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Fitness stimulates the Mind & Body. Where to Start?

Gary Brown

Physiotherapist & Fitness Coach

Beginning your fitness journey can be an intimidating and daunting task. With all the social media and hype about intense and frantic exercise regimens it’s no wonder people are frightened to go to the gym in case they get instructed to do something too daunting.

But it just doesn’t have to be this way. In fact the beginning of a fitness journey can be truly enlightening, where for the first time you become one with your body and mind.

Here are some simple steps/thoughts to get going!

  • Find out your ‘Baseline Activity Level’. Is it your walk to your car twice a day? Is it walking up a flight of stairs? Is it a game of tennis once a week etc? Record this in a diary, on your phone, on the fridge.
  • Become fully aware of this baseline, and as you do your activity daily/weekly become mindful of it and tell yourself that you are exercising. Do the activity deliberately and with intent, and enjoy it
  • Try and do more of the activity, the next day/week
  • When you become fully aware of it try and add in another activity or ‘challenge’. Park your car further away when shopping, walk the stairs twice, play tennis twice in the week, go for an extra walk with a friend or partner. If you do the activity alone bring some music! Make it as enjoyable and as positive as possible so your mind and body begin to desire it more.
  • Begin stretching and breathing exercises.
  • Begin to introduce some simple functional exercises like sitting back and down to a chair unsupported and repeat a few times. The next time do more repetitions.
  • As you develop a routine of stretching and simple exercise try and make your activities i.e. walking, cycling, tennis a little tougher by doing them quicker or for longer. Now you are developing an aerobic base.
  • Look back at your “Baseline Activity Level” and write down your new baseline.
  • Each week/month look to add a new baseline. Don’t think about where it’s going just keep challenging yourself to do a little bit more every day/week/month.
  • Naturally as your baseline improves so will your confidence and desire for more challenges and before you know it you will be taking on a lot more activity and exercise than you thought were possible!
  • Enjoy the small steps forward, don’t worry or compare yourself to those around you, just enjoy the change, the deliberate decision you’ve made to become healthier and fitter. When others are exercising frantically and intensely all around you, just smile, keep moving and know you are going somewhere you have never been before.
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