Confidence in yourself. Believing in yourself. They can be really hard, can’t they? Part of the reason I became a personal trainer, was because I wanted to help people with both of these things. Self confidence and self belief. Something I am still mastering for myself also (more of a work in progress..)
When it comes to exercising, it can very quickly become a dreaded thing we don’t even want to think about, let alone actually do. Failed attempts at getting fit, weight gain, children, lifestyle, illness, work – whatever circumstance has affected our ability to workout before, all affects our desire and attitude towards exercising now. Unrealistic goals not met = us feeling like failures = us not wanting to try it again = us becoming more unhealthy. A vicious cycle that is hard to break.
The first thing I tell clients is to have realistic goals, both short term and long term – something very specific, and measurable, write it down, and refer to it. For example – week 1 – exercise 3 times (then go into detail for each workout: a 3km walk, a run, a gym session, class etc). The more specific the better. It gives you something to work towards and stay focussed on. Set your intentions now!
My top tips for new starters/restarters:
- Try a few trainers before settling, you need to feel comfortable with your trainer, and have a good rapport with them, so training isn’t something you dread! Let them sell themselves to you and be sure you click together before handing over your hard earned cash! Exercising is a very personal and intimate thing – you need to feel comfortable.
- Invest in some good workout clothes – it really makes all the difference when you have some good fitting, durable clothing that you feel good in! Nike have a great range and sales are on everywhere at the moment!
- Take a friend along – you don’t have to do it alone! Whether it be a long walk, a class together, or even going dancing! Having someone else to keep you accountable will help the habit form. Remember, the only competition is yourself though – do this for YOU!
- Be kind to yourself. Research shows that self-compassion increases the likelihood that you’ll succeed in any given endeavour… Never beat yourself up about your body, your current fitness level, or your supposed lack of willpower. All that will do is demotivate you. Celebrate every small success, every workout and every day you have treated yourself well.
- Have FUN – yes, really. Try new things! Liked netball in school? Research to see if your area has a local club you can go along to! Love to dance? Go to a Zumba class or Salsa! Make this year the year you try new things!
- Allow yourself to be inspired – we all have those gym bunnies or workout warriors on social media, constantly posting about being in the gym. Instead of hating on them, or being jealous, use them for inspiration! Reach out to them, ask how they stay motivated – get some tips! They started somewhere too – and I guarantee, once you get your own endorphins going wild (exercise hormones), you will love their passion too!