The research simply cannot be ignored, exercise has way too many physical and mental benefits to ignore. Benefits that cannot be replicated in any other way but to move. Simply start by walking around the block or doing any movement within your physical capability.
2. Seeking (actual human) expert advice
Online research and advice is a start, but nothing will replicate an actual human expert in front of you that can take into consideration the nuances of the actual human in front of them.
3. Believing in yourself!
The number of times I simply say “try the next weight up”, or “humour me on trying [insert movement here]” followed by the look of doubt on your face followed by the surprise on your face when you actually do it, is a daily occurrence in my line of work (I also secretly enjoy saying “I told you so”). Believe in yourself sometimes-to-all-the-time. You are actually stronger and more capable than you think.
4. Lifting weights
Repeat after me: everyone needs to lift weights. E-VER-EE-WUN. No you’re not too old. Too broken. Too inexperienced. Squat 100kg, press 2 cans of baked beans above your head, do a push-up. MOVE WEIGHT. The benefits of lifting weights for your physical self (and of course mental) will benefit you right now and has a direct impact on your future quality/quantity of life.
In our digital age of information overload, it’s easy to understand why we throw exercise in the too hard basket – you can research what to do to death (literally). If you’re a chronic overthinker and paralysed with choice, narrow your choices by choosing the activity that is closest to your work or home. One of the biggest barriers to exercise is convenience and if said activity is out of your way you’re finished before you’ve even started.
6. Pigeonholing forms of fitness
I’m too old for that. Only men do this. Sista it’s 2023 and anything goes. You like the idea of a type of exercise? Go for it! Be a trailblazer! You might even inspire people just like you to give it a go. With the right Coach/Instructor anyone can do anything and everything.
7. Using weight-loss as the measure of success
Ugh. But can we though? There are countless other ways to measure success that does not include the quantity of your mass. What about the quality of that mass (muscle mass?). What about fact you can now run 1km when walking to the mailbox used to leave you breathless (increase in fitness). What about those murderous tendencies that are now gone after a long day (mental health benefits/avoiding imprisonment).
8. Saying ‘try’
Yoda said it best when he said “do or do not. There is no try”. Try is giving your future self a guilt free out. Trust me, no-one is magically turning up for their workout pre-dawn simply by trying. Set your alarm. Have your workout clothes ready to go. Tell an accountability buddy you will be there. Rub coffee beans directly into your eyeballs.
9. Being curious
Post COVID more and more of my members and clients are trying new forms of exercise for the first time, perhaps a hangover from lockdown where that choice was all but gone. Keep being curious about new types of movement! You might hate it. You might love it. You might be ‘meh’ about it. But either way, hate, love or meh, the benefit of movement you’ve already done cannot be taken away.
Starting is the hardest part. If you are in a routine for the love of God don’t stop. I get it. Life. But if you can maintain your routine even with modifications (exercising for half the amount of time or a lower intensity) that is enough to maintain the habit and you won’t have the exhausting task of having to start again.