16/04/2015

7 Tips for Fitness Beginners

fitness motivation quotes collage exercise health
All photos (except top right) - weheartit 

Today's post is a tad different from my usual content but as fitness is becoming a bigger part of my life I thought it would be fun to share some of the tips I've learnt along the way.
Growing up, my weight always fluctuated as I could never stick to an exercise regime and I had an awful diet. Although my diet is still far from healthy, I feel I've got my fitness routine pretty much down. I lost just over a stone and had a 'goal weight' in mind but after losing 1.4 stone, I realised I'd rather focus on toning up than being a specific weight as I rather like my curvy figure.
That being said, I'd like to just put it out there that I am by no means an expert and these are just some tips that personally helped me and could potentially work for you also. Enough rambling, here they are...

Make small changes - The prospect of losing weight can seem quite daunting at first so one of the ways I found to make it a little more gradual was to make small lifestyle changes. Instead of getting the bus to work, I walked the 35 mins there and back 3 times a week and on the way there I'd always be walking quite fast (shoutout to my fellow tardy people). I also moved house and as I don't have a car, I would have to go grocery shopping and carry it home by hand. This may not seem like much but when you've got milk, laundry detergent and other heavy items it can be quite a workout. Little things that you wouldn't think of doing normally such as walking to work, or even getting off your bus a couple of stops early all count towards your daily exercise.

Insta-spiration - Social media is an amazing tool to help motivation and my personal favourite is Instagram. I love following fitness accounts where people post their meals and workouts daily. Seeing someone else doing an hour workout after they've done a full day's work kind of guilts me into doing a workout too. Some of my fave people to follow are: rachsfitnessjourney, camillamackintosh, rosaacosta and chloehelenmiles.
Another more recent love of mine is weheartit. I created a 'fitspiration collection' which I plan on filling with loads of motivational quotes (see above) and beautiful bodies to inspire me to work out and not give up so easily.

Use frenemies as motivation - Another social media based tip but one that really works for me is having fitness fanatics as friends (or enemies). A few of my best friends always snapchat me when they're in the gym or going for a run and it always motivates me to get off my arse and do something. If you have a friend that's into fitness, ask them for help as they probably know what they're doing when it comes to the gym and can share their fave routines with you or even join you for a run if you're lacking confidence.
Also a little bit immature but seeing someone I don't like (think your ex's new partner or even a celeb you dislike) working out and looking good makes me push myself to be better than them. Probably not the healthiest mindset but if it pushes you to go that extra mile then don't knock it!

Change your mindset - One of the biggest things for me to overcome was getting over the negative view I had of exercise. From years of being forced to do sports I didn't enjoy in school, I viewed exercise as a horrible chore. Finding the right exercise for you really makes a big difference as you can actually enjoy it and dare I say it, look forward to it! I always feel amazing for the rest of the day if I've exercised in the morning and suffering from long term mental health issues, I've found exercise to be the only thing that significantly lifts my mood.

Find the workout that works for you - This point ties in with my previous one as one of the main reasons I didn't exercise regularly was because I hated it. After hearing about blogilates, I decided to give her pilates a go as you can do it in your own home and the only equipment you need is an exercise mat so it was cheap too. It seems that the majority of women think their only option is cardio but I much prefer doing pilates and strength training. If you think lifting weights will make you bulky, you are wrong!
People don't realise how many options there are when it comes to exercise and there's something for everyone, you don't have to be a cardio bunny. Try out different things to see what works best for you. You may prefer working out in the comfort of your own home, going to the gym or exercising outdoors. You could do really well in classes/with friends or you could really enjoy working out alone with music blasting out. It's all about figuring out what works best for you.

Trick yourself - This applies to all my fellow lazy people out there. Sometimes I just can't be bothered working out. Ya feel me? So I'll 'trick' myself by saying I'll just do a quick 5 minute workout as it's better than nothing. Then once you're in your work out gear and all pumped up from your first workout, you'll be a lot easier to convince to keep going. As I watch Youtube videos I'll click on a 6 minute one, then another, then another and before I know it I've done 45 mins of different videos. I know it sounds ridiculous but it genuinely works for me as I think I might as well keep going seen as it's making me feel good.

Don't be hard on yourself - I think a lot of us tend to stick to a strict work out routine and when we fall off the wagon, we give ourselves such a hard time for it. Remember you are only human! If you've had a bad day and were planning on going to the gym but would rather cuddle up with a loved one, don't spend the whole night feeling guilty. And if you want to treat yourself to a calorific meal out, do it! But just remember it is that, a treat. If you do it too often, it stops being a treat and becomes your normal routine. You are allowed a guilt free night off though as it's better to have a little treat every so often than to go on a full on chocolate binge because you've denied yourself it for a month. Trust me, I've been there.

Most importantly, I think you have to stop looking for shortcuts and realise this is a lifestyle change. If you want it, you have to work for it and keep working for it. Yes you can pick up tips along the way to make it easier but the sooner you realise there's no short cut to being fit, the sooner you will become fit.
Like I said before, I am far from a fitness expert and I am still on my journey and constantly learning but I hope this post will help some of you get active! Remember, excuses don't burn calories... haha.

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