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Physical Activity Guidelines Getting Started Building Your Fitness From the Ground Up

It’s a new year and there’s a good chance you’ve made some resolutions or wishes for a new you, or a fitter or healthier version of yourself.

There are studies available which indicate that adherence to exercise programs after six months is only at about 50%, even though most of us are at least somewhat familiar with the benefits of routine exercise. Commonly cited reasons for drop out include: lack of time, inconvenience, expense, physical discomfort, embarrassment, poor instruction, inadequate support and loss of interest.

So let’s talk about some strategies to help you set up and maintain that routine, week-in-week-out exercise plan. First things first you need to figure out where you’re at mentally and physically. These statements are in response to achieving that base target of 150mins of moderate paced cardio-vascular exercise each week.

“I don’t need to change” Not achieving the minimum and does not understand why it’s important. This stage is called Denial and in this stage the best approach is to simply give the person some information on health and exercise and allow them to digest this.

“I’ve been meaning to change but…” Knows this is important but hasn’t managed to start yet. This is the Procrastination Stage and here we just want to try some things and activities to see what this client likes the best. This person is not yet capable of maintaining a routine.

“I can’t maintain a routine” Has had some attempts but cannot consistently achieve the target. This client is in the Sporadic Action stage and this is where a lot of people get stuck. This is the stage where we need to set up an easy to achieve routine that takes into consideration some of the factors mentioned in paragraph two.

“I’m doing it!” Is achieving the target, but has not yet done so consistently for any period of time. This is the ACTION PHASE! Yippee! Now we work to build intensity and duration factors to increase fitness levels in both cardio and strength components.

“I just do it” Achieves this target week in week out. This is the Maintenance Phase and we need to look after these people as we risk losing them to boredom. So these folk get to have all the fun. They need variety, intensity and challenges to keep them pushing and achieving their goals.

Have you noticed lately how when you ask someone how they are the answer is usually something like “Oh I’ve been so busy”? How about we rephrase that one to “I’ve allocated all my free time”, here’s why: spending time on your phone or computer for social purposes, chatting on the phone, and watching tv all take up time but was it time well spent? If we use the phrase of ‘allocating free time’ instead of ‘I’m busy’ we open up our minds to understanding where we are spending the time each day. We can choose what to do in those minute or half hour blocks available to us each time. Yes you may choose facebook or perhaps you could choose a ten minute walk around the block with the dog. You could choose to watch home and away for 30 minutes or you could achieve an incredible home workout, get some of those pressing chores done so you have more time available tomorrow to go to an exercise class. Sometimes we actually do have more time available to us than we realise, we just don’t use it to maximum effect. We have machines that do those time chewing tasks for us now; dishwashers, washing machines, cars, robovacs! So really the time factor isn’t as set in stone as you may think and you may just need to schedule in your workouts like any other appointment.

Here’s a newflash for you! YOU DON’T HAVE TO BE FIT ALREADY TO COME TO FITNESS SESSIONS, THAT’S WHAT WE WANT TO HELP YOU WITH! Being embarrassed about your fitness levels or your weight or shape is understandable but this really should not be stopping you from seeking advice and motivation from an exercise professional or exercise class. No Fitness Instructor or Personal Trainer or Exercise Physiologist will ever make you feel bad about yourself. We are simply there to impart our knowledge to you to help you become healthier. We have spent a lot of time studying and training and we know things that could help you succeed. Other participants are or have been in the same situation and are a great source of support and encouragement too.

Joining a class or going for personal training sessions is a good way to keep up your interest, receive support emotionally and physically, learn correct techniques and have fun! Yes there is expense but sessions in this area start at $7! That’s just one large cup of coffee or a couple of pies. Think of this outlay as an investment in your health and knowledge. The more you know, the more you can do, you can even repeat the workout at home!

Choosing the right situation for you to exercise in may just make you succeed. So ask yourself if you like to exercise with others or on your own? Do you absolutely need air conditioning or can you handle the heat? Do you need some personalised help to get started gently or are you ready for more intensity already? Do you pull up sore from workouts and do you like this or dislike this? These are all really valid questions to ask yourself. Once you have perhaps you’ll understand where you should be looking to workout, when and if you need some guidance and support from an Exercise Professional, an Allied Health Professional or even your GP.

You can find information on our website in relation to this article or call for a chat.

Yours in health and fitness,

Sarah Booth

Cooloola Coast Pilates & Personal Training

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