Contrary to popular belief, we believe that you are never too old, too unfit, too out of shape, too [blank] to work on becoming healthier and get fit(ter).
Here at Workout Bristol, we celebrate everyone. Yes, absolutely EVERYONE. Everyone has different reasons they come to the gym, and we believe those should be celebrated... because coming to the gym is an accomplishment in itself!
Today, we're covering a few essential tips and tricks to becoming more fit. Keep reading!
WORK ON GOAL SETTING
In other words, work out the "why" - don't just work out. It's much easier to stay motivated when you have something to work towards. This definitely does not need to be a specific number on the scale... try thinking more creatively; combining physical activity with something else. A few ideas to get you started:
- Get at least 10,000 steps per day
- Attend 2 group fitness classes per week
- Walk/run at least 10 miles per week
- Cycle to work at least 3 days a week
- Train with a gym buddy and run a 5k together in 3 months
In other words: try to make physical activity hit as many meaningful targets as you can. If you'd like to read more about goal setting, check out one of our past blog posts on how to set fitness goals here!
BE KIND TO YOURSELF
The most important thing in your workout journey is to be realistic, and be kind to yourself. Progress doesn't happen overnight, and it may take some time to see changes or success. But that doesn't mean you're "failing"! Remind yourself of this, especially on days that you're feeling particularly unmotivated. Getting to the gym and getting your workout in consistently is something you should celebrate in and of itself!
To help with this, be realistic with yourself - your goals, your targets dates/weights/reps/whatever it is that you're striving for. Realistically, most people probably aren't going to make it to the gym seven days a week - and even if you do, we'd still recommend a rest day (or two) every week! We'd recommend taking an analytical look at your work, social, and family-related commitments, then set yourself up with realistic targets and goals. Individual motivation – or the lack of it – is only part of the bigger picture. There will always be stumbling blocks (work-related stress, money, family or parenting demands, even illness or depression, etc.), but what matters is how you maneuver over those! Keep your chin up, keep going, and lean on friends and family for support. If there is a lot of support around you, you may find it easier to maintain your physical activity goals. Remember that with good, consistent work, you will succeed!
MAKE SMALL(ER) CHANGES
We know it seems counter-intuitive, but start slow. Set a specific goal for yourself and work hard to attain it, then move on from there and set your sights even higher... and so forth. One of the dangers of changing too many things at once, is that you'll likely lose motivation or get tired far too quickly. Remind yourself that if you haven't been in shape, it's going to take time. We'd recommend a higher-intensity interval training (HIIT) once or twice per week, plus at least two to three rest days... at least for the first month. That will give you a chance of having recovery sessions alongside the high-intensity workouts.
MAKE IT A CONSISTENT HABIT
You've probably heard it before, but consistency is key. The more you push yourself to get to the gym, the more likely you are to get into a good routine - a nice, workout groove, if you will - which, in turn, will likely result in greater success. Maybe try following the "four day rule." Do not allow more than four days to elapse between gym/fitness sessions. Whether that means getting to the club for weight training, going for a long cycle, or attending a group fitness class - don't let more than four days pass between rigorous physical activity! Your body will thank you!
TRY TO ENJOY IT!
While we realise not everyone is going to love working out and coming to the gym, try to enjoy yourself. A positive attitude will make all the difference! Remember that you're doing this for you, for your health, for [insert your reason/"why" here].
That said, it is helpful not to try and make yourself do things you actively dislike. For example, if you despise running and just can't get into it... why not try a group fitness class? Spinning? High-intensity Interval Training?
There are probably elements that you will find enjoyable, such as the physical response of your body, and the feeling of getting stronger, and the pleasure that comes with mastering a new skill/exercise.
As you know, we're always here to help. If you are in need of a pep talk or some serious motivation - stop by the desk! We're always open to a nice chat :)