There was an old man in his late 70s who went to my local gym, I saw him there a couple of times and he always smiled so I struck up a conversation, to commend him on his commitment. He told me that he was determined to keep his ability to walk. A lot of his peers were starting to become house bound and he didn't want that for himself so took up going to the gym. He went once per week and spent the rest of the week recovering.
Probably not what you'll look like going to the gym once per week but full respect to this guy! Bet he doesn't need help cutting his steak!
To me, that is the goal. Whether or not I adhere to whatever the current beach bod is doesn't phase me, but having that drive as I'm closing in on 80 and to smile every time I'm doing it. Yes.
It's easy as going once a week!
Generally, people can't go from zero to hero overnight. You can't just wake up one day, decide to get healthy, and start running at 5 am 7 days a week. But if you commit one hour a week to the gym by the end of the year you will have smashed out 50 hours of workout! Now that's not something to be sniffed at! That's equivalent to about 20 guilt-free pizzas, 100 tall caramel macchiatos from Starbucks and you get a whole lot of body toning and endorphins flowing!
And that's with just once a week, after 6 months you'll likely start to feel some differences, such as the day after you've been working out you have lots more energy, your mornings aren't such a chore and you're a lot more productive at work So maybe you start going twice a week instead? Maybe you've made some friends at the gym who all go rock climbing so you join them on a Saturday. Awesome!
It's easy to get caught up in the fast action fast result of fitness that you see in magazines but try and ignore it. Think small, think positive. Say to yourself, on Monday I will go to the gym. I will run/walk, cycle and go on the cross trainer and then the rest of the week is mine to veg out, watch TV, do whatever.
Now a lot of people get great joy out of going to the gym. I can see why you get to be surrounded by other motivated people, it has all the equipment needed to work specific muscles and meet particular aesthetic goals. But for me, it's a bit boring. An awesome workout at the gym has its place but I like to make things a bit more interesting.
You don't have to stick to the gym!
It's the most common place people go to start working out but that doesn't mean it's the best. Enjoyment is the key to maintaining a good exercise regime, so if you had an activity you really enjoyed when you were younger do that instead.
Remember loving swimming lessons at school? Go to the the pool and just try do some lengths for an hour or simply until your tired. Love dancing at the club or round your living room? Check out a zoomba class, I've done a zoomba workout before (granted I was one of the only males taking part) and it's one of those activities that simply makes you smile. You're exhausted and sweaty beyond belief but you get a really good feeling when you finish.
Signing up for a class is also a great way to commit on a longer term. If you know you have a class every Wednesday then you'll find it easier to fit into your schedule, especially if you have to sign up a week in advance.
Don't make it difficult for yourself!
Seriously, the smoother exercising slots into your routine the better. If you sign up for a fitness class that takes an hour to drive too, that's instantly building an excuse right into your routine. "Aww I had to work late so I don't really have the time now". If you can find somewhere on your route home or only slightly off the beaten path, go there. Even if it is a little more expensive, your health is always worth paying for. Especially at the start.
Identify what your most common excuse is and eliminate it. If you like to party at the weekends, don't make Saturday morning your fitness day. My weakness was that if I'd been out all day once I got home I wanted to stay there. I didn't want to go back out in the rain, I've only just dried off! So I started taking gym clothes with me and I'd walk past the turn off to my house and head straight the gym. Problem solved.
Finally you want to reward yourself.
You've just worked out for an hour. Go you! Now you can treat yourself to something nice to help settle into the habit. Most people would tell you to tuck into a protein shake or have a nice salad, and yes while this is generally speaking healthier, thats not what we're about. So have a pizza for dinner, get a chocolate bar, enjoy a glass of wine (Maybe even a bottle...) Because it's not about negating the effects of burnt calories at the gym, it's setting up a habit you can carry with you for the rest of your life.
Also while working out you will be building muscle, and it's muscle that gives you a higher metabolism which burns off more calories everyday. So even if you eat as much as you burn off you will be building muscle which means you burn more calories every day. Awesome right?
So don't panic about how many calories your burning, what type of post work out protein you should be eating or anything like that.
Start small, enjoy yourself, don't make it difficult and pick something awesome to reward yourself for working out!
So have a search around for your nearest leisure centre, fitness centre, swimming pool. Have a look at classes and please give this raticle a share if you enjoyed it!