To help maintain a healthy lifestyle, moving your body regularly is key. If you’re stuck in an exercise rut and need a little extra motivation to get going, Personal Trainer and Certified Wellness Coach Melani De Sousa from Goodlife Health Clubs shares her top five tips for getting back on track.
If you’re going to start training in the morning, choose a start date and then for a week or two beforehand try waking up progressively earlier. This will help to get you in the routine of consistently waking up earlier in the mornings.
Melani says, “What we really like to instill in our clients is just begin the process of the routine, even if you don’t actually do the exercise.”
If you’ve decided that you’re going to go for a walk somewhere, plan out the route and put in your diary when you’d potentially do it. Make a habit of leaving that time free for your exercise.
Melani states, “Maybe you’re adventurous and outdoorsy, maybe you’re someone who likes to socialise a lot or maybe you’re someone who is quite competitive – align your movement and exercise with those values.”
That’s where people tend to go wrong, they’re not matching their movement with their values and personality, and they are losing motivation.
“As unique as we are in our personalities, we are as unique in our movement styles, don’t be afraid to do something different,” says Melani.
Being realistic about what time of day suits your exercise routine is one of the best ways you can keep yourself on track and committed.
Melani suggests, “Be honest with yourself and pick the time of day you feel like you’re most energetic, it may be at lunch time, in the morning or perhaps you’re more of a night person and then ease into that time.”
“So often when we try to do things alone we’re quick to let ourselves down and we’re good at putting ourselves last,” says Melani.
Getting people involved doesn’t necessarily mean they have to do the exercise with you, but their presence can act as motivation.
Melani suggests, “Getting the people that you care about involved in the activity you’re doing tends to keep us motivated as we look forward to seeing that person and we’re less likely to let them down.”
If you take your kids to the park and they’re playing, you could be walking around the park as they play, make it a habit every time you visit.
“Movement doesn’t have to be in a set location. Have a bit of fun with it and don’t take it too seriously,” says Melani.
Melani advises, “One step at a time is key, often people go too hard and too fast and that’s when you get injuries or burnouts.”
Build up slow and integrate exercise with your lifestyle. Don’t sacrifice seeing your friends or doing things that are important to you, build exercise in and around your lifestyle so that it’s sustainable.
“Build up your movement over the weeks, start with one session a week and then maintain three for a while and then increase from there,” recommends Melani.
There can be many different ways to track your progress when you’re exercising.
Melani says, “Weight and fitness is one side, but then you have all of the other sides, do you have more energy in the morning? Do you feel better? Is your skin improving?”
People are really quick to look at physical outcomes with exercise, especially at the start.
“If in the first six to eight weeks you’re seeing physical changes, that’s great, but it’s the long term things that keep people going, for example people’s attitude and mood,” says Melani.
If you have a specific medical condition and it’s been a few months since exercising, it’s a good idea to check in with your GP before starting up again.