Happy Friday everyone! Guess who’s back, back again 😉 yes, I am back! (Sorry, I couldn’t resist… Channeling my inner Eminem). This week I am bringing you some fitness tips. Tips to help you stay motivated, focused and energised. I want to help inspire your fitness choices and I want to help you have a flexible and enjoyable approach to fitness. Throughout my own health and fitness journey, I have encountered many problems and I have also discovered some incredible things. I am still learning every single day and that’s the most exciting thing about this incredible journey.
Fitness and health changes, it adapts, it evolves and it can be whatever you want it to be. Fitness is individual, it is unique and it is a lifelong hobby that can enhance your life. ‘Healthy’ works the same way, in my opinion, it looks different on everyone. Health is eternal, it’s from within as well as from the outside and it can be adapted and changed depending on the individual. Looking after your health means you take pride in your soul and your body. Remember, as I always say, your body is a temple and should be worshipped. Eating well, doing the things you love and keeping active is a sign of self-respect. It isn’t anything to be ashamed of and it will enhance your days, it will make you grow and from my own experience, it increases the level of inner happiness from within.
All of these tips have been compiled from my own experience. I am not a fitness or a health professional. Health and fitness are a passion of mine and I believe sharing my own experience could inspire others. I have learnt a lot about health and fitness from other people; I have learnt from other peoples mistakes and I have researched through many mediums to learn the things I know now. I would still love to learn about health and fitness at a higher level for my own knowledge. However, for now… These are my tips…
“Exercise is a celebration of what your body can do. Not a punishment for what you ate”.
KNOW YOUR WORTH
Let’s start with the most important point. Know your worth. Be in tune with yourself. Love yourself unconditionally the way you are. A size 6. A size 14 – size does not matter. Are you happy? Remember, your body is a huge parcel of goodness, it can achieve incredible things and it is working so hard to keep you alive. You are not a number. You are more than a dress size and you are worth more than a six pack. Fitness is for longevity (in my opinion). Fitness is enjoyable, it is energising and it enhances your daily activity. Fitness can improve your health. Keeping fit can help you relieve stress, fitness and being active can result in you meeting new people (at the gym or out walking!) and finally, it can physically change the appearance of your body. Amongst many other things. However, focus on your self-love first. Love every ounce of your body – the stretch marks, the pimples, the cellulite, the little bit of love that hangs over your jeans, yes – love, not fat! They’re called ‘love handles’ for a reason! We must embrace our current appearance in order to welcome a new one. Be grateful you are able to exercise and keep active. Be grateful you are alive and can breathe the fresh air. Appreciate the ‘small’ things.
Remember, ‘healthy’ looks different on everyone. Fitness is individual.
GOALS AND DIRECTION
Before you approach fitness and keeping fit, have a little think about what it is you want to achieve. I jumped straight into weight lifting and Zumba when I began my fitness journey about 2 years ago – both very different! But both were very common at the time. I thought this was the correct approach and I did it because the people around me were doing the same. This isn’t the way it should be. Fitness should be unique to you and your goals. Do the activities you enjoy and know your goals. Do you want to become stronger? Do you want to be able to lift your body weight? Do you want to run a long distance? Do you want to sleep better? Do you want to zone-out and unwind in a new way? Do you want to meet new people? – We can all have many goals and ambitions. Keeping a note of these can enhance your motivation and direction. I always keep a reminder of my goals at my desk or on my notes on my phone. Have a direction to encourage your inner ambitions to drive to progression. Not perfection.
You are stronger than you think.
PLAN YOUR WORKOUT
For me, planning my workout and prioritising it into my weekly work schedule is important. It allows me to make sure I work out and don’t miss a session. It keeps me accountable and it keeps me focused. I always plan a workout prior to walking in the gym. I train early in the morning, so thinking of a workout at 6 am can sometimes be a little challenging. I want to feel motivated and something that has worked for me is pre-planning what I am going to do in the gym room. This also saves time in the gym and has enhanced the quality of my workouts. I write the workouts on my phone or in a small notebook. This also allows me to keep check of my progress throughout my workouts – I can note down the weight I am lifting or the distance I am running. Again, enhancing my motivation to work harder in the next session.
