For many people, the past ‘free’ months have provided an opportunity to reflect and invest in their health and wellbeing. Whether this has been running, walking, cycling or partaking in virtual fitness sessions.
However, many people have found this period of time difficult to adjust to and any intended hopes of improving both physical and mental health may have been confronted with barriers.
For those that fall into this camp, try not to be too hard on yourself. The past few months only represent a small fraction of time in your life – and the chance to get back on track is well within your grasp.
Here are some top tips to consider:
- Goals are fundamental to any achievement. Whether in life, work, business or health, setting realistic goals can provide you with endless win-win situations that help improve confidence, motivation and drive long–term behaviour change.
Try to keep GOALS as simple and achievable as you can. For example, this could be as little as to walk 2 minutes more each day or walk up and down the stairs a specific number of times per day.
Keep track of what you do, log it down on paper or your phone. This helps you focus on what you have achieved and allows you to provide positive reinforcement to you doing more.
- Keep your targets fluid. Setting targets such as running 5km per week is better than saying running 3 x per week. As everyone has ‘good’ and ‘bad’ days, having a set weekly target means you can adjust what you do in the week to help you achieve this.
- Exercising with someone has proven to help you adhere to a regular pattern of exercising that just doing it on your own. Find a friend or family member who is similar in nature and keen to commit to some plan. Be accountable to each other and ensure that you motivate each other along the way.
- Avoid weighing yourself and setting weight-loss targets. This is the biggest reason why people fail as weight loss is extremely difficult to achieve and unique to each of us. What may work for one person does not necessarily work for another.
Instead, recognise how you feel after you have done any activity or exercise. Does it leave you feeling awakened, uplifted, with more energy, or are you feeling less stressed? Recognising these positive emotions is a stronger bond and makes you want to achieve this feeling again.
- Find activities that you enjoy. You are more likely to continue with an activity if you enjoy doing it. If you don’t like running, look for activities that give you the same health benefits i.e. cycling, swimming or walking.
- Recognising that the mind and body are so interconnected is important. Whilst exercise is proven to prevent so many health diseases and conditions, it has positive effects on your mental health and wellbeing. So, if work has been particularly stressful or you are having issues in a relationship, getting away and exercising can help you destress and may help in making your thought process seem clearer after.
- The rise of online exercise sessions means that we can all access a range of classes and trainers at the convenience of your home. Many offer free exercise classes via platforms such as Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube. These are a great way to exercise especially if you suffer from low self-confidence or feel anxious in a group setting. Ensure that you like the style of teaching of whoever you follow and that it suits your needs and ability, otherwise, you are likely to stop.
We all know exercise is essential to our overall health and wellbeing. Everyone has the capacity to improve how they feel and look about themselves.
Enjoy it and have fun on your journey.
Our guest blog was written by Manny from Urban Health and Fitness