We aren’t all blessed with a desire to run or hit the gym, some of us have jobs which mean we sit down for the majority of the day and by the time the evening comes, we are so mentally exhausted we want to slip onto the sofa and sleep! There comes a time for most of us, though that we realise we need to do something pretty drastic about our weight, flexibility or general fitness levels. Especially if we have a partner, who enjoys a more active life.
You would be surprised how unfit a slim looking person can be, a lot of us make a mistake in thinking that weight has a lot to do with fitness levels. However, that isn’t always true. You can be a size 10 and still struggle to climb the stairs without getting out of breath. So don’t assume, just because you are pretty trim, you are in good shape too.
Being physically fit takes a little bit of time and commitment, so before you think about heading off to the gym or trying to keep up with your partner on a run, you should consider taking a few steps to get you back on track. The saying, ‘walk before you can run’ fits perfectly with this.
So, getting started on your new fitness journey, no matter what the motivation, should always start with walking. A nice gentle stroll every single morning. Use this more as a way of getting the routine into your daily life. Start off with a nice regular walk, then build up to walking briskly by the end of the week. You want to be able to have a chat while you walk, but it shouldn’t be easy to talk. You should feel breathy. Do not push yourself over this yet.
You may also find that building some leg strength and working on your core, will help boost your basic fitness. Investing in a mini stepper is an excellent way to add a little bit of training into your day. Perhaps you could commit to 15 minutes during your morning and 15 minutes during your afternoon. Combined with your 30-minute daily walk, this will help you to get your heart pumping and will start preparing your body for harder exercise.
It is crucial to increase your hydration if you are starting to boost your fitness. You also need to ensure you are getting a good bedtime routine too. Poor quality sleep and even the slightest dehydration will make it harder for you to enjoy your sessions. Even at this stage where you are just getting used to moving a little more.
Once you have got into a routine of getting up, walking and maybe using the stepper, you should then think about increasing the physical nature of your workouts. This would be a good time to replace 2 of your walks with swimming. Swimming will give you better fitness levels but supports your body while you are training which means you can push yourself a little harder while looking after your joints and muscles. If you push too hard in the early stages, then you could damage yourself meaning you become prone to injury. Start slowly and build yourself in. Routine first, discipline first, push it second.
Running is one of the best ways to get yourself fit and if you have taken our advice on walking and swimming then after three weeks you will be in a good position to take on your first run. There are some great apps you can download which will become a personal trainer for yours. From Couch to 5K is a brilliant app to use, this works with your mobile device, and you can run your music through it too. It brings you up to the 5k run by using a walk/run / walk technique. Guided by a positive audio voice, you will start with 30-minute bursts to start increasing the fitness you have built from your walking. By now you should feel ready to take on this challenge and push yourself forward to running like a pro!
There are lots of other ways you can improve your fitness that will be great fun taking on with your partner. You could try spin classes which are great as different fitness levels can take on the same class, or head out kayaking. Climbing is also great for your overall strength. If you start with the primary, low and slow method, you will soon be fit and healthy!