It’s not too late to start, but it nearly is!

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I’ve seen the same trend for close to 30 years.  The weather warms up, the sun peeks through, and almost on cue, people start to emerge from the shadows and cold winter mornings, dust off their runners and dig through the wardrobe for their “gym gear”.  It’s like a switch goes off, almost like a roll call, September 1, spring has started and so I must get to the gym.
 
Although it’s never too late to start training and doing the right things for your health and fitness, it always surprises me that people wait for some special moment, some key date or time that triggers them to start exercising again, often after 4-6 months of winter hibernation.
 
If this is you, then I say to you, get going people, there is no time to waste, summer is but 3 months away and that will come quickly enough.  I would much rather have people training all year round, “Summer bodies are built in winter”, but some exercise is better than no exercise.  So, in the spirit of spring training here are some key strategies that you could employ to get the most out of your gym and exercise programs.
 
1.  Set some goals, have some targets, be specific about what you want to achieve.  Don’t say “ I want to get fitter”, what is fitter, what does that mean to you?  “I want to lose weight”.  How much, by when, over what time period?
 
2.  Make a plan, how is this going to happen? Because it won’t happen by accident.  You need to outline how you will train, when you will train, and how often you will complete it.  The body will not change by accident, you will need to give it a reason, you will need to force it to.
 
3.  Decide what other areas of your life need to change in order for you to achieve your targets.  Is it more sleep, a better diet, less stress, less work hours, more balance?  Identify these and then put steps in place to fix them.
 
4.  Enlist some help.  Talk to a friend who might have achieved the same outcomes before, get an exercise professional involved, work with a Personal Trainer perhaps, but talk to someone who has the experience and qualifications to advise you in this area.  Don’t try to figure it out by yourself or exercise based on guesswork or what you might read as the latest celebrity trends.  Generally these will be more fiction that fact.  As I have said to people before, “I drive a car, but that doesn’t make me a mechanic.”
 
5.  Train, recover, eat well, repeat.  There is no magic pill, there is no best program.  Train the right way according to your goals and your fitness capabilities.  And be patient, change takes time, but every session you do will get you closer to your end goal.
 
6.  Take before and after photos.  Sure do some measurements, maybe even jump on the scales, but don’t rely on the scales too much and don’t weigh yourself more than once every 1-2 weeks.  Often this will only deflate and demotivate you when in actual fact you are changing.  Its just that they are small changes over time so for you they are hard to notice.
 
7.  And finally, when you do achieve your targets, congratulate yourself, celebrate, and enjoy your success, but then start again.  Its too hard to do all that work and then let it slide away because you stop training.  Keep training, keep making further improvements, because if there is one thing I have learnt over time is that its easier to stay in shape than it is to get in shape.
 
Happy training!

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