It can be daunting getting your body moving and many will be self concious, nervous about whether they can do it, full of self doubt and lacking in confidence or just don’t know where to start.
There are many reasons we lose our way when it comes to fitness, life got in the way, family came first, I had no time, life has been to stressful and the list goes on and many of these things are valid but the reality is and this is a fact we need to integrate into our psyche, is that physically working your body and not just using it to carry your brain around in, is essential for health, longevity, wellbeing and psychological balance.
Our bodies are made to move, I have always known this and too often I have been criticised for moving too much, wearing my body out, you are going to wreck your joints, your back is injured, you must never run and on and on. Fact is we all need to use and move our body’s in different and challenging ways every day if we don’t want to lose the ability to function well this is especially true as we get older. One of the keys lies in constantly changing our training up and stopping the plateau effect that happens when we just do that same thing all the time. We no longer improve the body just goes “oh I know this routine, I got this I don’t need to improve”. By constantly challenging our bodies different energy systems and trying out new things and increasing the loading when appropriate we grow, get fitter, stronger, more flexible- in short, healthier.
Even really,disabled people, need a training programme. Currently I am caring for my mum who is severely disabled, all the more time I therefore, have to spend in rehabilitating her through physio, moving what she can, rehabilitating muscle weaknesses, stretching her shortening tendons and muscles which are worsening from lack of movement. The more immobile she is the worse everything gets so she needs much more attention than even an elite athlete. In other words, there are no excuses, no matter your age, or your disability or your injury or your weight we all need to do what we can to make our bodies stronger if we want to live a full and functional life.
TIPS FOR STARTING
1. Get your mind in the right place. Even a little tiny bit more exercise is better than none so everything you do should be viewed as a success. You are already beating the guy on the couch and just intends to do it tomorrow which never comes. So even if you don’t reach the stars with your plan moving forward no matter how slow or fast is progress and is a success.
I want you to forget past failures, limiting beliefs, comments from others that have hurt you and stopped you trying. From this moment forward surround yourself only with people who will encourage you, no matter how long the road ahead looks. Every journey begins with a single step but its persistent little steps after that that will really lead to change.
so lets get started
2. Set your goal - pick an event or a goal weight or a measurable milestone that you can work to. Then start to write your reasons why you want to achieve that goal. We are looking for an emotional set of triggers that will become concrete reasons for you to push through the problems that will arise, the obstacles, the setbacks. By keeping an eye on your goal, which by the way should have a fixed time schedule so that the deadline is used as another motivating factor, but then also keep reminding yourself why you want to do this. Who will benefit, will this fulfil a long held dream, is this something you have always wished to do. Do you want to prove something to yourself or someone else. Whatever your reasons, they are valid, use them to motivate yourself when the going gets tough.
3. Record your weight and measurements, perhaps your blood pressure, if it’s a problem, your resting heart rate over the period of a week (taken before you get up in the morning), your cholesterol level if its something to watch. Maybe visit your doctor if you are older or perhaps overweight or very unfit and make sure you don’t have any major problems you should be aware of. Be aware though that some doctors who aren’t friends of sport may put you off unnecessarily. Get a second opinion if you are unsure. I have seen many beginners who have gone onto running greatness having been told you are too old, too overweight, too whatever .. and it wasn’t the case.
4. Get some functional training gear that you will be feel comfortable and good on and if you are planning on running make sure you get a good pair of running shoes. Tip: running shoes should be at least half a size bigger than your street shoes, your feet will swell when running so make sure there is room in the toe box and they won’t be too small if that happens. Womens feet especially tend to do this.
5. Equipment - Depending on your likes or dislikes, your ability to access a gym or other training facility or not you may want to invest in some basic equipment. Some items that we generally recommend you have at home include a foam roller, dumb bells with suitable weights for your build, resistance bands, a yoga mat, mobility massage balls, skipping rope, perhaps a cardio machine of some sort - either a treadmill, rowing machine or exercycle.
buy a book to use to record your training in or if you are with Running Hot coaching use our online calendar to record your workouts, how you felt, and record things like your weight etc os you can track your progress over time. Write how you felt too, good, bad or otherwise, any injuries you may have or health issues.
On the front of your book write down your start date, your goals and why you want to achieve them.
6. Decide on whether you want to take this journey alone or with friends an like minded people. It can help greatly to have at least one mate you have to answer to or share the joy and pain with. some people like to be alone and have no problem motivating themselves but if not create networks of people, even online (for e.g. with our closed Facebook community) where you can learn, share and motivate each other.
7. Learn the lingo and dive into researching everything health and fitness. When you are trying to make a major change in your life around fitness and health you need to surround yourself with positive reinforcement and ongoing education on themes around health and wellness, nutrition, how your body works, supplement, training regimes. Learning about your new interest can help fuel your physical motivation and give you the understanding of what is happening in your body so you don’t go out too hard or too easy. Learning how your body functions surprisingly makes it easier to do things that are good for it and to limit things that are bad for it.
8. Understand that rest and recovery and rehabilitation are all part of the training and improvement process. Very often beginners go out too hard, super motivated and then blow up spectacularly when their body is exhausted within a couple of weeks and their motivation disappears. Understanding how to pace your training and recovery and following a tried and true plan especially at the beginning when you have no idea what you are doing, is very important. Slowly you will learn to read your body and know when to pull back or push a little more. The more you educate yourself, research, join groups and delve into the genre the more you will be empowered to make the changes required in your life and you will understand the reasons behind your workouts.
9. One for the ladies, appreciate your monthly cycle will effect your training and give yourself permission to ease off over those hard days in the cycle if you have a hard time with your hormones.
10. Don’t underestimate the importance of learning how to breath correctly when training and doing deep breathing exercises daily to help with stress levels which in turn will help you perform better. See the video and article on deep breathing on our site.
Breathing correctly will help you in your cardio, strength and stretching workouts considerably.
If you are one of those people who find running impossible as you seem to be breathless within a 100m then perhaps it is the way you are breathing that is at fault and not your fitness. You need to use your entire lungs and breath with your diaphragm and not just use the top 1/3 of your chest. This tends to happen when we are stressed or don’t know any better. So if this is you make sure you do some deep breathing exercises regularly and definitely before you run and make sure too, you warm your body up thoroughly before you get into it and let your body find its’ rhythm before you give it up.
10. Understand there are different types of energy systems that you need to train and they have different effects and produce fitness in different areas. There is cardio training, strength training, mobility/stretching training, high intensity cardio and steady state cardio training. Each has their value and all should be incorporated into your programme in balance. Specialising in the area that is most important to your chosen sport. Don’t forget the other two aspects of a training plan - mental skills training and nutrition and supplementation.
So now I hope you have more of an understanding of what you need to do to establish a good training regime and improve your health and fitness. Now check out our library and start building your training plan or let us personalise your plan for you.