For those women over 40 who haven’t exercised since school – or for those of us who start with good intentions but consign the trainers to the closet after just a couple of trips to the gym – this blog post is for you! I’ve asked my own ‘Mrs Motivator’, Anny Hooker, fitness expert from Personal Best Studios, for her top tips to give us a kick up the flabby derriere and get us exercising regularly…
1. It’s been said before, but if you’ve never exercised – or it’s been a while since you did – then take a trip to your GP. You might have something that needs attention before starting a fitness regime; perhaps that nagging back pain is a slipped disc or maybe your blood pressure is a little higher than it should be? Your GP can advise you on the type of exercise that might be best for you and your personal ailments. Or, if you get a clean bill of health – he can tell you to get on with it and stop the excuses!
2. Take it slowly and build up your fitness levels gradually. Once you’ve made your mind up to get fit you might be tempted to jump right in, but bear in mind that if you go full pelt from the get-go, you are more likely to injure yourself – or at the very least – feel disheartened at how unfit you are and give up.
3. Find something you like! It sounds so obvious but how many times have you joined a gym and spent the next few weeks making excuses to get out of going? If you love the water, go swimming or find an Aqua Zumba class or how about rowing or paddle boarding? Enjoying your workout is the key to keeping you motivated, so look around your local area and find a fitness class or activity that suits you.
4. Have a REASON to start exercising. It’s hard to keep up the motivation to exercise if you’re not sure why you really want to do it. Of course, being fitter and healthier is a fabulous reason in itself, but realistically, it’s probably that Christmas party where you might bump into a few friends you haven’t seen for a while, or that sunny holiday next year, that are the true motivators. Keep in mind why you are exercising and write it down somewhere you’ll see it every day.
5. Feel comfortable in what you’re wearing. It’s a good idea to invest in some new workout gear before you start your fitness plan and it doesn’t have to cost the earth. Primark, TKMaxx and Gap have some great stuff that won’t break the bank. Make sure your clothes are comfortable and that you feel good and it’ll give you more confidence than wearing your husband’s baggy old t-shirt and your threadbare leggings!
6. Imagining that you’re going to go along to a class where every woman there will be 2 sizes smaller and 10 times fitter than you is enough to put anyone off. So, remember, that it’s just not true! There may be the odd toned and svelte yummy mummy in your fitness class, but mostly, there will be women of all shapes and sizes and at various levels of fitness. And they probably all felt the same as you the first time they joined the class.
7. Stop thinking about it and do it! Get those trainers out of the cupboard and go for a walk – and while you’re moving, start making a mental note of how wonderful the new, fitter you is going to look and feel in just a few weeks’ time!
More about Anny: Professional dancer, fitness instructor and personal trainer, Anny, eased me back into regular exercise 3 years ago. Because of her fun, down to earth, yet highly knowledgeable approach to teaching, I’ve lost a stone and kept it off (well, more or less.) I’ve toned up and feel so much fitter and more confident in general than I did before exercising. Thank you Anny!
Find out about Anny’s classes here