This is a blog linked to our Throw Starfish podcast on exercise, you can hear the episode here.
If you have listened to the podcast then you will know I love exercise, in the episode Pennie mentions that she wishes that she could get some of my passion for exercise and so I’ve tried to deconstruct how you might do that. Love it our hate it, it is NHS recommended that we exercise weekly, that can be walking, sport, physical games or just gardening. Here are my five tips to getting yourself doing more of the stuff:
1) Be realistic
Their is no point starting off wanting to run five miles everyday at 5am. You are setting yourself up for failure, not only is five miles a day a challenge if you aren’t a regular runner, but getting up at 5am to run isn’t easy either (I struggle to get up for morning training and I’ve being doing this years and lets not start on how difficult it is to get up in the dark). Start of with something that is manageable. Listen to your body and don’t be afraid to mix it up. It might be a 45min swim once a week, a walk and a bike ride. Build up the quantity and difficulty of the exercise.
2) Have company to motivate
Exercising with a friend can not only make it more enjoyable, but can motivate you even when you don’t really feel like exercising. You can get up early for a run if you know that if you don’t you are letting someone down. I have always trained for long runs with friends as we both push each other to run further, faster and more regularly. Maybe join a team or class. Being social is one of my favourite aspects of excising.
3) Create/ join a community or set yourself a challenge
If you are motivated by a challenge then set yourself a goal to run so many miles, train for so many hours or just keep a training log. Here is a challenge I set myself last Christmas, I blogged it to make myself accountable. Don’t link the goal to loosing weight, make it about getting your body stronger or achieving a milestone in a set amount of time. Maybe set a challenge to run a race, compete in a competition or achieving a ‘level’ in a sport. Surround yourself by others wanting to do this and set up a whatsapp group or Facebook chat to motivate each other. Follow inspiring people on social media- my Swim Coach has recently set up an Instagram and Blog and I find that helps to keep me in the right mind set.
4) Don’t put yourself under to much pressure
Rest days are important so don’t beat yourself up if your alarm doesn’t wake you up once in a while or take a day off. Starting a new exercise for the first time can be tough on the body, listen to it, but remember that we all have days where we don’t want to exercise, and we have to force ourself to go on the run or drive to training. It is worth it, practice mental strength by making yourself go training or putting on your running shoes, often once you are there you feel great.
5) Find something you enjoy
If you are going to make a lifestyle change then you need to find something you enjoy. If you are going to make this part of your regime going forward then you have to find part of the process you enjoy. I have heard that when you start running, if you bribe yourself with a small square of chocolate after your run, then your body starts to associate the running with that pleasure. After a while the endorphins from running are enough and you don’t need the chocolate. I was a late convert to running, and even now at times I don’t enjoy the actual run. I do know that I will feel great after and that is why I sometimes force myself to go on the run.
I hope these five tips have helped, let me know how you get on,