A Childs Fun
I’m in the process of getting myself back into an exercise routine. I love it so much that I don’t want any of you missing out on the fantastic feeling exercise creates.
My relationship with exercise and fitness has changed over my life. As a child, I was always active – playing netball, going to dance classes, riding my bike, jumping on the trampoline etc. I loved it, and never thought of it as ‘exercise’, it was just FUN!
As I got older, I stopped playing sports and travelled a lot, so didn’t have a bike. Instead, I turned to walking. I would walk everywhere I could and that was my only exercise. I enjoyed walking as I found it cleared my mind and gave me time to myself, while also getting my body moving.
Starting An Exercise Plan
When I was 23 and living in Vanuatu, I was introduced to running, yoga and pilates, none of which I’d ever tried before.
The first time I attempted running, I got 10 minutes into it before I couldn’t go any further and had to walk back. At that time, I was happy with 10 minutes and I planned to keep working at it until I could run for 30 minutes without stopping.
I didn’t try to do 30 minutes straight away, I knew I had to work up to that. I’d run every other day and each week, would aim to run for a slightly longer time, until one day, only a few weeks later, I made the 30 minutes! I was so happy – it felt awesome to have achieved it and to see that I could do things that I put my mind to.
At this point my exercise plan evolved to include running 4-5 times per week for 30 minutes, yoga twice a week and pilates 2-3 times per week. I’d also try to walk everywhere I could. I had the spare time, I enjoyed it and so I made the most of it.
When I moved back to NZ in 2009 I stopped going to yoga but continued with walking, running and pilates. My workout routine for the last 4 years has been the same, running 30 mins 4 times per week and pilates 3 times per week. I’d quite often double up on the exercise one day so that I get Sundays to rest. Other than that, it would be hard to get me out of my routine, I’d even keep it up when I’d go on holiday!
That was until I came to Christchurch and had restricted living space. The icy cold days made me want to stay indoors and so for the first time in 6 years, I totally stopped all exercise! I just didn’t feel like doing it and this lasted 2 1/2 months.
I didn’t notice how lazy and heavy I’d begun to feel until we finally moved into our new house I pushed myself to get moving again.
Back To Fitness
My fitness levels have dropped dramatically since having no workout routine in my life.
The first few days back left me with a LOT of muscular pain. The 4 runs I’ve been for since my new start have been met with resistance, because what used to seem effortless to me, is now really hard work.
Yesterdays run was different though. It was just so wonderful that I finally appreciated getting back into fitness, so much so that I felt the need to encourage all my readers to start moving too.
It was a beautiful winters day, the sun was shining and the birds were literally singing. The feeling of running and appreciating the beauty around me was amazing. I felt fantastic and the rush of endorphins that made their way around my body afterwards heightened that elated feeling even more.
I felt healthier, lighter and happier. I realised how sluggish and heavy I’d been when I wasn’t moving regularly – we only notice how bad we’ve been feeling when we make the effort to change and actually start to feel good.
I’m aiming to reach my old fitness levels from before I stopped exercising. While I’m still far off that now, I know I’ll get there with consistent motivation and practice.
5 Tips To Motivate You To Exercise
So here are my 5 top tips to get you past the feeling of dread when it comes to getting started with exercise:
- Plan – plan your routine, book an appointment with yourself and stick to it. Or if you struggle to keep to your appointment, exercise with a friend so that you keep each other going.
- Start Small – don’t try to run a marathon on your first attempt. Start small and slowly build up to your goal – don’t forget to reward yourself when you reach your goal.
- Do something you enjoy – there are so many options, walking, running, biking, sports, dance, rebounding, swimming. Find something that makes you smile and do that.
- Variation – Mix it up a bit. Choose at least 2 different types of exercise (preferably aerobic and non-aerobic) so that you have variety and don’t get bored. If you run, mix up your route a bit. Variation will stop you from getting bored.
- Forgive Yourself – Don’t be disheartened or get angry with yourself if you miss a session. Don’t be too hard on yourself if you don’t achieve your goal straight away. Be gentle with yourself and love yourself. Encourage yourself to start again tomorrow. Don’t give up!
If this has motivated you to get back to exercise then grab a piece of paper and a pen RIGHT NOW. Write down your goal and your routine and get started.
Once you get into the routine, I guarantee the awesome feelings of exercise will become addictive and you won’t want to miss a session anymore.
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