If the thought of getting fit frightens you, you should be looking into boosting your activity levels but at a slower pace. Bear in mind that everyone needs to start somewhere and the only way to get yourself active and healthier is to make that significant lifestyle change. Improving your physical health can have a distinct impact on your mental health, so there all all-round benefits to keeping fit.
If you believe you are extremely unfit and need a helping hand, how are you able to boost your fitness levels to achieve long-term health? Here are a few essential tips to consider:
1. Understand why you are doing it
Before deciding to get fit, ask yourself why you are doing it. Is it a result of a health condition, injury, or perhaps you are looking to get yourself back into shape? Before committing to a program, you need to contemplate the motivation behind your decision in order to push forward, or you may find yourself making excuse after excuse for putting it off.
While you should be aware of your incentive, don’t judge yourself. A fitness regime needs a great deal of commitment and positivity, so you need to put your heart and soul into it and set yourself achievable goals.
2. Set goals
By setting yourself goals, you can measure your progress and work toward realistic targets. However, if you struggle to keep active due to a health condition, remember to be kind to yourself and understand that you may not be able to push yourself as far as you would like.
If you have ambitions of running a marathon in the near future, don’t expect results instantly. A substantial amount of preparation is required for such a huge challenge, so if you feel it is a little too much right now, don’t beat yourself up about it. A simple jog around the park or playing soccer with your kids may be enough right now to keep you active on a day-to-day basis before you start training properly.
Learn to get to grips with your limitations. You could start with a 5-minute walk or even just taking the stairs at work rather than relying on the elevator. Starting your fitness journey doesn’t have to be difficult. If you overthink it, you may scare yourself out committing, so try and incorporate movement into your daytime routine. You can then build on longer timescales and intensity over time.
3. Monitor your health
Another way to keep motivated in the initial fitness stages is to monitor your health, whether that be your heart or breathing during exercise. You could use a heart-rate monitor to check whether you are burning enough fat, but not pushing yourself to the extent of potential risk.
Likewise, it is good to learn breathing techniques to help you get through sessions with ease.
If you are suffering from a condition like COPD, for example, you may find fitness more of a struggle than most people. Living with COPD can limit your normal pursuits, especially vigorous activity. However, there are various treatments available to keep it under control so still have the opportunity to stay active.
4. Plan your week
To keep track of your fitness regime, it would be an idea to plan a schedule, so you know what you are going to do each day and at what times. Keep these ‘fitness periods’ separate from work and social activities and don’t let anything come up which will prevent you from sticking to your plan.