20/04/18 Beginner’s Guide to Exercise


You know what they say…

“If stress burned calories, I’d be a supermodel!”

Make that stress, worry, self-deprecation or procrastination! We stress about needing to get in shape, worry we won’t be able to do it in the allotted time we give ourselves to, say we can’t do it and debate how we will do it and inevitably keep putting it off!

Here is my simple guide to getting started…



It’s easy to get overwhelmed with how many exercise classes, workouts, programmes and apps there are, especially when each one touts itself as being the best. Not only can it take an inordinate amount of time to pick something to sign up to, then you face the battle of when to start, “Well I can’t start this week because I’ve got such and such on, oh and then next week I can’t because of that thing…” Rather than trying to pick something you think will be the most effective or give you the quickest result, pick something you think you will actually enjoy and can imagine yourself getting into. As for when to start you really have to get strict with yourself. Set a date and get out of the way of your own excuses!


This follows on from my last point. You have to decide when you can fit exercise into your diary. Try to pick times you know you will be able to stick to most weeks. It’s no good signing up for something then realising you can only get once or twice a month for example. Lots of people tell me they find it hardest to get motivated in the evenings after they’ve had a long day. But I ask you could they realistically see themselves getting up an hour earlier and fitting in a workout BEFORE starting their day?  I know for most family households mornings can be organised chaos! Finding motivation can be tough no matter what time of day so it’s better to pick timeslots based on when you know you have free time. 


‘Because you should’ isn’t going to be a good enough reason to keep you motivated and exercising through all seasons. I ‘should’ clean the house but that never seems to spur me into action! Sometimes even when motivation strikes and you feel really excited about starting something you can just get in from work and go ‘nah, I can’t be bothered now.’  You have to find a ‘why’ which will always trump ‘I can’t be bothered.’ Your ‘why’ can’t just be to lose weight either. Why do you want to lose weight? What’s the reason? You have to dig deeper. 


For most people they will have tried getting into regular exercise over and over again. This means those methods they tried before obviously didn’t work for them. Don’t just keep trying the same thing over and over again if it isn’t working for you! Try something new.


If you are only going to be exercising once a week then you need to make sure you are not expecting to see drastic results fast! You also need to consider the intensity of the exercise you are doing when you manage your expectations. Expecting a quick fix will set you up for disappointment leading to de-motivation.  


Of course this goes without saying but only you know how much effort you are putting in. Be honest with yourself and ask could you be doing more. It’s easy to reel off a list of what we can’t do but think about what you CAN do. Can’t move your right arm? Just move your left arm. Where there is a will there is a way. 


How will you know how well you are doing unless you decide how you will check in on your progress? Without assessing how well you are doing regularly it can be easy to think not much has changed and give up. When you get into the habit of checking in with yourself you will start to understand just how much improvement is being made and the small changes won’t be overlooked.  This will give you the confidence to keep going.