This week the lovely Erica, personal trainer and owner of Studio 37 walks us through her tips to getting fitter and healthier…
So, we’ve all been there: you know you ought to do some exercise but feel like you have no time. You feel guilty but really don’t know where to start; should you do HIIT, should you run, should you get a personal trainer? It all gets a bit overwhelming and let’s be honest there’s always tomorrow right? There are so many options, opinions and ‘experts’ out there that sometimes, even when you are ready to commit to making a change it’s hard to know where to start so I have put together a list of my top tips if you’re ready to get fitter and healthier:
Find something you love: have a look around and see what’s available. A lot of fitness providers will give you the first session for free so that you can see if it’s for you…give some of them a go and see what you like. If you hate running, don’t try to run three times a week, maybe try a class or look to work with a personal trainer. Once you have found something you enjoy it will be easier to make this a habit rather than a chore.
Make it achievable: If you are new to exercise or returning after a long break, don’t launch straight into five workouts a week, a calorie restricted diet and a cheeky little weekend run for good measure. It probably won’t be sustainable and you may quickly find yourself overly tired, demoralised and unmotivated. Aim to be working out three to four times a week BUT if you really can’t (be honest with yourself), then commit to what you can do regularly, week in week out.
Be consistent: consistency is key if you want to get fitter and healthier. Make it a habit and then you will find yourself making excuses to stick to it rather than making excuses to get out of it. Sometimes this means making yourself accountable to someone else: get a personal trainer who will motivate you through a session and check up on you, go to a class with a friend so you feel like you’re supporting each other and that not going would be letting the other person down. Sometimes it is as simple as putting in your diary at the same time every week so that it simply becomes a part of your week rather than an optional add-on.
Be patient: It is important to understand that to achieve results you need to play the long game. There are no quick fixes that are also sustainable in the long run AND healthy. Sure you can cut out lots of foods and exercise every day and sure you’ll see some initial results but in the long term you will find this gruelling regime hard to stick to. Start by looking at what you are already eating and how much exercise you are already doing. Then see if you can cut down on unhealthy snacks, start walking or cycling to work, maybe sign up for a weekly fitness class and then build up from there. Take it one step at a time, make sure it is achievable and over time you will be able to drop some bad habits, form some new healthy habits and get the results you want.
Find a trainer you like – whether you decide to work 121 with a Personal Trainer, go the gym, join a class or join a bootcamp, take some time to find the right trainer for you. Some will be shouty, some will try to make it as fun as possible, and sometimes you simply won’t like the trainer. Working with someone who motivates and inspires you is really important so if you don’t like the cut of someone’s jib, don’t work with them. Any good fitness instructor or personal trainer will understand and will not take it personally, and if they do, they are definitely not right for you!
Be prepared to work hard: When you are in the right head-space to make changes this hard work will be fun and enjoyable BUT you will have to sweat, get out of breath and turn down the odd slice of cake here and there to get the results you want.
Remember it doesn’t have to be expensive: you can take up running, hiking, go for longer more challenging dog walks or do workouts from YouTube in your living room without having to spend a penny and if you do decide to spend some money on a gym membership or personal trainer just make sure you get your money’s worth by always turning up (make it a habit!) and doing the work so that you see the value in spending that money as well as the cost.
Just Do It! It is so easy to put it off, make excuses and stay as you are. We’ve all been there. Everyone has to start somewhere, even personal trainers had to start their fitness journey somewhere. For me, 6 years ago I mocked people who exercised until one day a friend who had worked hard for 18 months to get fit and healthy inspired me to realise that something had to change. I signed up for an outdoor bootcamp there and then and have not looked back since! You can do it, I promise!
Follow Erica PT extraordinaire on her journey to empower a community of women to reach their health and fitness goals… all whilst she manages her brand-new, purpose-built gym, Studio 37 in the heart of Somerset.