Returning to fitness
Your holiday seems like ages ago and the fitness regime you focused on to get ‘beach ready’ has fallen by the wayside. Sound familiar? Exercising regularly is all about creating good habits, but it’s sometimes difficult to re-establish those patterns after several weeks of inactivity.
Here are our tips for finding the motivation to get back into great shape.
Ease back in gently
The temptation is to go all out in the first week, trying to make up for lost time, but that will likely only result in you feeling exhausted, demoralised and, worst case, injured. Take small steps to get going and gradually increase the frequency, intensity and duration of your workouts as your body adapts.
Team up with a friend
If you have a workout buddy and you plan sessions together, it’s harder to bail out as you’d be letting someone down. Plus it’s way more fun working out with someone else, and you can give each other plenty of encouragement and support along the way.
Make a plan
At the start of each week, plan when you are able to fit in some exercise over the next seven days. Be realistic and don’t beat yourself up if you miss a session here and there – it’s not the end of the world. Planning will also allow you to see where you are making improvements, as you’ll definitely notice the workouts becoming easier. Keep your regime varied and it won’t become dull.
Find something you enjoy
It sounds obvious, but no matter how good your intentions are, if you just don’t enjoy something, it won’t be long before you stop. Test out different workouts until you find something you like – be it swimming, a spin class, yoga or even just a walk. You could even try a new sport – and this is where going with a friend makes it easier – like touch rugby or netball.
Do full-body workouts
Exercises which claim to target fat on specific areas of your body are nonsense. There’s no miracle ab exercise to give you a flatter stomach. Concentrate on whole-body workouts that work up a sweat. If fat burning and weight loss are what you’re after, the HIIT principle (high-intensity interval training) will become your new best friend. In as little as 15 minutes, you can cram in some serious fat-torching with the right moves – see below for more.
Do workouts that are convenient
If the location and timings fit in well with your schedule, you’re much more likely to stick to it. And if the only option is your living room, fear not. A quick 15- to 20-minute circuit of some full bodyweight exercises such as squats, burpees, lunges and press-ups is far more effective than most people realise. You’ll be amazed at the results from doing this a few times a week.