HOW CAN YOU MAKE EXERCISE A PART OF YOUR LIFESTYLE? AND NOT JUST A FAIR-WEATHER COMMITMENT?
Welcome to Part Two of my commitment to exercise series! You can catch up on Part 1 here.
Making fitness a core part of my lifestyle has completely changed my life, and I hope that in sharing my exercise commitment I can help you to tackle any health and wellbeing goals you may have yourself. I cannot overstate how much of a positive difference exercising has made to my overall health and happiness.
I am absolutely thrilled for Part 2 today to have an expert insight from my personal trainer Rocky Penny. Rocky is sharing his go-to tips for getting started with an exercise regime you can stick to. With over seventeen years experience, and a background in professional sports, Rocky knows exactly how to help you to get started with your exercise journey, and make a commitment which sticks.
I’ll also be sharing my tips for finding a gym, working with a trainer, and my roundup of how I feel 12 months after starting my exercise journey.
I hope both Part 1 & Part 2 of this series can help you to shape your own wellbeing goals, if you have any questions, or comments please do let me know in the comments below, drop me an email or tweet me.
I will be talking a lot more about health and wellbeing on The Elgin Avenue from now, and always take in to consideration what you would like to see.
Settle in and grab a cup of something delicious, you and I are going to talk exercise – Part 2 . . . !
How To Make A Commitment To Exercise (And Yourself) – And Stick To It + Tips From My Personal Trainer
Find A Gym You Love – Or Somewhere Else You Love To Exercise
I cannot overstate how important it is to find a gym, or a place of exercise, which you love.
True story – I have had a gym a two minute walk away from my home for the past three years, and rarely ever went. The environment never felt like a good fit for me.
Instead, when I chose to make my exercise commitment last January, I consciously sought out an environment which I found supportive and inspiring.
I have now been a member of New Energy Fitness in Winchester for the past year and I absolutely love it! It is a gym I actually look forward to going to.
I believe in order to feel motivated to exercise, you have to work out in an environment which feels welcoming and inspiring to you. Be that a gym you like, a studio-style space like Fitique (seen in these photos), or even an amazing route by a beach you know you love running.
“Find somewhere you want to be, which is conducive to you doing something active.”
I did my research ahead of signing up, speaking to friends I knew were already members, having a full tour of the gym, and being really honest about where I was in my exercise journey.
Remember that near-crying story?
If you are signing up to a gym, research goes a long way – it is a big financial commitment, and most importantly, you want it to be the right fit for you.
For you, your ‘exercise happy place’ can be anywhere. A great friend of mine turned her downstairs bathroom in to a makeshift yoga area. It is warm, bright and crucially worked for her and her yoga goals. Another friend regularly walks her dog along a beautiful coastal path.
“Perhaps your ‘exercise happy place’ is a gym, but maybe it’s not. Take some time to really think about what you need to feel inspired to work out.
A great friend of mine turned her downstairs bathroom in to a makeshift yoga area!”
Perhaps your ‘exercise happy place’ is a gym, but maybe it’s not. Take some time to really think about what you need to feel inspired to work out.
A Lesson Learnt – Personal Trainers Arn’t Just For Millionaires
I never thought I’d have a personal trainer.
Or rather I thought maybe I would if I were to get engaged and wanted to look smoking hot for the wedding. Or ran my own global conglomerate and someone would turn up to my
house mansion every morning at 5a.m. – we would work on my Wintour arms.
As a twenty-something blogger? Nope, not something I thought would happen.
“if you want to learn a new skill, you’d probably sign up to a class, or school to teach you.
Exercise is just the same.
It’s completely normal to feel like a fish out of water in the gym, or embarking on your new fitness goals, if you have no idea what you are doing.”
Think about it this way – if you want to learn a new skill, you’d probably sign up to a class, or school to teach you. Exercise is just the same. It’s completely normal to feel like a fish out of water in the gym, or embarking on your new fitness goals, if you have no idea what you are doing.
I feel especially if you are coming back from an injury, working with a personal trainer, alongside a physio, is vital.
Most gyms offer you an induction and an initial training programme when you sign up. If you take this route, be sure to be very specific with the trainer showing you around about what your medical history is, and your goals with exercise.
Perhaps for you, that feels like enough and you can crack on with your new training programme. If so – great!
For me, I knew I needed more of a guiding hand when I signed up to the gym, and so I sought the help of a personal trainer.
I got recommended to Rocky via a friend, and I knew from our first meeting that he was a great fit for me.
Rocky and I worked together for six initial training sessions, and have since then checked in ad hoc to progress my training programme.
It’s important to find a personal trainer you like, who you trust and who you feel is capable of helping you to achieve your wellbeing goals. You also need to be able to be honest about what kind of a financial commitment you can make. For me ad hoc personal training is what I can afford, and more intensive bursts when I have a particular goal I want to achieve.
