Here are our top 4 tips on how to get started
- Review the activities that already build your fitness – and spend longer doing them
- Get into motion by switching to a more active life style:
- Take up a new and social activity that involves movement:
- Write a plan
Remember, the fitness level you need to participate in any activity is dependent on how you approach the activity. Some people want to ski at a moderate pace – in which case, the following activities should help you prepare. If you want to ski vigorously, then you should build in vigorous activity so that your body is in good condition.
Review the activities that already build your fitness – and spend longer doing themWrite a list of all the activities you did in the last week that warmed you up and made you breath slightly heavier than normal (these will counts as moderate activity).
Can you increase the number of times that you do these activities? Or can you increase the length of time?
Here are some typical examples of fitness building activities:
- Carry the shopping home (even lifting in a family food shop from the car can count).
- Running after the kids
- Walking to work or catching public transport (with at least 15 minutes of walking plus 3 or 4 flights of stairs)
- Moderate gardening
- Moderate DIY
- Moderate dancing
- Moderate swimming
- Moderate cycling
Tick any of the above that you do on a regular basis.
Which of these could you spend more time doing?
Get into motion by switching to a more active life style:
Switch to fitness;
Discard the lift - walk up as many stairs or escalators as you can. You’ll be amazed at how much this can help. Remember, that walking up stairs is one of the best ways to build up leg muscle for skiing, hill walking, trekking and so on.
Take the train instead of the car. The car is a great cause of poor fitness as you are required to sit very still for long periods of time. Even if you catch a cab to the station, you spend a lot more time moving about on a train so that you’ll end up feeling a lot fitter and a lot better.
If you work in an office, set an alarm so that every half an hour get up and walk to the water cooler and just stretch a little.
Make a decision to run up all stairs (even if you just do this at home you’d be amazed at how this can increase your fitness and energy levels).
Why not take a weekend to paint a room in your home? You’ll not only get a great result, but you’ll also build fitness too!
How about getting the saw out and chopping down those dead or ugly bushes and trees in the garden? Throw in a little digging and you’ll be in for the best of workouts.
Discard the car for at least two days (or more) per week. Walk, cycle or go by public transport. And if you’re brave enough, walk home with the shopping (after all our grandmothers did it all the time!).
Tip:Remember to make it sociable too by inviting a few friends or family to help you. (Tell them you’re on a fitness weekend and may be they’d like to build some fitness too!)
If you are going Skiing – try this out! Build your upper thigh strength with the wall crouch:
Crouch down and place your back against a wall so that your knees are bent at a right angle. Do this three times a day and measure the amount of time you can do this. After a week slowing increase the amount of time spent in this position by 5 seconds per day. (When you start you might only be able to manage half a minute).
Take up a new and social activity that involves movement: Swim twice a week - swimming is an excellent way to build overall fitness and suppleness. You’ll be surprised how many muscles skiing will use. Find some one to go with or join a club at your local pool. Lunch time swim – go for just 20 minutes – you’ll be surprised how much more effective you are in the afternoon, and how much better you’ll feel too. It’s also excellent for managing stress and building your fitness. Join a dance class – like Ceroc or Biodanza, it’s not only great fun – but you also get good moderate exercise. Start your search for a local class at Salsa Jive (you can also find lots of Salsa, Jazz, Calypso events here too). Dust down the bike and make a point of switching from the car to the bike – especially for short journeys. Buy a child seat from the local shop or encourage a friend to join you. Find out about your local cycle paths – here’s a great place to start.
Write yourself a plan
If you don’t plan to succeed, you plan to fail
You’ve just got to have a plan – even if it’s just a scrap of paper pinned to your notice board, you’ve just got to do it. So get writing now.
Keep the plan modest and focus on weekly goals. Then e-mail it to a few friends (ask them to encourage and support you). If you really want to get fit, make you plan public by posting to the fitness discussion board. That way you’ll have to stick to your plan.
Top tips for your fitness plan
- Set yourself small short term (ie weekly) goals and make sure these are challenging, yet realistic and achievable.
- Make sure you congratulate yourself when you have achieved your goals. What small motivating rewards could you give your self at the end of each week?
- Keep it sociable – ask your friends if they would like to join you
- Use activity cues to help you to stick to your planned activity. Try placing reminders around the house or office – stick one on your computer screen right now saying ‘I am a FIT and ACTIVE person’