Beginners Fitness Hacks!
Identify your barriers
If this isn’t your first time trying to add more fitness to your life, then think back to the previous times you tried and see if you can figure out what stopped you from continuing back then. Was it time, was it money, maybe childcare or something else? Another thing you can do to help you identify your barriers is to try to think about why you haven’t been exercising over the last few months or years. Has it been a lack of motivation, maybe not knowing what is the best type of exercise to choose, maybe you feel embarrassed or intimidated or again maybe it’s something else. Whatever has been stopping you from starting up a new fitness regime are your barriers. Identifying them is the first step to finding solutions and figuring out ways of removing those barriers.
Don’t compare yourself to others
When you walk into the gym, or running club, or group exercise class there are bound to be more experienced people there than you. Try not to compare yourself to these people! Comparison is the thief of joy and you really do not want to suck the joy out of your workouts! They should be something you enjoy! Remember that absolutely everyone started somewhere and just because you’re a beginner now doesn’t mean you’ll be a beginner forever! Focus on yourself and your journey and remember that what other people are doing doesn’t make a difference to your workout or your results so spending time thinking about them is just a waste of your energy!
Pay attention to your feelings
After your workout take a few moments to just pay attention to how you feel. I don’t mean the physical feelings of being sweaty or a bit tired, I mean your emotional feelings! When we strive towards a goal, dopamine is released, and dopamine is a ‘pleasure’ hormone. It literally makes us feel good when we are striving to achieve something. Working towards and achieving your workouts, whether that’s running X far in Y amount of time or finally mastering that exercise you’ve been struggling with, or anything else will stimulate the release of dopamine, make you feel good and make you feel more positive towards your next workout. Just take a couple of moments after each workout (it could even be during your cooldown) to really pay attention to these lovely feelings of positivity!
Make sure that you are staying hydrated!
Dehydration can make you feel lethargic, demotivated and ultimately stop you from wanting to workout! Plus, when you’re properly hydrated it will actually boost your exercise performance meaning you will get more benefits from your workouts and potentially even achieve your goals quicker! Proper hydration also aids digestion, helps to maintain blood pressure, prevents kidney damage AND reduces your chance of suffering a hangover!
Think of your ‘Why’
Your ‘Why’ is the reason you want to workout. It might be because you want to lose a bit of weight, it might be for health reasons, or it might be just to feel better on a daily basis. Spend a few moments to just think about WHY you have decided that you’d like to get a bit fitter. You could even put an image or little note to yourself somewhere that you will see it often to remind yourself WHY you have decided to start this journey. You can’t expect to feel 100% motivated every single day, but having a clear idea of WHY you are doing this can really help keep your mind focussed on your goals.
Start small and build up!
It’s easy to get overwhelmed with all the different kinds of exercise out there which can leave you feeling like you need to be doing a bit of everything! Now, whilst it is absolutely true that for optimum health benefits you should be including some cardio, some resistance training and some stretching in your workouts, it’s fine to start with whatever interests you the most. Going from 0 to 100 can lead to burn out, can potentially open you up to a greater risk of injury and can ultimately lead to failure. It’s much better to start with a realistic and achievable amount of exercise, even if that’s just 5 minutes a day and build up from there, than try to run a 5K on your first workout!
Find a workout that you love
Don’t get disheartened if you don’t enjoy the first thing you try. There are soooo many ways to get fit these days, which is fantastic because it gives you so much choice! If you don’t enjoy the gym, try a group exercise class. If you’re an outdoorsy person, try exercising outdoors! If you don’t enjoy repetitive exercise then try a dance fitness class. If you don’t like working out alone then try joining a team sport! There are literally hundreds of different ways to get fit and there WILL be something out there that you enjoy, it just might take you some time to find it! Try different things and don’t feel like you have to stick to one thing just because you’ve started it. If you’re not enjoying it, try something else. Once you find a workout that you love, exercise doesn’t feel so much like exercise and it’s so much easier to motivate yourself!