Getting started is one the most difficult things when you make a change. Are you always thinking I’d like to try yoga, running, HITT, spin etc. but never quite get round to going to a class? Do you scroll wistfully through Insta thinking how amazing those dishes of food look but never actually make them? Or are you simply a bit fed up and demotivated with life and want to change it? If so, then this easy guide to getting started is for you!
- Exercise wise, ask yourself what do I enjoy?
- Then ask yourself what are my exercise goals?
- What is available to me in my area/price range?
You may want to arrange to work with a PT who can help you work out the answers to these question or you may know them yourself. Once you have the answer to these you can start making decision about what exercise you’re going to do, and where/when. A plan starts to take shape. For example, if you’ve never been much of a runner but you love to cycle but lack confidence on the roads then spin might be good for you. On the contrary if you are just looking to work on your posture and flexibility then yoga or pilates may be a better shout. If you’re on a budget you may want to look into online yoga/pilates (although I’d always recommend instructor led workouts for complete beginners, at least initially). Local councils have all sorts of initiatives that are often subsidised, for example couch to 5 km which helps you build up running confidence and fitness. If building strength and fitness is more your goal, then you may want to enlist the help of a personal trainer who can use their expertise and experience to tailor workouts to your needs; this can be through one2one sessions or online training.
Now you’ve made a plan what’s to say you will go through with it. After all it takes some courage to start a new class or step out the door into the unknown with a new trainer. My advice would be to do the following:
- Allow yourself to be a beginner. Everyone starts somewhere and by taking the first step you’re already doing more than the majority.
- Remember why you’re starting. Look back on your goals; this is the first step to achieving them. (Read my blog on goal setting to help you).
- Enlist a friend/partner/offspring to come with you for moral support. Having a person that you know can relieve some of the pressure; you’ll have someone to walk in with and someone to share the workout with. Many PT’s offer buddy sessions now which are often cheaper per person too.
- Write your plan down in your diary. I am a firm believer that writing something down makes you accountable to getting it done.
- Get kitted out. Treat yourself to some new kit. You want to feel good and be comfortable when you work out. Plus having incorrect kit such as a bad sports bra or trainers can cause problems further down the line.
Lastly, before you begin something new you should seek your GP’s advice just to check that you’re not contraindicated to exercise or a certain form of exercise. Once you’ve got the okay, you’re good to go!
Now you’ve gotten started it’s worth noting that it adherence to a new lifestyle requires some work too. Be patient, it’s unlikely you’ll see results in a week, give anything new 4-6 weeks before you review whether it is helping you towards your goals and if you’re enjoying it. Bear in mind that you may need to change your nutritional habits too. Exercise requires you tot urn up to sessions adequately fuelled and replenish after sessions. Protein will become increasingly important in your diet and you’ll probably find that you need more sleep than usual. Listen to your body; it will adapt quite quickly but only if you give it what it needs.
Food wise the practises are very similar. What are your goals, what is available, what do you like/dislike, what is realistic? Again, planning is imperative. Food prep will become a thing you do on a Sunday and will make your life easier and save you money. Be wary of diets which restrict foods or include fasting; in my opinion a balanced, fresh diet will be far more maintainable; especially if you have a family too cook for. Find organic/fresh ingredients and cook from scratch making sure that every plate is a balance of quality protein, carbohydrate (some are better than others, see blog) and plenty of fruit and veg to ensure you get enough minerals and vitamins. Make a pointed effort to remain hydrated; aim for 3 L a day if you’re exercising.
If you’re doing ‘Get Real with Kimberley’ you’re already well on your way – well done! If you’d like something more personal KimFit can help. I offer one2one PT in hour and half hour slots. Every client will get a free consultation where we work through the questions I asked at the top of this blog. Every client will get a tailored programme designed to help you reach your goals. Fancy working out with a friend? KimFit offers Buddy PT, train with a friend and save money. Maybe you’ve entered a race? KimFit can also provide you with coaching for your event in either 4 or 8 week blocks; you’ll feel the best prepared you could be on the start line.