The chances are you have been really good through January and managed to stick to your New Year Resolutions – first of all, well done for that! As I said in my Food Detox blog, although I do not usually recommend detoxs per-say, for some of you it maybe the only time of year where you review your current state of health and fitness, so it is worth capitalising on the opportunity! Now into February, typically those ‘good intentions’ have slipped away a little, or a lot! The real trick to leading a healthy life, is to have a sustainable routine that works for you, your life and your body. The best thing about exercise is that there is an enormous choice of sports, gyms, classes and activities you can partake in. It just takes a bit of time and willingness to try new things out in order to find your exercise match.
Top tip number 1: Enjoyment
My first tip is to find something you enjoy. I know many of you might not necessarily enjoy working out in gyms, so think about other indoor or outdoor activities such as walking, climbing, gardening, perhaps a sport you used to enjoy when you were younger. There are also lots of independent specialised exercise studios popping up across the county. Yoga, Pilates, Spinning, dance classes etc etc. These studios often have excellent teachers and you only pay for the classes you attend. Not only will you actually enjoy the movement created by the activity, it can also build and enhance your social life – which I think is always a good thing! Enjoying your exercise is a major factor in keeping it up – great from a physical perspective, but more importantly from an overall wellness and happiness point of view.
Top tip number 2: Feels good
As you get older your body changes. What you did in your early twenties can sometimes begin to hurt your body in your thirties, and the cycle continues into your 40’s, 50’s……. Pain is an indicator that something is wrong, so it is very important to listen and tune in to your body. I have been in a transition period over the last year as the wear and tear on my lower spine is starting to effect my running. Although I like running, it now causes me pain (sciatica). It has taken me a while, but I have finally listened to my body and given up the weekly runs around the park. It is a shame, however I have now found a fabulous Yoga Studio (TriYoga) where I can practise handstands, headstands, forearm balances etc etc. It has reunited me with my gymnastic days and I feel better than ever in my body (plus psychologically younger!). Participate in exercise that makes your body feel good. My good I mean after the DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness) has died down, do you feel strong, flexible, agile? Exercise should make your body not just look, but FEEL great.
Top tip number 3: Variety and balance
There is no truer statement when it comes to exercise, ‘Variety is the spice of life’ (William Cowper 1785). Making exercise varied keeps it interesting and enjoyable, but also balances out your body. All of us have created imbalances though the body from a range of external and internal influences. If you want a long lasting, healt
hy body, creating balance is vital. My exercise week consists of x2 power Yoga classes, x2 Pilates reformer classes, x1 321 training session consisting of weights and cardio. This routine works well for my body and gives me an all round, balanced exercise regime. To fit this all in, planning is essential, so every Sunday a review my working week and book the classes in so I am committed. Have a think about your current exercise program. Does it need a bit of thought? Change? Tweaking?