So we all know we must exercise and eat healthy foods to stay in shape and keep our bodies in good working order, but often this basic incentive does not motivate us enough to get out there and do it.
‘So choose life and compete!’
To remain healthy you should aim for thirty minutes moderate exercise daily but to improve an aspect of our body composition or fitness we must do moderate to vigorous exercise for 1 hour five times a week. Sadly this is a huge undertaking for many people in comparison to what they are currently doing, requiring a change in lifestyle and mindset to achieve, I know because I struggled to do it myself but now could not go back to my old habits knowing how far I have come and how much better I feel as a result.
But you have to find your reason for keeping fit, and write it down and stick it somewhere useful e.g the fridge! As a constant reminder. For me the incentive to keep fit was primarily to help me lose & maintain a healthy weight for health purposes but now this has evolved to being about living to a ripe old age, and remaining strong so I can continue to compete in sports I enjoy.
For some people that have a naturally more athletic or slender body shape the emphasis on health is just as important because you can be slim and have a decent body shape but be very unfit. Similarly you can fat and fit, this usually imply’s that the person is happy and active but not focusing on the correct type of exercise and diet for optimal body composition.
For many the signs of being unhealthy are visible i.e body fat, or lack of muscle, dull or bad skin/hair/nails, but often more subtle things are going on. Perhaps you suffer from changes to your digestion (constipation/bloating/loose movements/heart burn) or mental and psychological changes such as lack of energy, fatigue, high stress levels, trouble sleeping or general lethargy. Most symptoms above can be related back to lack of daily movement and other consumption related triggers, whereby you rely on habits such as excessive caffeine, alcohol, sugar or cigarette consumption to keep you awake and sane?
All of the above issues wreak havoc to your body’s natural balance and rhythms and can lead to short and long-term health problems without intervention and may not be visible on the outside yet!
So If you currently fit into the category above and feel that you are neglecting your fitness imagine me asking you this:
‘You have a nice body but what can you do with it?’
What would be your reply? SQUIRM????
I believe that finding your reason to exercise will help motivate you to get started but finding a competition or challenge that embodies your reason for exercise will ensure that you keep working towards your goal longer term.
I have throughout my life set myself big fitness challenges starting with a 5k and ending up doing the London marathon as a dare, then triathlons, duathalons and grim muddy obstacle runs. More recently I have started competing in Crossfit and weightlifting competitions. All these experiences have required that I put my body, and diet through different routines but the fear of not finishing or completing the competition or challenge has kept me focused on the task at hand and the rewards? Well you will have to find out for yourself but believe me there is no better feeling than knowing you smashed it to the best of your ability.
You could do a charity races, adventure races, marathons and triathlons but you could also join a dance troupe, try a team sports, learn a martial art, try gymnastics, weightlifting, bodybuilding, powerlifting, synchronised swimming, canoeing, surfing or orienteering but whatever you choose make sure you test your ability and compete or use your fitness or ‘nice body’ to make it all the efforts worthwhile. Competing will help you measure your progress and mark your successes. A medal is always nice to hang on the wall!!!
The key then is to look for the next challenge don’t just stop after the first one.You could try to improve on the last one or find a new challenge there is always more to be done.
This year I took the challenge of learning more about Olympic Weightlifting and in January approached a gym (AFS Andover) about learning and training. I set myself a goal of aiming to get a 50kg bar above my head in the lift known as the ‘Snatch’.
Roll forward to November this year I have progressed from a complete beginner using a plastic pole as a weight, to competing at a novice level at this fantastic event and qualified to pass on my knowledge as a level 1 weightlifting coach. The picture above shows me successfully lifting 47kg for the first time at an event this month in Reading called ‘How strong is your box’, (check out the cheesy grin) I loved the event which I entered with a team from my gym. The pressure really helped me perform at my best and rewarded my efforts with a personal best.
With just a few weeks left in the year I am confident I will reach my goal and will be setting the bar higher and heavier for next year!
So if you have a nice body and don’t use it enough or want to get fitter set yourself up with my quick tips:
Work out your motivation for exercise,
Write it down and put it somewhere you will see it,
Pick an event or challenge,
Get after it,
Smash it and celebrate,
Pick a new one to keep you rolling.
If you need a hand getting started get in touch 07891646667 good luck!