New Exercise Habits…

Happy New Year to you all and I hope you are having a great 2020 so far. January can be a hard month, it must surely be the longest of the calendar.  The best part of this time of year though is the fact that the Gyms and Classes are full with both new and existing members.  But how many will still be there by the end of February?  Unfortunately, every year we see those new enthusiasts drop off within the first couple of months.  What can be done to stop this mass exodus and why what is it that keeps the regulars carrying on?  I have said, many times before, that exercise needs to become a habit.  We all know that habits are hard to break so it is imperative that exercise becomes part of your daily life.  All it takes is 6 weeks to become a habit, no breaks in that time, just keep going along and taking part.  Once you pass the 6 week marker then it is easier to keep going.  Which is what the regulars have achieved, they have made it part of their lives where it would feel unacceptable to stop going.  What excuses do you make to not go?  Over the many years I have been teaching, I have pretty much heard them all.  I have recently started a 10 Week Group Fitness programme aimed at new or returning members to exercise.  In this case I asked them to pay up front for the classes.  The response has been overwhelming and the attendance shows that when people have to financially commit then they want to ensure that they get value for money.  By joining a gym or class with a fixed price, the impetus will be to get your money’s worth.  Scheduling your exercise into your week’s agenda will help you to stay focused. The trick is to make it as much a part of your normal life as say cleaning your teeth.  An important factor when starting exercising is to start slow.  Fitness is all about the cumulative benefits and it is far better to start with a small amount of activity and work your way up to more extended periods over time.  How many people rush straight in and try out high intensity workouts and are then left very sore, which in turn can make them give up.

Research, in Britain, shows that around a quarter of adults have never exercised at all and that of those who do then more women exercise than men.  What stops you from attending; no time, no energy, feel self-conscious, want to lose weight before coming.  If you have used those excuses, then go and speak to an Instructor or Personal Trainer.  A more tailored approach may make you feel different and more positive, giving you the confidence to try.  I have seen so many people come in for the first time, nervous, shy and with some trepidation but after welcoming them and giving reassurance it is then fantastic to see those same clients leave, feeling on top of the world.

They may be red of face and sweating but they have achieved something that they haven’t done before or for a long time.  Not only are we working on your physical well-being, we are also working on your mental wellness.  I love how my classes will chat and laugh, all working hard but supporting and encouraging each other.  It is paramount that you find that exercise that leaves you buzzing with achievement.  I don’t expect everyone to be as passionate about exercise as I am, to me it is a way of life and a natural mood lifter.  It has helped me through the darkest of days and given me stability when the road has been rocky.  I know that there are those of you who will never fall in love with it, therefore, I want you to love how it makes you look and feel.  This is the key – learn to enjoy the physical and mental benefits it brings, make new friends, which in turn will open up your social life.  My classes have sprung a ‘walking group’, ‘cycling group’ plus a ‘days out’ group.  Who would think that you can gain so much by just taking that first step.  Give it a go and please try and push through to March, you might then find that you don’t ever want to give up the feeling J