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7 tips for staying active

 

I often have discussions with clients and friends about the challenges of staying active.  Injuries, work and family commitments get in the way of establishing a regular exercise regime for most of us.

I rarely feel like exercising when I wake up in the morning, but I generally feel happier and more energised afterwards.  The tips I’m sharing below is how I stay in the habit of exercising, whether I feel motivated or not.

 

 

  1. Have a goal – I joined Darwin Triathlon Club, which runs regular races throughout the year. Staying fit and prepared for the next race provides regular goals to keep me on track with training.  Doing a race when I’m unfit is TOO painful.   To add variety I have used other goals such as; half marathons, Fanny Bay swim and the Great Cycle Challenge.
  2. Make a plan – I like to have a plan to keep a good balance and variety in my exercise.  Knowing in advance what I am doing, means I can prepare better and reduces procrastination.
  3. Be prepared – I am more likely to follow through with my training plan if I am prepared. For example; if I am cycling tomorrow morning, I put out cycling clothes, shoes, helmet and ensure my bike is ready – tyres pumped and chain oiled.  If I am swimming in the afternoon after work, I have swimming costume, towel, goggles, cap and swim toys ready to pick up and walk out the door.  This means I don’t waste time looking for what I need, and reduces the opportunity to make excuses.  Personally, I need to be out and exercising before I’ve stopped to think about whether I want to go.
  4. Train with a friend or join group training – Making a commitment to train with someone else I means I have extra motivation to turn up, as well as company and conversation on long sessions. Training with a group seems to give the energy boost I need to push a little harder and longer.
  5. Mix it up/choose activities you enjoy – For me variety is the key. I like the strength and focus of Pilates and yoga.  I like sweating up a storm and getting my heart pumping on a run.  I like cruising around on bike ride.  I like staying cool while exercising hard on a swim.
  6. When you’re tired – train today. If you’re still tired tomorrow, skip tomorrow’s session – This is one of the best pieces of advice I heard to prevent me breaking my training habit.  I can easily fall into a habit of not exercising when I start making excuses to skip training day after day, then it becomes hard to get back into regular training.   On days I am busy or tired, I choose a shorter or easier program, rather than skipping a session entirely.  I often feel refreshed and ready to train the next day, but if not, I consider taking a break then.
  7. Train in the morning – I am MUCH more likely to exercise if I get up early and train.  Too many things get in the way by the end of the day, so I generally consider evenings as bonus training sessions.  Plus, I seem to be more productive at work for the rest of the day when I exercise in the morning.

These are some of the tips I use to stay active, I encourage you to choose the ones that help you, and create some of your own.  I believe each person needs to find an activity and schedule that suits them, their physical shape, ability and their lifestyle.

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