“Those who think they have not time for bodily exercise will sooner or later have to find time for illness.” ~ Edward Stanley
Nutritious food and fitness are a match made in heaven, and like a great relationship, they bring out each other’s very best qualities. The closest thing to a magic bullet for slowing down the ageing process and developing a healthy, strong, fit and lean physique, is that golden combination of good nutrition and exercise.
Your entire physical and emotional wellbeing benefits enormously from this dynamic duo. Increasing your heart rate and working up a sweat regularly though exercise boosts digestion and elimination, blood flow and lymphatic drainage, enhances your fitness and energy levels, supports fat burning, reduces cholesterol levels, improves insulin sensitivity and may even combat feelings of anxiety and depression, while boosting your mood with feel-good endorphins.
For the majority of people, the most daunting and intimidating part of getting fit is where to begin. It can feel like you’re constantly bombarded with conflicting information about health, fat loss and fitness, making it almost impossible to even know what to start with and whether you’re even doing it right.
There seems to be a vast array of diet plans, powders, tablets, shakes, bars, websites, blogs, gyms and fitness experts trying to sell us their products, and that’s why it becomes so important to separate fact from marketing. Confusing the public can very much work in the favour of the companies pushing their wares, as it may encourage us to blindly buy into their trends.
These are my four top tips for fitness newbies to feel more confident from the very start:
- Don’t Overcomplicate It:
Just like food and nutrition, fitness works best when it’s kept as simple as possible. Different types of exercise work for different people, and discovering what you like most is the key to viewing exercise as enjoyable and getting the very most out of it. It should be be fun, challenging and changed up regularly to make sure it never gets boring.
2. Always Listen to Your Body:
You can always swap one type of regime for another that suits your age and body type better, but the most important thing is to do what’s safe for you to avoid injury.
I used to love running, until my hip began to hurt after long-distance runs. I pushed myself for a while longer and used to force myself out for runs, until one day I just stopped completely because I was beginning to really dislike running. I’m also much more interested in doing slower and more controlled exercises now that really build my core strength and muscle groups, such as Pilates and resistance training in the gym.
3. Ensure Your Exercise Regime Suits Your Lifestyle:
An important part of staying fit and active is making sure it slots into your lifestyle, and you’re not compromising your health or sleep. If you’re dragging yourself out of bed at 5am to hit the treadmill before work, there’s probably only so long you can keep it up before illness or injury prevents you. A bad experience can quite easily lead to a loss of confidence in your own abilities and even cause you to resent the gym.
4. Ask An Expert:
Don’t be afraid to ask questions and look for help. The majority of good gyms will have fitness experts on hand to advise you. It’s so important to do certain exercises properly to avoid injury, and weightlifting can be more risky if you’re not protecting your neck and back.