1. START SMALL & BUILD FROM THERE. Aim for 2 workouts a week, then when that feels easily do-able, progress to every other day. Whatever number of sessions a week you choose to make your routine, make sure it is sustainable. Health and fitness is a lifestyle, not a phase or a quick fix.
2. YOU DON’T NEED A GYM. I have been working out consistently for about 5 years without a gym (because quite frankly I can’t afford a membership). You can get amazing results working out in the comfort of your own home. If you feel like you want to use more than just bodyweight, I highly recommend glute bands, long loop bands and some dumbbells.
>>HOT TIP: if you do want to use a gym ask for a free trial before you sign up. I have been trialling all the gyms in my area without having to pay a penny!
3. UTALISE FREE RESOURCES. YouTube and Instagram are full of workout videos that you can follow, or save for later. I actually began working out by following YouTube videos. Channels I use(d) :
4. AM OR PM? Obviously, it’s best to train when you feel most energised and motivated. Figuring out whether you workout best in the morning or the evening is a game changer. Personally, I feel best training first thing in the morning, before breakfast. But you might train better after breakfast / mid-morning / mid-afternoon / after work etc.
5. BE REALISTIC. There is no way as a beginner you are going to be able to smash out 20 burpees, chin ups and knife jacks, and that doesn’t matter. What matters is that you are doing your best. With consistency, you will get stronger, fitter and leaner. But it’s not going to happen overnight, so be patient and know that everyone progresses and responds at a different rate.
6. EAT RIGHT. You could be working out 6 days a week with max effort but unless your nutrition is good, you won’t see results. This not only means eating whole foods (fresh, unprocessed, additive free) but also eating enough, in the right balance (protein : fats : carbs) to fuel your body. Again, how much you eat, and in what ratio, varies from person to person.
Okay, now you’ve got the ball rolling, you’ve created a nice little routine that’s working well for you…but you’re starting to get bored, lose motivation and your bed and pj’s are becoming ever more enticing…
HOW TO STICK TO IT
1. MAKE REALISTIC GOALS. Create an outcome goal e.g run 10k, then create progress goals that are going to get you to that outcome goal e.g train 5 times a week, join a running club, work on endurance etc. When setting a goal, ask yourself how achieving this goal will make you feel physically and mentally. Don’t ever make goals to look like, or be like, someone else, you aren’t them.
2. COMPARE YOURSELF TO NO-ONE. Comparison is toxic. By all means use people as inspiration but do not compare your appearance, abilities or routine to anyone elses. Your body; how it looks, how it performs and what it thrives off, will be unique to you.
3. FIND PEOPLE TO KEEP YOU ACCOUNTABLE. It can help to find a workout buddy so you can motivate each other and keep each other accountable. Or it can be helpful to simply tell people your fitness goals so they can check in and see if you’re sticking to your goals.
4. DO WHAT YOU ENJOY. Fitness looks different to everyone. Some people love to run, others enjoy lifting weights, or perhaps you prefer Pilates. It doesn’t matter what you choose to do, just move your body it a way that you enjoy. If you enjoy it, you’re far more likely to stick to it.
5. NO PRESSURE. Don’t put pressure on yourself to be perfect, perfect doesn’t exist. Inevitably there will be days when life gets in the way; work, family, commitments, illness, not feeling motivated etc. Know that everyone has ‘off’ days, it’s just a part of life, move on and start the next day afresh.
6. FIND INSPIRATION. From insta, YouTube, podcasts, friends, collegues, trainers. Surround yourself with feel good inspiration and ditch accounts / people that make you feel bad, you don’t need that in your life.
7. ACKNOWLEDGE YOUR EFFORT. You’ve been working your arse off so give yourself a pat on the back, and know that you are doing great things for your health.
8. PRAISE YOUR PROGRESS. Give yourself an incentive to keep working out; treat yourself to a new gym outfit, share your progress on social media, create a new playlist, try a new class, have a pamper rest day.
9. SWITCH IT UP. Your body and mind gets used to the same old workout. To keep things fresh and allow your body to keep progressing you have to increase the intensity of your workouts. This could be decreasing rest time, adding more reps or increasing weight / resistance.
10. CREATE A PLAYLIST. Music literally makes my workout. Without high energy music, I struggle to get moving. I highly recommend creating playlists for your session e.g: high energy dance music for cardio, hip hop for weights, chill tracks for yoga.