Are you ready to start working on your fitness?
How do you know if you’re unfit?
You might be shaking your head at your screen right now, saying ‘George trust me, I know that I’m unfit!’
Stay with me for a minute though, because fitness means different things to all of us.
It might be getting out of breath climbing the stairs, struggling to keep up with running around after the kids or just a total lack of energy to do anything at the end of the day.
You might be comparing yourself with other people you see out there running marathons. You might be comparing yourself with a past version of YOU… the one who used to be fit, healthy and pain-free.
‘Fit enough’ might mean different things to different people, but in my experience the most important factor is ‘fit for LIFE’.
You don’t have to be able to complete an ironman, do 1000 press ups or hold a 5 minute plank to say that you’re fit.
A good starting point is having the physical fitness that allows you to live a full life.
To not be turning down opportunities that you’d really love to take, because you don’t think your body is going to be up to the task.
There are all kinds of averages and stats for the different components of fitness:
- Strength Endurance
- Skill (like balance, speed and co-ordination)
But you probably know with each of these without having to be compared with Mr or Mrs Average.
If you struggle to run to the end of the road, your endurance might need a bit of work. If you have to warm up before picking up the kids, strength could be an issue (unless you have grown up kids, then fair enough!).
If putting on your socks in the morning feels like a yoga session or if you keep falling over and hurting yourself (without being drunk!) you could benefit from working on your balance and flexibility.
Get clear on what every day activities you want to be able to easily complete, and that is your starting point.
“Don’t compare your fitness with that of other people – they’re on their journey and you are on yours”
– George Anderson
Aim for progress, not perfection
The big mistake that many people make is to thrown themselves full on into a demanding exercise schedule.
Not only does this not give your body time to adapt gradually, but it potentially sets you up for failure as you push up against existing commitments.
By setting yourself a target you feel confident you can meet, you make more steady progress, steadily build confidence and set out a base level of fitness you can then start to develop.
Fall in love with the process
‘You can’t get a body you love by doing the things that you hate’
Just because your friends can’t stop talking about how amazing running is, doesn’t mean that you’re going to have the same experience.
I often get asked ‘what is the best exercise to help me get fit?’ and the answer is always the same: whatever you enjoy.
You may have heard personal trainers talk about the ‘FITTA’ principle of exercise:
In other words, how often, how hard, how long and what type.
But the 4th one is most important: ADHERENCE.
If you don’t get something positive from the process itself, you’re not going to stick at it for long enough to see the benefits.
“An attitude of progress, not perfection takes the pressure off trying to live up to somebody else’s standards”
– George Anderson
The biggest barrier to getting fit
Over the years I’ve asked hundreds of people what their biggest challenge has been when it comes to improving their fitness.
Can you guess what the most common barrier is?
Of course you can… it’s ‘not enough time!’
People will tell you helpful things like pointing out how much time you waste on social media, checking emails or watching TV, and how you could use all these lost minutes to do some exercise.
But we all know that it doesn’t quite work like that (if only!)
There is, however, a common myth that you have to spend hours on end in the gym to get fit and this belief may be enough to prevent you from getting started.
The good news is that you can have an impact on your fitness in just a few minutes a day. If you can carve our longer stretches of time then great, but I might suggest that building the habit is your first priority. You can always develop this later, but work it into your routine and turn it into something that you ‘just do’ before over committing yourself.
I would suggest checking out my free core 14 day training program the ‘Plankathon’, which will take you just 5 minutes a day to complete, but still leave you with that ‘just worked out’ buzz that people seem to get addicted to 🙂
If you’re ready for a more whole-body boost to your fitness then I have a number of ‘micro-workout’ videos that I produced for my online membership program boost.
I bundled together some of the most popular programs and released them as a stand alone package, and they’re all available to download and start using immediately for just 30 quid.
There are some super effective 7 minute HIIT workouts, a 7 day stretch sequence, even an introduction to kettbells if you’re looking for something a bit more ‘out there’.
If you’re thinking of either getting started with running or getting a bit more serious with it, I’ve got your back. My beginner running program is free to download from over here, and there is more information about my marathon, half marathon and 10k programs over here.
All of these programs require a maximum of just 3 days a week of running, which makes it easier to fit into a busy schedule without causing too many conflicts.