“What is it you want to achieve?
Do you want to feel stronger? Run a certain distance? Loose weight?
Be clear when looking for a trainer what you want to do, and take your time finding someone that can help you to pursue your goals.”
In no way do I feel like I would have been able to achieve what I have with my exercise, without working with Rocky. Over the next few weeks and months Rocky and I will be sharing the specific training programmes he set up with me to help me go from completely incapable of doing a squat, to now really rather liking them!
I am so happy to share Rocky’s tips below on how to get started with your own fitness journey – I hope you’ll find these helpful to you if you feel like now is the time to get started yourself!
Tips From My Personal Trainer – Rocky Penny
How Can You Get Started With Your Fitness Journey? And Commit To It Long Term?
– For someone that is completely new to exercising, or coming back to it after a long break, how do you suggest getting started?
– When you and I first started working together, I was very nervous about exercising after an injury. What advice do you have for people coming back from injury?
“Looking three or four months down the line is very daunting and unrealistic for most. Keep goals short-term and before you know it six months have passed!”
– Heading to the gym for the first time can feel intimidating, how can people get over their gym nerves?
– The same goes for a class! How can people approach a new exercise class?
– I know you are all about building a ‘lifestyle’ which incorporates exercise and a healthy diet, how can people think about their commitments long-term?
– If you have ‘fallen off the bandwagon’, how can people get back on track with their health goals?
– How do you stay motivated?
– Many people are time poor, what’s your advice for fitting in exercise in to a busy lifestyle?
– You taught me a lot about nutrition, can you share three fundamental tips for building an energising diet?
- Don’t cut carbs completely or rely on fad diet plans.
- Plan your weekly meals and prepare tomorrow’s food at work the night before.
- Try to eat 3 main meals per day and 2 snacks.
- Leave all the 50% less fat dips and crisps on the shelf!!
– What is your go-to healthy snack?
– Three of your favourite exercise classes?
- Max – HIIT (high intensity interval training)
- Boxing fitness and pad work
– Any parting words?
“You Are Stronger Than You Think You Are”
Twelve Months Later – How Has My Life Changed?
And How Could Yours Too?
“There are no two ways about it – I feel like my life has changed for the better since I committed to exercise.”
#1 My Body
My body has changed shape, slimming down and getting stronger.
I no longer have aches and pains where I once did, and I am not scared about hurting myself through activity any more.
Instead of feeling like something bad is going to happen, I now repeat to myself a simple mantra: “You are stronger than you think you are.”
I haven’t weighed myself in months, so I can’t accurately say if I have lost weight or not. I know for some people that weight is really important, but for me it’s always been more important to gauge how my body feels.
My goal with my commitment to exercise is about feeling energised, strong and clear-headed.
#2 My Mental Wellbeing
Working from home, and working largely alone, having somewhere to go which takes me away from my desk is a huge benefit in my life.
By building in a structure of gym workouts and classes I attend I have been able to set more definite working hours. This helps me to be more focused when I am at work, and also to have a counterbalance.
It’s been proven many times over that exercise is good for your mental health, and I have certainly found that to be the case.
I feel more alert, happier and focused since beginning my exercise journey. If ever I am stressed I make it a point to go to the gym. There truly is nothing like sweating it out. And funnily enough, since I started focusing on my wellbeing, I have noticeably been a lot less stressed and a lot more level-headed in general.
The Get-You-Started Gym Edit
I see this as a life-long commitment, which strangely enough I’ve found makes it easier to keep up with.
Rather than feeling like I have ‘fallen off the bandwagon’ if I have missed out on a few weeks of exercise because of a holiday, or whatever the reason may be, I take myself back a few steps and work through my program as normal.
Over the next few weeks and months I’ll be sharing more in detail about my exercise regime and commitment to fitness. Rocky will be sharing some of the exact workout programmes we have worked on together, and I’ll be sharing more lifestyle tips around exercise.
Now that I’ve opened up about this area of my life with you, I am looking forward to discussing it more regularly.
If you have any questions at all about committing to exercise, about my exercise regime or even about the fun stuff – like cute gym clothes – please drop me a comment below, tweet me or get in touch via email.
I’d love to hear from you!
What’s Your Take?
What is your relationship with exercise right now? I’d love to hear your thoughts!
Love, Monica x
A Few Thank Yous!
A huge huge thank you to Rocky for helping me to commit to exercise, and essentially for changing my life! Dramatic I know – but it’s true! Thank you also to the whole staff at New Energy for making me feel so welcome all those months ago, and for maintaining what I believe to be a truly lovely gym which helps many more people than just me. And thank you to my good friend Vic at Fitique for loaning us your beautiful class studio for our shoot!