09 Sep Spring clean your fitness routine
It’s finally spring! Those cold, dark morning are finally behind us, making it a bit easier to get out of bed and workout. If you’ve been guilty of exercising less (or, ahem, not at all) over the winter months, then this is the perfect time of year to spring clean your fitness routine and get active again.
Here are some great tips to start moving more and get in shape for summer (and you know, life!):
We all know that physical activity is great for our physical and mental health, but does it really matter where you do it? Well, kind of! Exercising anywhere is good for you, but research has shown that you may get additional benefits if you move your workout outside.
Exercising outdoors can have a greater positive impact on reducing stress levels and boosting mental well-being when compared to exercising inside. Getting some sunshine is also a great way to boost your vitamin D levels (just don’t forget to slip, slop, slap).
With longer days and warmer weather, spring is a great time of year to take your workouts outside. Plus, getting out in nature is completely FREE. Go for a walk at your local park, swim in the ocean, do a body weight circuit or take a hike in your nearest national park.
Don’t just focus on the scales
We humans like immediate results, and weight loss can take time. If your only focus is dropping kilos (which might take weeks or months!), it mightn’t be strong enough motivation to get you off the couch day in and day out.
Instead, try focusing on the immediate benefits of exercise… Focus on how good you feel after a workout. Focus on how much more energy you have. Focus on that feeling of accomplishment.
Knowing you’ll get an immediate “reward” for your effort will help you to make exercise a part of your daily routine. The weight loss… that’ll come in time.
Try something new
Let’s be honest, doing the same thing every day is just plain BORING. And it’s not just that… If your body isn’t being challenged, then you mightn’t get the results you’re hoping for. Changing up your routine not only keeps exercise more exciting, but also helps you avoid that dreaded weight loss plateau.
Do something different to spice it up. Try a new class, up the intensity, find a new trainer… Just. Do. Something. NEW.
Sometimes the last thing you feel like doing is getting off the couch, putting on your sneakers and hitting the pavement. That’s when a gentle nudge from your mate can make all the difference.
Many studies have shown that with a little support and encouragement from friends can boost participation in physical activity.
Research also suggest that we love a little bit of competition. It makes us work harder.
When we talk about competition, we don’t mean you have to out-run, out-lift or out-sweat your exercise buddy. But exercising with someone can give you both the little edge you need to push your mind through barriers that hold you back.
Some of you may also have heard of The Köhler Effect… It’s a phenomenon that occurs when a person works harder as a member of a group than when working alone. Essentially, we don’t want to let anyone down so we perform at our peak to keep going!
Be stronger than your excuses
Too busy. Too tired. It hurts my knees. Any of these sound familiar?
If you look hard enough, you’ll also find an excuse not to exercise. Be stronger than your excuses and stop letting negative self-talk hold you back.
Find a professional
Sometimes, you just need a little nudge in the right direction. It’s OK to ask for help! This is especially true if you’re brand new to exercise.
So, who is the right professional to help you?
If you want some expert advice
Whether you’re new to exercise or a seasoned gym junkie, an Accredited Exercise Scientist (AES) can help you reach your goals faster. Exercise scientists are university-qualified and use real science to help make you happier, stronger and fitter.
If you have an injury or chronic disease
If there’s something holding you back from being active, like an illness or injury, chat to an Accredited Exercise Physiologist (AEP). They are allied health professionals who specialise in clinical exercise prescription. Put simply, they use exercise as medicine to manage a range of chronic conditions.
An AEP will work with your doctor and healthcare team to make sure the exercises are safe for your individual needs.
Whatever your goals, you can find the right accredited exercise professional for your needs here.