Pre-book your classes, pre-book a post work-out brunch date with your friend and I am guaranteed you won’t want to cancel. If you’re anything like me, you hate cancelling on people and you hate letting people down. Remember, fitness should be enjoyable and you should look forward to your workout. If you are working out with your friend, it’s an awesome chance to catch-up and get a sweat on! Smile, sweat and get active – together.
Goals are individual, not universal. Just because someone can run further, lift heavier, go longer – doesn’t mean your effort is invalid. So, work hard for your OWN goals – after all, it’s your body, not theirs.
EAT WELL, KEEP HYDRATED AND BE BALANCED
Like many YouTubers and bloggers I have encountered, I too, want to promote a balanced approach to fitness and well-being. For me, restriction never worked. It made me depressed, it made me feel tired and I was irritable. I now eat foods that enhance my performance as an individual – both physically and mentally. By this, I mean, eating the foods I love ALWAYS. I am a lover of vegetables and healthier foods, I also love chocolate and pizza and I always ensure I am having a balanced approach all round. I couldn’t live without pizza or chocolate and both of these feed my soul. The vegetables and micronutrient dense foods feed my health, they enhance my fitness performance and make me feel awesome. However, occasionally, chocolate and pizza is a must… Why? Because I love them and I’m human. I will also continue to eat the foods I love, as well as looking after my body. I eat the foods that my body agrees with (this has been a learning experience and something I have learnt over time – as a small example – I limit my consumption of dairy products as this can cause me digestive problems and can bloat my stomach). As stated above, be in tune with your body, notice what your body loves and notice how you feel when you eat certain foods. Monitor your levels of performance depending on the food you eat.
The greatest wealth is health.
REST AND DON’T PUNISH YOURSELF
In the past, I have trained 7 days a week with no rest and no relaxation – just – go, go, go. No meditation and no ‘down time’. The results of this… Well, I became lost. I became physically and mentally exhausted and I still didn’t like my appearance. I had a very toxic relationship with food and fitness. Because I didn’t take rest days, I would constantly feel run-down, my body was low on energy and didn’t make physical progress. Not forgetting, due to fitness controlling my life, my social life suffered largely.
Health and fitness for me now, are both tools to enhance my life, they shouldn’t become my life. Now, I rest x2 – 3 times a week, depending on my work schedule and how I feel. This doesn’t mean on these days I sit on the couch all day (however, that is totally ok!), I use these days to be productive with other things. The hours I would normally spend in the gym, I channel that time to do admin work, chores, meet friends or meditate – amongst other things. Taking a weekly sabbatical has helped me re-energize, it has improved the quality of my gym sessions and I am making progress both physically and mentally now.
In ancient days the seventh day of the week was known as a ‘Sabbath’ – reserved for life most important, yet commonly neglected activities. For example: spending time with family, doing self-renewal practices and having fun. These days of ‘Sabbath’ were provided to help hardworking people recharge their batteries and spend a day of living more fully. People can sometimes think they are wasting time by relaxing and unwinding, however, this is crucial for progression. Stress is not a bad thing, both in our muscles and in our work lives – it can enhance our performance and help us perform at our best.
However, the real problem lies in the fact that in this age, global anxiety has risen and we don’t get enough relief from stress. Plan a weekly period of peace or a rest day (depending on how you feel). Do the things you enjoy and don’t be hard on yourself. Organise your rest days, just like you would your workouts. A rest day, I promise, will help you improve your quality in the gym and will help your muscles recover and repair, ready for another session. Be kind to your body. Appreciate it for all it is worth and don’t become restrictive, controlling or over analytical.
Good things take time.
I hope you enjoyed this week’s blog post! Fitness is something that is a huge part of my life and sometimes, I do like incorporating this part of my life into my blog. After all, my blog is a representation of my zest for life and expresses who I am as a person. As I have previously stated, I am not a fitness professional – so these tips are based on my own experience with fitness.
How do you keep motivated? What are your fitness goals? What’s your favourite recipe? Please comment! Let’s chat!
GET CAUGHT UP:
I hope you are now ready to tackle your goals head on. I hope your approach to fitness is sustainable, enjoyable and consistent. Remember, don’t be so hard on yourself. All great things take time and you totally have this with both hands.