Many of us want to put in place good well-being and exercise habits for the new year but how do we over-ride our natural desire to snuggle under the duvet and reach for some snacks. This is what radio presenter Bob Johnson and I were discussing on Wycombe Sound this morning. Have a listen here:
My top tips:
Avoid the pitfalls of setting unrealistic short-term goals like losing 2 stone in a month. Consider goals beyond weight such as how you want to feel in your mind and body. Perhaps you want to relieve physical tension from sitting at a desk, or mental tension from the stress of work/life. Do you want to be able to touch your toes or look and feel stronger? These will give you clues as to what type of exercise might suit you best.
Shop around and find a fitness partner – you’re investing time and money so find the right exercise and instructor for you. Avoid the latest exercise trend and find a format, instructor and environment that makes you want to go to class and that’s convenient to your routine. Like a meaningful relationship – can you see yourself doing this long-term? Most instructors will provide the first class free – so ask if you can attend a session to see if it’s for you.
Pace yourself – there’s no such thing as immediate results but you can get injured immediately. Ease your way back in and don’t miss the warm up and cool down. Don’t worry about what anyone else is doing as this is when we push ourselves beyond our limits. Listen to your body and compete only with yourself – being a little bit fitter and stronger than the last session is enough.
Nourish yourself – most of us want to feel strong, supple and energised so we can do more of the things we love and live in minds and bodies that are as free from tension, stress and injury as we can. So think of exercise as a way to nourish yourself not punish yourself. If you love high octane exercise then great – there’s loads of HiiT style workouts out there but it’s not the only way to get results and feel strong and supple. Low impact exercise such as Pilates, Yoga or Tai Chi can have amazing results while relieving tension and pain not creating it. Combine gentler, but no less effective, forms of exercise with other things that make you feel great like eating well, sleeping well and having fun and you’ve created great habits for the new year that will last.
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