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How to start exercising…. Go!

The only restrictions are those imparted by a medical professional. Your own comfort levels aren’t to be trusted right now, these are what have lead you here so when it’s raining outside on the eve of your first ever jog – get out there, it won’t kill you! (Just avoid muddy slopes!) Clearly, there are exercises that are better suited to your level of fitness, but never is there a time where complete inactivity will benefit you! So, as by Dr Kenneth Cooper, the man credited with inventing aerobics, said: “We do not stop exercising because we grow old. We grow old because we stop exercising.”

Crack on!

Imagine a better life…

Whatever you age, you should be able to walk, talk, bend over and open a jar of coffee without turning purple or wheezing. It’s your right. Imagine a stronger yet leaner you, wearing a slim fitting ensemble and the admiring glances it brings you. It’s not vanity, it’s pride.

Plan ahead

The most important thing with starting a health and fitness mission is to not over think it and build it up in to a huge ordeal! It’s simple – you’re going to start exercising on *choose date, write it in the diary*(schedule in all your week’s exercise slots). This can be your first jog, your gym induction, a local aerobics class… Plan it. Do it. No ifs, no (big) butts, no maybes – that is what is happening on October 1st. Having said that, goals are good. E.g Week one: Once around the block and 10 squats when I get in. Week two: Attempt twice around the block, 15 squats when I get in.

Timing is key

There’s no short cut to getting fit. A lot of my clients work twelve-hour days; others work twelve-hour days and have kids to sort out, too. Others only have themselves to worry about. What they all have in common is that they all made a pledge to carve out a slice of time every day to dedicate to their health and fitness regime. Give it a month of genuine effort before deciding this exercise isn’t for you. Then try another. Experts say it takes the average person about 21 days for a new activity to become a habit and six months for it to become part of your personality. After 6 months, you won’t be average – you’ll be an above average, super version of your former self!

Be realistic

Remember, if you want it then you are actually are going to have to change something, do things and make trade-offs, such as daily chocolate bars, a little sleep or TV time, Thursday night drinks… It’s going to peee you off sometimes. But remember, it is a trade-off, an exchange for something much better! Basically, be realistic, expect the odd challenge and focus on the end result

Don’t diet

Whether you’re looking to bulk up or get leaner, make protein every meal’s main even. Don’t diet. Fat is burned by muscle, not starvation. Starvation makes your body want to keep hold of every gram of fat you consume. Muscles, however, burns fat and so you need to ensure they’re ‘well fed’ with the right kind of fuel so that they keep on burn’n… Protein: meats, eggs and dairy, some seeds (eg pumpkin), some grains (quinoa), tofu… There are many sources of protein, look them up. Plan your food shop – I suggest this is a good time to try online shopping because you can relax, consider your purchases and not be tempted naughty impulse buys!


Before you crack on, remind yourself that you’re human and therefore can’t get it 100% right every time. Punishing yourself doesn’t help but massively hiders. You will fall off the wagon, you will give in to temptation, you will regress somehow occasionally – but this is a lifestyle change, for life – so you have a lifetime to improve and as you do, you will get it less wrong more often. Like a big baby, if you fall just get back up.

If in doubt, ask an expert! [e-hem] We aren’t born knowing how to use weights, or an in-depth knowledge of nutrition. So if in doubt, ask an expert. I’m not just saying this because I am a personal trainer, but rather because it’s true! You think Elle ‘The Body’ Machperson was born that way?!


The end (or, just the beginning…)

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