Small tips on starting your fitness journey

Motivation and time I believe is the reason most do not perfom some sort of physical activity.

My goal is to exercise 6 times a week with 1 rest day but due to work commitments and lack of motivation I manage 4-5 days minimum. My exercise week normally includes Yoga, pilates, strength training and Cardio. And yes variety in exercise is good it makes it less monotonous.

In the beginning of a fitness journey, we don’t know what to do or what will help us get to whatever fitness target we want to achieve. The First step has to be defining your goal. Is it is to lose weight, or are you looking to build muscle tone, or are you simply happy with your physic and looking to maintain it? Ask yourself those sort of questions.

Your goals will determine how often and what type of exercise to do. If you want to lose weight a mix of 3 days cardio and 2 days strength exercise can help you achieve your goals. Cardio raises your heart rate, in time improving your cardio- vascular system. Which means more oxygen to your cells in your muscles helping your cells burn more fat during exercise and rest. Types of cardio exercise include running, skipping, Cycling and HIIT.

Strength and resistance exercises like weight lifting, squats, push ups, planks, kettle bell swings help build muscle. Studies have shown that the more muscle you have the more calories you burn. The body burns more fat maintaning muscle. Muscles demand energy from the body, therefore improving your metabolism. So why not add resistance , and yes weights are for girls too, dont be intimidated to go to the weights section in the gym.

I recently started doing yoga and was amazed at how challenged I felt during the class and how its helped improve my strength training. A lot of people think its boring but I have found yoga to be fun and a place where I felt at ease. During my yoga practice it is just me and my mat no worries about the future or past , just the present moment. The good thing about Yoga is that it forces you to stay in the moment and place focus on the pose, helping you improve focus and mental stability. In a nutshell Yoga builds strength, flexibility, mind body awareness and can help improve your strength training. The sister exercise to Yoga is Pilates. Pilates is slightly similar to weight training involving use of resistance machines and has a greater focus on muscle toning, helping you to be leaner and longer. If you are trying to lose weight pilates is known to burn more energy than Yoga. To lose weight try using pilates machines which add the cardio element to your pilates poses

My small tips

1. Set exercise time into your diary.

– Find 30-60 minutes a day of exercise. It could be 15-30 minutes in the morning and or 30 minutes after work.

2. Determine your fitness goal.

– Design an exercise plan that works for you and will enjoy. For example my goal is to maintain weight and build lean muscle. So I mix my favourite routines, pilates, yoga and HIIT plus sneak in a bit if Cardio which I’m weak at into my routine.

3. Motivation

– Find a buddy if you cannot, focus on your goal! Before bed put your gym wear at the foot of your bed so its the first thing you see when you get up.

4. Mix it up! This week my exercise plan looks like this:

Monday: 60 minutes Hot Flow Yoga in the morning and maybe pilates class in the evening

Tuesday: 30 minute morning jog and 30 minutes swim in the evening

Wednesday: HIIT training

Thursday: Pilates morning and Yoga evening class

Friday: Cardio training

Saturday: Strength training

Sunday: REST DAY!

5. Enjoy, relax, have fun. Do not put yourself under pressure. It takes time patience and determination. We all achieve results at differently. Your body is different to your friend’s.

Of course all the above has to be combined with a healthy diet.

I had this beautiful post work out meal from Replay Espresso in Turramurra.

Post work out meal

  • 2 scrambled eggs
  • A handful of spinach and rocket
  • 50g Smoked salmon
  • Half a medium grilled tomato
  • 1 slice sourdough toast

In summary physical activity is very important for your health, please do include a bit of it in your weekly routine. Simply start by walking 30 minutes a day. Then with time gradually start adding other types of exercise like jogging plus a bit of resistance training here and there and you will never look back.

Happy exercising 🙇

* Always seek a proffesional opinion before embarking on any fitness journey.

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