I’ve just finished my first personal training session at the gym. I’m exhausted, but feeling great! For the first time in months I managed to walk up the stairs to my flat with little struggle. I thought I would find it really hard after an hour being pushed hard by a trainer but I was pleasantly surprised.
I’m not very motivated about exercise, I have to admit. It’s taken a long time to get off my sofa and to the gym, but so worth it. For anyone like me who’s struggling to get started, here’s my journey from sofa to gym (maybe you’ll do it quicker than the year it took me!).
Find what inspires you. Do you want to do more exercise to lose weight, build muscle, improve your circulation, or just release some of those feel-good endorphins? Whatever your reason, or even if you don’t know, collect things that inspire or appeal to you and look at them every day. This isn’t to get you down, feeling like you’re looking at a pipe dream, this allows you to keep focused, and set realistic goals.
See my gymspiration board here.
Set Realistic Goals
Once you know what inspires you to get exercising, then you can set realistic goals for yourself. Everyone is different, for example due to my health conditions I can’t do high-impact or high intensity workouts. It will take me longer than most people to reach the same goal. I need to factor that in, otherwise I run the risk of comparing myself to others and getting disheartened. Don’t measure yourself against other people’s stories; use them for inspiration but also realise that your body is different.
I knew I wanted to work out more but I never felt I had the energy to get to the gym. I developed a halfway house by starting to exercise at home; on the sofa while I caught up on my favourite TV, or in the mornings while I lay in bed thinking about getting ready for work. This can be simple things like leg raises and upper body stretches or more involved exercises like sit ups, squats, or adding ‘weights’. By weights I mean things around the home like a bag of sugar. My son even got involved and would lie across my legs while I tried to raise them.
I found it much easier to get motivated to do more once I started eating cleaner. I need to follow a low-fodmap diet, but most people don’t need to be that strict in order to eat healthier. Speak to your doctor about seeing a dietician, especially if you have health issues that are affected by diet. Cut out processed foods and things high in sugar and ‘bad fats’ and you will quickly see improvements. Once you start feeling the benefits of eating a cleaner, healthier diet, it’s the best opportunity to get yourself off to the gym or an exercise class and ride the feel-good wave!
Next up for me is my first ever yoga course in a couple of weeks! I’ll let you know how it goes.