Beginning a journey to getting fit and healthier is always the hardest part, and something I have struggled with myself. Often, I found that mindset was an issue, and finding ways to exercise without seeming like that was the main focus is something that really helped. Here are some things that you can do you help you on your journey to start getting fit.
Get a Fitness Tracker
Getting a fitness tracker seems like an odd way to start, but it is a great way to begin to change how you think about fitness in general. Having daily goals is something that can really motivate you, even if it is to climb the stairs 20 times a day. I got a Fitbit for my first fitness tracker and found myself becoming much more conscious of how much (or little) I was doing each day. A good goal I started with was to walk 10,000 steps or more each day. I found that trying to reach those 10,000 steps really motivating, especially when I was close to reaching the goals.
Because I had the Fitbit, I was also able to use it with other apps on my phone such as My Fitness Pal and Run keeper. I found that tracking my food intake with My Fitness Pal was a revelation. Scanning all my food in as I ate it and seeing what was good, and what was not was a real eye opener. I used to eat loads of nuts for example as a healthy alternative, not realising just how many calories I was consuming!
Go for Walks
Going for walks is one of my favourite forms of exercise now. I tend to walk around my local estate after work in the evenings, often with my youngest son at my side. Walking is a fantastic gentle exercise and chatting away to my son makes it not feel like exercise at all, but just some 1 on 1 time with my son as we catch up on our day. If I am alone, I often use it as a good time to listen to a podcast, or a favourite Spotify playlist. When the weather is good there is nothing better than walking along one of your favourite beaches, especially as sunset approaches.
Take up Yoga
Taking up yoga is much easier with the age of YouTube. While it is great to join a yoga class, it can be quite daunting; especially if you are not very fit or flexible to start with. A good way to learn yoga for free is to watch one of the many videos on YouTube. There are lots of videos offering lessons and guides with workouts as little as 10 minutes. While 10 minutes a day does not sound much it can be a great way to ease into a fitness regime without risking injury too much. When you are more confident you will feel less intimidated about going to a class.
Ride a Bike
Riding a bike does not have to feel like you are in a race, sprinting as fast as you can. Cycling can also be a relaxing activity especially when you go to a local beauty spot and cycle gently while taking in the sights. Riding your bike with friends to a nice spot for a picnic or something can be sociable while still giving you some health and fitness benefits.
Take up a Martial Art
Taking up a martial art is a fantastic way to get fit. This does not mean that you must get fight ready for the UFC. There are several martial arts that are really kind to the joints and are great for staying supple too. Tai chi is popular, as is Aikido. I personally did Karate. Wado Ryu is much kinder to the joints than other styles such as Shotokan.
Wash your Car
The last thing you may want to do is to wash your car but getting out there with a bucket and sponge on a sunny afternoon can be a surprising way to exercise. If you take pride in your car this will not feel like much work at all, and if you feel energetic you can polish the car too for bonus exercise!
Take up a Hobby
Taking up a hobby is a fantastic way to do something and get fit and healthy as a bonus. My hobby apart from karate, is photography. I love to wander around the local beaches or moorland, especially early in the morning. Being so focused on the photography means that I am not conscious of how far I am walking. I can often rack up 10-15000 steps taking pictures easily which is a brilliant amount of exercise. Other hobbies that could have similar benefits are swimming, dancing, gardening, rock climbing. There are loads of options out there.
Getting Fit Doesn’t Have to be Hard
Once you realise that getting fit does not have to be hard, it is much less intimidating. Of course, if you want to you can push as hard as you like. The main thing to remember is that it is up to you to decide what is right for you, and to try to enjoy it. So, what are you waiting for? Let us go and get fit!