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Getting fit and staying fit is a challenge in itself, so how do you stay motivated?
Remind yourself, it’s never too late to work towards being a healthier, fitter version of you. Getting the motivation to exercise is all in your head; I work out because I love my body, not because I hate it.
Everyone can have a hard time making exercise part of their daily routine, and I have no doubt that if you have kids it can feel even more impossible to create the time, but there are so many health benefits that come from exercising. One hour is just 4 per cent of your day, so 30 minutes is only 2 per cent – that’s not even a full episode on Netflix! If you have time to Netflix and chill, you can roll out a mat and try one of my home workout routines. Get out of your comfort zone – yes, it may be a comfortable place but, hey, nothing is going to change there. Become an early bird with me.
It’s true what they say, a goal without a plan is just a wish. Perhaps I’m your motivational fairy, so imagine I am sprinkling some motivational dust on you and now you can go and make your wishes come true.
Try to follow an effective planned workout routine. I like to schedule my workouts into my days. I make them part of my everyday life, so I know that when I wake up first thing in the morning I am hitting the gym or rolling out the yoga mat to do a workout. I know that if I leave my workout until the evening there is only a 50/50 chance I’m going to make it.
Mondays are always a great day to start – everyone is feeling super motivated, getting to the gym with high hopes of powering through a week of epic workouts. But the hustle and bustle of a packed gym on a Monday can also be offputting, so I like to ease into my workouts at the weekend, when I know I can set aside plenty of time and the gym will be much quieter.
Before you hit the gym, there are a few things you might want to consider, to get you motivated and keep you going.
- Hydration: Proper hydration before, during and after your workout is key to your performance. Building up a sweat is great but it also results in a loss of fluid from your body. As you dehydrate your performance levels drop, so drinking water during exercise is essential if you want to get the most out of your workout.
- Sleep: Getting quality sleep is just as important as your workout routine and good nutrition. If getting lean and toned is your primary goal, getting 8 hours of sleep a night is the base on which a healthy body and mind function.
- Give yourself a rest day: This is just as important as working out. In order to repair and strengthen your body you must give it adequate rest or you will not benefit from all the hard work you are putting in. If you decide not to have a rest day you are putting yourself at greater risk of injury. Take these workout-free days to reflect on how much you have achieved and be grateful for your body.
- Music: Have a killer playlist ready to go. If I leave my headphones at home, chances are I’m going back to get them. Having a good playlist always gets me motivated and in the zone. The rhythm of music can aid self-paced workouts like running and weight-lifting, too. I don’t necessarily listen to the latest songs, but upbeat, fast-paced dance music always keeps me going. Think 90s club anthems, high-energy, mood-boosting songs to power you through your workout.
- Clothing: Do gym clothes really affect your workouts? I think they do. There is nothing worse than wearing leggings that you have to keep yanking up or worrying that they will become see-through when you squat. Bouncing boobs are another no-no when it comes to running and high-intensity routines. Being supported, dry and comfortable is essential when it comes to exercising, and we all want to look fashionably fit, so invest in brands that really specialise in activewear.
- Get inspired: The fact that you are not where you want to be should be motivation enough. We all stand in front of the mirror and self-hate, but that has to stop – negative thoughts are guaranteed to bring you down. We are not perfect, and we don’t have to be, but choosing to be the best version of yourself and being grateful for your body is a good step towards loving yourself.
- Take before and after pictures: We all love to see a good transformation on social media, so why not do one of yourself? Begin by taking a before picture on Day 1 and once you start exercising, take a new set of after pictures every week. Give it a few months for the changes to really show, then compare your photos in a collage. Remember, nobody is built like you, you design yourself.
- Call in the pros: Consider working with a personal trainer, if not in every session, then maybe just every once in a while. I do this myself and having that one-to-one time with an expert encourages you to make it to that workout and really push yourself hard. Even though I am a fully qualified trainer, I enjoy learning new skills and making sure my form is always on point. A personal trainer will be able to teach you the proper form for each exercise, so if you find heading to the weights room a little daunting, learning how to properly perform exercises won’t only boost your confidence but reduce the risk of injury, too.
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Cover courtesy of Kyle Books
Excerpted with permission from Beat Your Bloat: Recipes and Exercises to Promote Digestive Health by Maeve Madden (Kyle Books, 2019).