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Rude Fit

Motivate yourself

Staying motivated to stick to a new exercise regime can be a serious challenge, especially when you need to leave the house on a rainy day. So how can you keep going when all you want to do is sit on the couch?

“In recent years everybody’s lives have become more stressful, primarily due to the pressures of the recession,” says Carl Cautley, owner of Ranelagh personal training studio Fitness Together.

“Very often the first thing that goes is people’s time to exercise. The irony, of course, is that exercise is probably the best stress reliever of them all. It is completely natural and is exactly what the body and mind need.

“We all know it can sometimes be difficult to exercise,” says Carl. “It takes a little bit of effort and very often people use tiredness as an excuse. People are generally tired and their energy is low primarily due to sedentary lifestyles. Some people do absolutely no exercise in a day; it’s get up (lying down), go to work (sitting), work at desk (sitting), go home (sitting), dinner (sitting), watch television (sitting) and bed (lying down). The key is to get moving and once you start don’t stop. The body was designed to move and rest, not sit all day. One of the initial benefits of exercise is increased energy and can be felt within two weeks of starting a programme.”

All in the mind

Getting yourself into the right frame of mind to stick with an exercise regime is in many ways even harder than actually doing the exercise. But there are a few mental exercises that will aid your determination to stick with it. Think of exercise as time for you – many people spend a lot of time at work and looking after other people, think of exercise as ‘you’ time. You will benefit and feel great afterwards.

“The best advice I can give someone who is struggling to exercise regularly is ask the question, ‘how do I feel after exercise?’” says Carl. “Nine out of 10 people will answer, great. So focus in on the benefit and when you are struggling to get off the couch, remember it is only 45 minutes and you will be feeling great afterwards.”

Don’t be over-ambitious. Break down your exercise aims into small goals as these are more achievable and you will be less likely to give up. Write your goals into your diary or phone – a number of days working out, number of miles run in a week, number of lengths swum in the pool, an inch lost off your waist, number of calories burned and so on.

  • There are apps that can help you to track your progress.
  • After you have stuck with it for a week or a month treat yourself with something small.
  • If your aim is to slim down, buy something to wear and enjoy looking good in it.
  • Pin motivational quotes to the fridge so that you automatically read them when you reach for juice.
  • Sign up for a run or cycle event in the future so that you have something to work towards.

“Find something you think you might enjoy,” says Carl Cautley, “dance, boxing, yoga, circuit training or personal training if you need one-to-one help. There is always something out there for everybody. Keep trying different things until you find something that is for you. Set a goal to exercise at least four times per week. It doesn’t have to be major. It could be walking to the shop instead of driving.”

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