A word from our fitness guru Marcus Bourne from M-Power Personal Fitness. Marcus is a personal trainer with over 20 years experience training people to be the best version of themselves. Marcus is an avid sports person and has completed the Melbourne Ironman three times between 2013-2015. We love Marcus's approach to fitness as he also embraces the need to look beyond your physical activities to what we eat and how we live. Connect with Marcus on Facebook
Spring is upon us so if you are needing a reason to start or kick up your fitness regime now is the time to not only start thinking about an action plan, but to actually put the wheels, or feet into motion.
Depending on what you wish to achieve will depend on how long you need to give yourself, but if changes are what you’re after, then you may need to allow anywhere from 4 weeks, if you’re after losing a few kilo’s, or even up to 26 weeks and beyond if you’re embarking on a marathon.
One thing that is for certain, you need to have a goal, a clear objective that you genuinely wish to achieve. It has to be practical and realistic, yet challenging, and a plan that doesn’t set you up to fail. If it’s unrealistic and success isn't obtained, then the disappointment felt may be such, that your willingness to, “go again” down the track could be minimal.
If you are honest with yourself and want to get started then you need to make it a priority, that’s right, make it a priority, it has to be a priority, just in case you didn’t understand the first two times. If the Prime Minister can exercise regularly, then so can you. If you don’t enjoy exercise then that’s fine because it’s a misconception that you have to enjoy it, if you do enjoy it, then that’s a bonus. Enjoy the feeling you get when you have exercised.
You have to develop a plan that you’re willing to tweak and re-tweak, and understand that you’ll have to adjust your goals along the way, whether you need to raise the bar, or lower your expectations. You’ll need to develop an ability to listen to your body and know when you could be pushing harder and know when you need to pull back.
Easier said than done, but:
- do not get emotional about your goals
- do not rely on motivation to get you out the door to exercise every week
Motivation is like Geoffrey Edelsten’s girlfriends, it will come and go. That’s why what you need to succeed with your plan is:
- you need to be practical
- you need to be methodical
- you need to be disciplined
Educate yourself and get a greater understanding with what works best for “You.”
Some good questions to ask (and answer) to better understand your personal position includes:
- When is the best time of day for me to be active?
- how much time can I allow with each session?
- how many times a week can I set aside to exercise?
- how hard can I safely push myself?
- how much variety do I need to include into my weekly routine to give me optimal results?
- how does my body respond to certain stimulus?
Many of these questions can only be answered once you’re within the actual training program, there’s not a, “One size fits all.” That is why it is important that you are prepared to be flexible to tweaking and re-tweaking your fitness plan so that it works best for your current circumstances.
Get yourself a training buddy
It is unquestionable that making a commitment to exercise with someone else will keep you more motivated. It's more likely you will get up when the alarm goes off if you’re meeting a friend than if you were going by yourself.
Have goals - long and short term
You have likely got longer term goals, but you also need to set short term goals to help you have little victories along the way. Perhaps something along the lines of behavioural goals:
- I must exercise 4 times a week, week after week after week
- I must not snack after dinner
- I must have 1 litre of water daily
- I must huff and puff heavily every time I exercise because if not, then I’m not giving my body the best chance of changing
Finally and importantly, do not make your objective weight based, you really will be on a hiding to nothing if you jump on the scales every morning. More and more evidence is suggesting that those who focus on weight and weight loss are less likely to stick to a plan because the emotional aspect comes into play.
How your body responds to exercise is different to your friends, so don’t compare yourself to them, and don’t compare yourself to you of 5 years ago or 15 years ago.
Follow a plan, be patient, and give yourself enough time to carry it out to fulfil your goals.