This is my favourite question – if you’ve asked this, then you’ve already started!
The first part of solving any problem is accepting it. If you are asking me how you can get healthier then you have admitted there is a problem and asked for help – so well done!
However, it is essential that we make a plan; the details are up to you but the more planning, the greater chance of success.
When can I exercise?
Start by picking 3 days to exercise – don’t over do it at the start or you’ll risk injury, and your body needs time to acclimatise to changes.
But how long does a work out take?
So in total that’s 50 – 60 minutes on each of your exercise days. Lets call it an hour, 3 times per week. There are roughly 84 hours in a week when you’re awake so make a commitment to yourself that 3 of these hours are for you and you alone to better yourself.
Great so now you have 3 hours per week blocked out in your calendar for exercise…congratulations!
What am I going to eat?
This is a big subject here so let me try to simplify it for you:
On rest days, try to only have carbohydrates for breakfast (see my list of foods in the ‘Nutrition’ section in the menu bar at the top of the page). I would recommend oats with flaxseed meal, mixed berries and a teaspoon of honey to taste or 1 slice of multi seed brown bread with mashed avocado, smoked salmon and 2 eggs scrambled. However, for the remainder of the day – NO CARBS. So lunch could be something like roast chicken breast with mixed leaf salad, avacado, beetroot, tomatoes, and cucumber with a drizzle of olive oil and balsamic vinegar in moderation. Dinner could be steak with 3 green veg or salmon stir-fry.
On exercise days try to only have carbs around your exercise time. If you exercise in the morning then have the same breakfast as above after your morning workout. If you do your workout first thing in the morning you wont necessarily need food before, this is known as ‘Fasted cardio’ and has been proven to have a good effect on fat burning.
If your exercise time is in the afternoon then for breakfast have an omelette with mixed peppers. A banana is a good source of energy before a workout. After your workout have lunch, maybe a jacket potato with tuna mayonnaise to refuel. Evening meal, Chicken with spiralised courgette and butternut squash.
If your exercise time is in the evening then for breakfast have an omelette with mixed peppers. For lunch maybe a chicken salad. After your workout have dinner, maybe a rice Bolognese to refuel.
What exercise am I going to do?
This all depends on your current physical condition. You may be over weight or obese – like I once was. You may also be painfully thin and under nourished, or in between and just have no idea where to start.
My suggestion would be to assess your current state. For instance, if you are over weight you’ll want to do more cardio based exercise and if you’re under weight you would likely chose resistance training. If you’re in between, you have a choice because both cardio and resistance training burn calories to help you slim down but resistance training has the added bonus of muscle growth or toning.
Some ideas below to help you choose:
Cardio for Weight loss (Non gym)
Cardio for weight loss (gym)
For resistance training I would personally recommend joining a gym and paying a personal trainer to show you proper form and technique as well as to set you an exercise and nutrition plan. This will speed up the process and limit any injuries.
Joining a gym is a great way to train alongside likeminded people and you may even make new friends! It can be a lovely social place and you can also swap fitness tips to keep things interesting.
Where is my head at?
Right, you’ve already made the first two steps towards your goal and future healthy self so pat yourself on the back. The next step is to start and keep it up. Sounds simple right?
Well I’m going to tell you something you probably don’t know about your mind – IT HATES CHANGE!
Watch out for the days when your brain says “This exercise stuff is hard, why don’t we just stay in, eat pizza and watch TV in the warm and comfy chair”, or “Its raining outside, let’s do the exercise tomorrow when its stopped raining” or the best one “We are late today, we don’t have time to exercise, lets do it another day”. I promise you this will happen in one way or another.
The good news is that now you have been warned; tell yourself you are doing this because you choose to – nothing else.
Ok so now you have a better idea of where to start, I want you to use this information and get started.
Please leave a comment below if you found this article helpful and please also write a simple “I started” if you read this and actually took the next step. I’d love to hear how you get on.
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Good luck and you’ll be hearing from me soon.