Starting a fitness program is hard. But for some it’s especially tough.
If the closest you’ve come to a spin class is back-peddling on your fitness resolution, if your favourite sport is sofa surfing – then it could take time to get into the swing of regular exercise. So the last thing you need is people telling you all the things you ‘should’ do.
As someone who routinely avoided PE classes at school and who believes a fun run is a contradiction in terms, I can assure you it is possible to integrate fitness into your life. There’s hope! Here then are sixteen exercise rules you can totally, completely ignore:
1. You must exercise in the morning.
2. You must do interval training.
3. You must lift weights.
4. You must do cardio.
5. You must run.
6. You must walk.
7. You must join a gym.
8. You must train outdoors.
9. You must do group fitness classes.
10. You must join an online program.
11. You must do yoga.
12. You must do Pilates.
13. You must get a personal trainer.
14. You must do bootcamp.
15. You must do 30 minutes of exercise a day.
16. You must cross train.
None of these are hard and fast rules. Your exercise doesn’t even have to be hard and fast. It’s liberating! So there are many rules you can ignore, but here’s the one exercise rule you do have to obey:
Do whatever exercise you will actually do.
That’s it. As long as you do it, it’s the perfect exercise. Forget morning versus evening, indoor versus outdoor. Doesn’t matter if it’s in the gym, park, a brisk walk in a shopping centre, stairs in your building, whatever. There may be a type of exercise that will give better results than another. But not if you don’t do it. It’s better to succeed at what you can do, what you will do, than to fail at what you can’t or won’t. Find any exercise that you are happy to do and do it. That’s the perfect one for you. With that in mind, here are some tips you help you find an exercise you will do.
1. Give any new exercise a few tries.
Doing something new feels decidedly weird. The older we get, the weirder we feel and the less willing we are to tolerate discomfort. But using your body in a new way feels odd to everybody. Don’t let the initial discombobulation put you off. Know that your brain will adapt. If, after you’ve tried a few times, you’re still feeling miserable, then yeah, maybe that particular form of exercise is not for you. But give yourself the chance to find out.