A Beginners Guide to Getting Active
Gareth France is a personal trainer based in Caversham and is kindly writing a series of articles for Sure Life Hypnotherapy on fitness and wellbeing. I hope you enjoy this article and if you have any questions you can either get in touch with me, or directly with Gareth whose details are at the end of this article.
Whether you used to be quite active, or you've always actively been a couch potato, beginning exercise and starting to become active can be very daunting! First things first - If it’s been a good while since you last exercised then check first with your GP before embarking on any fitness regime to make sure it’s safe to do so.
Now onto the good stuff! We all know that being more active is good for our health and good for our waistlines. But where do we start? What if you feel self conscious about exercising in front of others? I hate the idea of the gym! I get bored exercising alone. These are comments that Gareth France hears all the time and his advice....
- You don't need to join a gym to get active. In fact, you can even use what you have at home to start getting fit. As a personal trainer, I've worked with people of all shapes and sizes and often, starting at home is the best place to be! As a personal trainer, I can come to your home and show you simple and easy exercises that you can do using whats in your cupboards and in your house.
- It's really important to set yourself short, medium and long term goals. Make sure that they’re achievable and realistic. Have a daily/weekly/monthly plan that you can follow to help with these. Don't try and run before you can walk. If you've not exercised for a while (or ever!), start off with just 10-15 minutes, 3-5 times a week.
- You can exercise at home, in your garden, at a gym, fitness classes, boot camps and with a personal trainer. I run a variety of boot camps and fitness classes in and around Berkshire and its a great way to meet new friends.
If the word 'exercise' sends you into a panic, spend a few moments rethinking it. Movement, being active, getting sweaty, toning, are all good expressions you can use instead. What's so fantastic is that the more you start getting active, the more active you'll become becuase activity releases adrenaline and feel good hormones.
Whether you want to start jogging, are doing a keep-fit DVD in your house, or you're coming to a boot camp,wear the right clothing, ensure that it fits, is comfortable and doesn’t rub. You don’t need to buy designer clothing, there are cheaper products out there that you can get a sweat up in!
Its probably unrealistic to go straight into an hours activity a day when you spend most of your day at a computer and don't usually do anything active. It can also seem impossible to fit that extra hour into your hectic lifestyles. Allow yourself time to do your chosen activity/activities – put it into the diary like an appointment. Start off doing 10 minutes and build gradually up to 1hr. Have/take plenty of water with you to keep you hydrated and make sure you’ve eaten at least 1½ hours before exercising.
Choose an activity that you enjoy as it will make you go back for more and help to achieve the results you’re looking for. Swimming is a really good place to start, or if you want to make it a social thing, come along to a boot camp.If you can train with somebody else then this is better as you’ll not only encourage each other but you won’t want to let each other down. It's also good if you have a competetive streak. Gradually build up the intensity from your current fitness level rather than trying to do too much too early which will results in you giving up.
If you’re looking to lose weight then the general guidelines are that you should exercise at a moderate intensity (still being able to hold a broken conversation) for 30 minutes (can be made up of two 15 minutes or three 10 minute blocks) 5 – 7 days per week. If your looking to increase your fitness levels then it’s 30 minutes to 1hr of higher intensity exercise 3 – 5 days per week. Remember: These are only guidelines and you will want to start light. Do what you know is achievable and you will be successful.