begin to see changes you need at least a period of about 6-8 weeks, ideally doing about 3-4 exercise sessions a week. But the reality is that the majority of us have full time jobs, kids, cooking, washing, cleaning and if you’re lucky some sort of social life. So how on earth are you going to find the time to exercise too? Especially when the last time you tried you took forever to get to work the following day because those hidden muscles were screaming out in agony. You had to learn how to go down the stairs sideways to avoid cramping up in pain, and of course you couldn’t run for the bus. But worse still, when you did finally arrive at the office, ten minutes late because you obviously missed the bus, you pathetically limped in in such an odd manner that it looked like you’d just attempted cowboy rodeo riding. It’s either that or you’d given the Kama Sutra a go the night before and all your work colleagues weren’t sure whether to congratulate you or not.
Anyway, going back to getting fit, it also depends on what “being fit” means to you. For example for some being fit can be gaining muscle, for others running a marathon, for others be great at the sport they practice. The dictionary says that fitness means the condition of being physically fit and healthy.
Regular training and practice cause adaptations in the central nervous system allowing greater control of movements.Thus movements become smoother and more accurate and performance improves.
Once the adaptation occurs after a certain stimulus (training routine) the initial rate of gain usually begins to slow down. And this leads to the well-known plateau.This happens within a few weeks, 6-8 in general, from starting the training program. What you do next to create the new stimulus is critical, and it makes the different between reaching your goal, stagnate or drop training.
But before we get to that level which sounds rather pro, let’s just start shall we.
A lot of the time the problem with exercise is finding just that “time” and motivation. I’ll come to the “time” issue in a moment. What I find great to motivate myself is going out and buying a nice new running top, or running leggings / shorts or shoes. Don’t got out and spend a bomb though, we all know that there is a good chance if you don’t do things right that nice new gear will sit at the back of your cupboard for years and then you’ll wonder how the hell it go there in the first place.
Find something to motivate you. My massive motivation right now is to classify for the World Masters Athletic Championships (Malaga 2018). Last night I did a set of 10 x 400 m with 1 minute recovery. I almost puked by the end of it and I only finished because I have my end goal in mind. Without it, let’s be honest I would have probably just jacked it in after the first 400m and gone to the pub. And let me tell you now, before you build up any false illusions, if you want to get fit and take it seriously, forget thinking you’ll be looking like a sex god running around the track in a diamond studded bikini. There is nothing glam about it at all. But if you get it right, you’ll be able to flaunt you new figure in whatever bikini (or swim trunks) you fancy next summer. So perhaps that could be your motivation.
Try and find a training partner. It’s so much easier when you have someone at your side motivating you. A Brad Pitt or Cindy Crawford type might come in handy, but as long as it’s someone positive and motivated that’s actually more than enough.
Start slow. We’re not qualifying for the Olympics.
Go out and just do a five/ ten minute walk around your block. That’s it, that’s all you need to do to start. Sounds easy doesn’t it? So what are you waiting for?
*For the next three weeks just find the time to do that, walk 2 – 3 times a week for about 10 minutes and sign up to my newsletter to get the next training session.
And where do you get the time? Well you’ve just read this which would have taken a few minutes, so now you only need to find a couple more. But seriously, how do you get to work? Do you drive? Can you park five minutes away from the office? Get off the bus a stop early? Now I can hear you say “But to do that I’ll have to wake up five minutes earlier!” Yes you will, but believe me, it will be worth it!
*Always remember to go for a medical check-up before starting any exercise regimen and if during exercise you feel pain of any kind stop immediately.