The Secret To Getting Fit?
Fitness fads aren’t new, the current trend seems to be focussed around HIIT, AMRAP, SUP and just about any other acronym you can come up with. All of which promise to shape your body like an Adonis or provide you with a healthy heart. As such for some it can feel like we have spent an eternity trying to find that holy grail of fitness solutions. But here at Wave we think the real secret is much simpler than you think, in fact, if you’ve read any of my other articles then you already know the answer: you need to “Enjoy it!”
In My Case
I spent many years of my youth in swimming pools, lane swimming three mornings a week coupled with regular evening training sessions. A couple of gala’s thrown in on a Saturday and Sunday meant I had to love it to maintain it. But by my early teens I was getting bored and wanted to do something different, so football and cricket began taking up more of my time.
I kept physically active and fit at the same time because I enjoyed what I was doing. That sense of excitement heading off to compete and get my endorphin fix drove me on. I stopped for a couple of years after university and during that time remember having a bit of a void in my life.
It wasn’t until I had a chance encounter with a set of scales (yes, weighing scales) at a friends house that it dawned on me I hadn’t been exercising much. Apparently you don’t notice an extra 10Kg in your early to mid twenties, or at least not when you spend as much time as I did in a bar or club. I digress, but neither of those places will do you any favours physically if you don’t incorporate exercise into your life. Anyway, getting back to the point I thought I’d just get back to the gym and try playing with some gym equipment. Oh dear, cue the lack of structure and a year of on / off training. What I realised was exercise for me is as much about socialising as endorphin release. As soon as I started going to classes I fell in love with exercise again. Look, everyone is different and there is an inordinate amount of choice out there now, what worked for me will not necessarily work for you.
Proof is in The Research
Research supports the claim that fun and passion are the keys to maintaining a consistent approach, will that help you get fit? Human nature dictates that when we enjoy something, we are much more likely to do it again. Think teenager in their first intimate relationship, you simply cannot get enough! More importantly, when getting fit becomes a goal, then being consistent is critical.
Make a Start
Clearly kicking things off with a single workout is a great start, but building a weekly routine and exercising consistently over months and years is where you see the real value. Incorporating your routine into your lifestyle will ensure that you stick to it week in, week out.
Keep it Fun!
So you have to ask yourself what does an enjoyable workout look like? For some it will be the exercise itself, something that doesn’t push the effort meter, but does enough to release some endorphins. While for others it will be the thrill of having a crowd of people cheering you on or music pumping in a studio. Don’t get me wrong, not all disciplines are the same, the yogi’s out there will be happy listening to their breathing and taking time to be mindful and thankful for the days sunshine. The triathletes will be looking to push their time on a big run, cycle or swim, but the common theme amongst them all is to simply enjoyment.
Don’t forget there are team sports out there, clubs for those who cycle, climb, play team sports. The world is your oyster. At the heart of it all, I think you have to tap into the community associated with your exercising weapon of choice. If you look forward to going it will make all of the difference.
Try Something New
Exercise should always be fun, even though you might occasionally have to drag yourself to a class or force yourself to a training session. You should always feel better for having attended. If you don’t, I recommend you try something new, be that a different class, gym, sport or something completely out of your comfort zone.
I am a regular 750 minute per week plus exerciser and believe that the road to consistency is carved through consistency which, in turn, is the secret to good health and well-being. Even through lockdown, I have managed to squeeze in at least 40 minutes of exercise per day.
There you have it, my view on the secret to getting fit is simple, find that thing you enjoy and stick to it!