Oh, exercise, how you fill so many of us with dread. I've never been a sporty person, apart from being a pretty good figure skater in my teens. So exercise is something that I've avoided, until a couple of years ago when I wasn't happy in my skin and just how unfit I was so I knew that things needed to change. Fitness doesn't have to be something that fills you with dread or makes you instantly want to fall on the floor. Believe it or not, it can be fun and here is how I've fitted it to my needs so that it works out for the both of us [pun completely intended].
FIND SOMETHING THAT WORKS FOR YOU
There are so many ways that you can get some exercise in without joining a gym and going on the elliptical for hours. Here are a few ways to get your heart rate up;
- Ice skating
Exercise doesn't always have to fit the traditional constraints that we all typically think of. Even giving the house a good clean from top to bottom is a damn good workout.
WEAR SOMETHING THAT YOU FEEL GREAT IN
This was the first thing that I did when I knew I wanted to up my fitness was treated myself to a few things that made me feel confident. If you just want to wear a baggy old t-shirt and sweat pants then that's great but personally, that's not an outfit that makes me feel good or motivated to exercise at all. As it's January the stores are packed to the brim with workout clothes. You don't need to spend a ton of money to find some nice pieces, stores like H&M and TK Maxx always have some great items.
DON'T SWEAT IT
I would put money on the fact that we've all made a resolution to ourselves to be in better shape. January is probably one of the worst times to try and do so. It's cold, dark and generally pretty miserable. Not the season to start getting into outdoor running if you ask me. Why not start slowly with your fitness with yoga or pilates which you can do in the comfort of your own home? By doing that, you're still meeting your resolution just at a slower pace, which for me is what January is all about after the mad dash of the festive period.
DON'T LET IT BECOME A CHORE
The moment something feels like a chore or that I have to do it is when I start becoming uninterested and start making excuses not to get it done. Exercise should be something that is somewhat fun and enjoyable, no matter what form you're doing it in. Society likes to put all sorts of ideas in our heads like it's strange to have fun keeping fit. It's not true at all, looking after your health and taking care of your insides is something that shouldn't be judged. Fitness goes so much further than physical appearance.
PROGRESS TAKES TIME
Something that comes up time and time again is that when people don't see instant results from something they stop. Physical progress takes time but how you feel on the inside can be a much quicker result. Getting your heart beat racing releases a ton of endorphins and it's a well-known fact how much that can help with your mental health. It can be so disheartening when you're trying your absolute best to get into shape and not quite seeing the results that you wanted but they'll come with time.
GO AT YOUR OWN PACE
Setting myself a super strict routine when it comes to exercise isn't something that works for me at all. A while ago I got into the habit of intuitively exercising and it's worked amazingly well. I exercise when my mind and body feels like it wants to, not when I'm saying I have to. It makes the whole thing so much more fun and it cuts out the worry of not having managed to work out on a day I set for myself. Of course, this isn't a practice that works for everyone and a lot of people work better with a strict routine but it's not for me. The same goes for the type of exercise you do if running on a treadmill is your worst nightmare then why force yourself to do it? It can be easy to get caught up in fitness content that can all seem scarily quick paced but you can go at any rate you want. Because doing one thing is better than doing nothing.