Find reasons to move, not excuses to be still - fitness column
This week Emma and I have split the column as we understand that this particular instalment can be very different for men and women.
So, the mindset is in place and you have started to stretch every day following our last two instalments and now want to start to train, but the thought of going to the gym is still a little daunting. You have looked around at some classes and just not quite ready to take the jump.
AND THAT’S FINE. So many people get to this point and never take it any further.
For men, the fear of getting laughed at for being too fat or too weak will stop us crossing the threshold to any class or gym. This fear is deeply rooted in us as humans, our brains struggle with new things as they are unknown and your brain wants to protect you, it will do this by putting thoughts in your head like ‘not today, start next Monday’, ‘people will laugh at you’, ‘it’s too late for you you’re too old’.
So we are going to trick it. Surprise-attack your brain. Here’s how ...
Never think about the task ahead, just start. If it’s a walk, don’t think about the distance, just the time. Set off and think ‘ok so I’ll walk 20 minutes this way and then turn back’, make it simple. Do not at any point compare yourself with others, it’s YOUR journey, you can’t compare your day one to someone else’s day 100.
The thought of working out for three weeks and not looking like The Rock is normally what puts people off continuing, let alone starting out. We know it’s a typical man trait to want instant results but it will not happen. Start slow, enjoy the work you’re putting in and praise yourself for doing so. Exercise is only a tiny part of the battle, sleep and food play the biggest parts and we will cover these in coming weeks. Your journey to fitness can start in your living room, your street, your garden.
We do however need to build up, the first few walks or stair sprints you do will leave you with aching a little and your brain will be the first to say ‘told you so’, ‘told you it was a bad idea’ but understand that the ache will become your guide to how fit you are getting. As you ache less, you know you can up the amount you are doing. Please remember you cannot change by doing nothing, thought alone isn’t enough. Pick a day and a time and STICK TO IT. Find reasons to move not excuses not to.
Men - just start moving, it’s that simple. Build slowly but steadily and today we are going to hit you with five steps that are guaranteed to get those pounds shifting. Of course feel free to join us in our outdoor fitness classes on a Tuesday and Thursday at 6.30 pm.
Or if you are ready to try something new, contact Sam Davies at [email protected] or find us at Titan kickboxing HQ on Facebook to book a free trial kickboxing lesson.
by Emma Brand
As a female who was unhealthier than I wanted to be, I knew I needed to do something to sort myself out but the thought of a gym or classes filled me with trepidation. When I first joined a gym I did not go for a month!
Exercise is very personal and will only be maintained and become a part of life if you enjoy it, there is no point forcing yourself to do a class because it will burn loads of calories or tone you up – this will happen anyway as you become healthier and fitter; fitness can only occur when you find something you enjoy and therefore will do it on a regular basis.
Many classes are sold as a magical solution and/or an all-over work out, but I have found that once you find your way of exercising and get into then more forms of exercise become accessible or appealing.
So for many of us life is too hectic, work, school runs, family and now restrictions on accessibility to places of exercise with limits on numbers allowed. Therefore it is important that, for all levels of fitness, you recognise there are many ways to exercise in normal day-to-day life at your own convenience and also within your routine. The hardest part is developing new habits and also (more importantly) pushing boundaries when things get comfortable. It is important to realise exercise is about developing fitness, you don’t have to train like an Olympian or pay Olympic prices!
During lockdown I was very aware that I didn’t want to lose the level I’d built up to. I think many of us found new ways of doing many things – Sam and I were looking for ways to work out and realised that we have the opportunity to exercise and raise that heart rate right here – no need to even get in the car.
My initial response was to timetable our exercise (so we would be accountable) and also to – as is often our way – turn it into a contest. So I devised our stair sprint workout. Initially we would sprint for a few sets, then on certain days other exercises were inserted between the stair sets (not always popular – unlike me not everyone loves a burpee!).
1 SO FIRSTLY!.... Walking more – drive to school or work but park further away (or if like me you work from home, drive to school and walk back – I have to pick up the kid so I am forced to walk back!) Just walk, walk, walk… get a good pair of shoes on or even go barefoot!! But no stilettos or heels. Walk to the shops, walk to people’s homes to visit… or just go walking to explore!
2/ Stair sprints with exercises after every 10 – 10 times up and down stairs, when that gets comfortable add 10 press-ups on the end and also set a goal for the number of sets.
3/ Lamp-post training, go for walks on roads with lamp posts, walk to one jog to one or jog to one and sprint to the next one
4/ On the hour every hour do a superset – 10 squats, 10 press -ups 10 sit-ups
5/ Do the housework faster – or load up a rucksack with tins and bags of sugar (ie weights) and hoover under duress! That’s right gentleman, if you don’t already, pick up the hoover and go at it. It’s a workout after all .