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  • Writer's pictureCamille Visser

Health and Fitness. Where to begin?

Updated: May 12, 2020

Where to start on the journey to becoming physically healthier.

I am a firm believer that the path to happiness and wellbeing is through a fit and health mind, body and soul. I once had a co-worker of mine tell me she wants to become physically healthier but exclaimed “Where do I start Camille!?”. That got me thinking, what a good question. For people that are in the health and fitness industry it is second nature to know exactly what diet to eat and what specific exercises to do and the training they need to reach their physical goals. It can be easy for yoga teachers to know

how to calm the mind through meditation and use mindfulness in their daily lives. For someone who is completely new to this lifestyle it can all seem too hard and daunting to know where to start and what to start with.

So where do you start? These are some suggestions from my own experiences that I have found have made such a difference in my own life when it came to becoming overall physically healthier

Goal Setting: Firstly, decide what your goal is. Is it to lose weight? To gain muscle? Or to be overall healthier and stronger? Losing weight does not mean doing hours of cardio and feeling hungry all the time. If you are starting to lift weights you may even find you actually eat more! Don’t be afraid of this. Not having a goal is like packing up the car to go camping but having no destination of where you are heading.

Temptations: Be aware of what you eat and what you are actually putting into your mouth. A good exercise is to spend a day recording everything you eat. This will help you to become aware of what you are actually consuming. Throw out anything unhealthy from your cupboard and fridge (or give them away). You will thank yourself in those moments of weakness when you feel like you can devour a whole block of chocolate. Take away the temptations.

Don’t use the word “Never”: When we tell ourselves we are not allowed something, it then makes us want it even more. If we change our way of thinking to sometimes, rather than never it makes it more realistic. Planning when you are going devour that burger and chocolate bar can be likened to someone planning their sleep in. Each morning when your alarm goes off and you struggle out of bed for work it’s the thought of the weekend when you get to sleep in and not wake up to your alarm that pushes you. Or the pair or shoes you want to buy and are saving up for. You are not denying yourself a sleep in or buying the shoes, but rather planning it into your week as something to look forward to. This is the same way you can look at eating. It’s not that you are not allowed to eat cake or burgers or chocolate but planning a time in the week when you can.

Be Realistic: You cannot wake up one morning and jump into the lifestyle of a bodybuilder or athlete. Take small steps and slowly make changes. Concentrate on changing one thing at a time. Drink water when you are thirsty rather than a coke or juice. Eat good carbs like potatoes and kumara (sweet potatoes), brown rice and pasta and you will feel less and less like eating sugar. Shift the focus to a more positive way of thinking by eating foods rich in vitamins and minerals and nourishing the body rather than focusing on the foods you cannot eat. Remember we are all human so don’t beat yourself up about the chocolate biscuit you ate at morning tea break. Brush it off and continue, remember it is a journey and there will be times you stuff up (maybe really, really badly). Just remind yourself why you started in the first place and pick yourself up and move on.

Get moving: Winter is coming on this side of the world and the thought of going outside for a run in the freezing cold and dark evenings can turn anyone off exercise. Below is a simple workout using exercises we should all hopefully know. You can do this in your own home without the use of a gym or weights.

15 X Press Ups

20 X Jumping Squats

20 X Sit Ups

30 X Star Jumps

If you are thinking about changing your lifestyle, to lose some weight or become fitter and healthier, remember you may not notice any changes within the first two weeks so don’t give up.

Start with small changes and keep going, consistency is the key. It’s not going to be easy but I promise, with your newfound energy and quality of life, you will love yourself for it!

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