Back to work, back to fit
Four tips to put an effective fitness routine in place.
Returning to your routine after the holidays can be a challenge if you have not got plans in place to create healthy habits. Here are some tips to establish and cement your fitness routine this year.
1. Think about your reasons why
Instead of focusing on fitting a particular dress size, adjust your mindset to think about the reasons why you want to lead an active life. When I figured out my ‘why’ it became an easy motivator to stick to my routine.
One of my ‘whys’ is to inspire my own children and family to value the benefits of physical activity, to lead a full life. I can only do that if I lead an active life myself. Your ‘why’ might be to keep up with your kids or grandchildren or something just as motivating. Your ‘why’ must move your heart, head and, as a result, your body.
2. Start now
That little voice in your head telling you to start next week or next month needs to be shut down, pronto. A routine always begins with one first step, and breaking inertia is often harder than the exercise itself. While taking the first step might be a challenge, it is incredibly rewarding. Why wait another day? Start exercising today.
3. Create a fool-proof plan
A plan is essential for establishing a successful fitness routine. Figure out when you can fit in daily physical activity around your work commitments and home life. Schedule some group fitness sessions or commit with a friend to meet on a certain day of the week for a walk. When you have a good plan, all you need to do is stick to it.
Avoid overcommitting within your routine. This may lead to lack of stickability long term. Be realistic, but also committed to fitting in your fitness, as making gains takes time and energy. I have found by starting small and building good fitness gives the best long-term results. Lead an active life, not just this week or this month, but for life.
4. Have fun
The best fitness routine you’ll ever have is the one you’ll follow. You’re far more likely to stick to a plan if it’s fun. While fitness may have not been fun for you in the past, there are so many different options to try that can make you more inclined to keep going.
Whether it’s finding the right music to exercise to, having a buddy to exercise with or doing something active in a beautiful environment, make sure you take note of how you feel. The positive feelings generated from exercise can be heightened when it’s fun, so find what makes you want to come back for more and make it a regular.
Plank shoulder touches
1. Start in a high plank position with your hands underneath your shoulders, your spine in a neutral position and your lower abdominals switched on by slightly drawing your belly button towards your spine.
2. Shift your weight to your right hand and take your left hand off the mat to touch your right shoulder.
3. Take your hand in a controlled manner back down to the starting position. Repeat exercise with other hand.
For an easier option, start this exercise in a four-point kneeling position, with your hands underneath your shoulders.