Tips to get started exercising

Linn Hansen from Kristiansand in Norway, run her own personal training studio in London and would like to get more people exercising and out of the comfort of their own home.

A New Year brings hope, aspirations, resolutions and excitement. Cheering to a New Year energised with sparkling bubbles we promise ourselves and loved ones that this year is another change to get it right. In January it’s time to start lose weight, shape up and eat only salad and greens.   As the owner of my own personal training business and fitness competitor, I know what it takes to change old habits, get ready and start moving. I work with many different people, some would like to lose weight or gain muscle whilst others simply want to get and stay healthy. I have challenged my own will power many times and also know what it takes to success. Are you one of those who need a bit of motivation and drive to really get started?  Here are my top tips:

About myself:

I am 36 years old and I have competed in fitness in four years. I debuted with first place in the British Championship and since then competed in world championships. I run my own personal gym in Kensington for the last six years and help everyday people to change habits and get in better shape. Fevennen ( * Norwegian newspaper) contacted me for a regular fitness blog  in their sport section,  where my initial contribution is about how to get started with exercise.

1.  What motivates you?

Motivation varies over time and can come from within ourselves or from the external environment which surrounds us.  What motivates you initially to start training, and what keeps you going long term might be different drives. It could be an initial health problem or a comment from someone around you triggering the initial change. Later, it could be a competition, or the results of your training such as better energy, the new body shape or the physiological aspects of training that keep you going.  

It’s a good idea to reflect of your real drive and continue to remind yourself of the reasons why you are doing what your do along the way. Is it because friends or families encourage you, social aspects, new trendy gym, or do you really want this as you want to better yourself?  The inner motivation is all about you and it can stick so deep that it does not matter what others say and think. If you manage to find your way to the inner drive it can really go far. If you do not already have the inner motivation, it can be induced or developed by comparing the pros and cons of continuing or changing the way you have it today.

 2. Prepare your gym gear in advance

Prepare your clothes and gym bag the night before and get mentally ready for training. It prevents stress, and slip ups the following day. You know what you have to do and it’s just to turn up and do itJ

 3. Time

Make a regular appointment with yourself in advance, and stick to these times every week. This is your time, and your one hour you choose to prioritise and invest in yourself. Switch off your phone and your can effectively return back to your busy schedule afterwards. You will find that it will help both mentally and physiological to switch off and getting into a solid routine will help you to carry on with your training long term.  

If you are new to exercise, I recommend training 3 times a week and increase gradually, either with intensity or frequency over time. Avoid the ‘ all or nothing – mentality – trap’ and start off with a routine that is feasible and you are able to sustain over time.   

4. FOOD

For maximum training effect you need to think carefully about what to eat before and after exercise. Remember to eat 1-1.5 hours before training and immediately after training. Many have too little energy or simply the wrong type of energy to support quality training and as a consequence performing and achieving sub-optimal.

 5. Specific, Realistic and Attainable Goals

What is your goal? What is it you would like to achieve? Pick one goal and prioritise this with focus and determination. For example, losing 5 kilograms within 4 weeks is a concrete and attainable goal. Establish a training and ideally a diet strategy or seek advice if you are unsure on what to do to achieve your goal. Larger targets can be broken down into smaller pieces with shorter time frame makes it less intimidating to start. Take notes of progression and log results along the way to make sure you are on the right track.

6. Strategy

Running, cycling, strength training, yoga ... what is the most effective training strategy to achieve your goal? Circuit training, running, boxing, yoga, and heavy weight training… There are many methods and they produce a very different result.  It’s important that you start off with a program suitable for your body type, fitness levels and something you can learn to enjoy.

7. Train to become better at doing something

Focus on yourself and your training progress and consider training a process with different stages of learning. As you repeat the movement and making sure your training is progressing you will start to notice results. The movements you stated off with become easier and  you are becoming ‘ better’ at performing the same movement. You will start to feel stronger, fitter, leaner and the sense of achievement can be a massive motivating factor in itself. If you feel insecure or uncertain, it’s a good investment  to seek help from a personal trainer.  

8. Reward yourself

Remember to reward yourself along the way. Your end goal might be short or long term but schedule in small treats along the way makes the process more enjoyable. Supportive rewards might be new running shoes, massage, new jeans or anything else that can positively influence your journey.

Getting stated with exercise is all about mental preparation and planning and structure of training and time. Developing a desire to change and following a strategy and training programme that your trust will lead to results makes the ‘ doing’ easier to carry through. I wish you all the best of healthy for the new year, and look forward to see a new, fitter and happier You in a few weeks :-)