WAN NA GET FIT?
Easing you into that fit life, one newbie step at a time.
Fitness is hard. It’s not just the physical stuff – the running, the jumping, the training – it’s also tough to actually get off your butt and do stuff, especially when you, er, have no idea what you’re doing. Sometimes you’d rather be parked on the couch watching Netflix – don’t worry, you’re not alone, sister! If you want to up your fitness game, we’ve got it down to three simple steps. Game on.
Enter: the walking buddy. Ask Mum, Dad, a sibling or a mate to go for walks with you once or twice a week. Using a buddy system will naturally make you feel more obligated to choose exercise over that new episode of Teen Wolf, because someone else is relying on you – plus it’s a great way to catch up. When you’re ready for a solo challenge, set smaller goals; aim to go for a few shorter walks of 1-2km. Time each walk and keep a record – this will give you an idea of your fitness level and help you manage your #goals. Once you are comfortable walking the shorter distance and no longer feel like it’s enough of a challenge, try slowly jogging it. If you can’t jog the whole 2km straight up, simply alternate running and walking until you feel confident enough to run the full distance. As your fitness level builds, you will end up being able to run 2km, which means it’s time to reset your goals, either by extending the distance or amping up the pace. For every goal you set and achieve, make sure you take a moment to feel proud of yourself and acknowledge how far you’ve come. Way too often we forget to celebrate small achievements then lose motivation while working towards our bigger goals.
Let’s be real, gyms can be seriously overwhelming. There are machines everywhere, grunting people busy working out… tbh, it’s all pretty confronting! But fitness queens like Kayla Itsines and apps such as the Nike+ Training Club offer newbiefriendly exercise programs that are easy to follow and an awesome way to start exercising at home (see below for our favourites). These illustrated guides take you through a circuit-style series of exercises to be completed in tabata timed training sessions. Wait, what? Tabata means you spend 30 seconds on each exercise with a 20-second break in between, and you do this three times in a row for each exercise. These circuits consist of two or more styles of exercising: cardio and resistance. Cardio is high-intensity exercises that will get your heart pumping, such as burpees and squats, while resistance exercises are slower weight-based workouts that help work and define muscles. Both are equally important to your overall fitness. The best part about a DIY workout guide is that you can do it outdoors in your backyard, at the park or beach, or in the comfort of your living room. Once you’ve nailed your workout routine and are brave enough to hit a gym class or two, you will feel more comfortable because you’ll totally know how to squat or lunge when the instructor tells you to.
If you’ve been dreaming of slaying Hanna and Emily’s “Bang Bang” routine from PLL, here’s your chance. Beginners’ classes – for yoga, dance, Pilates, whatever you’re feelin’! – are an easy way to start exercising and can be super-fun. It’s true, things can get kind of confusing when your teacher starts throwing out words such as “downward dog”, “plié’” and “frappé’” (the last one is not just a delicious icy beverage). But the best way to avoid any awkward feels is to do a little background research on the class; you can find loads of information online including terminology/lingo and brief rundowns on what you can expect. The gym’s website usually gives a bit about who is taking the class, too. You can even browse Youtube to find mini tutorials that explain how to do certain moves and their names so you can be prepped before you walk in. The great thing about going to a designated beginners’ class is everyone around you is in the same position, and, just like you, they’re looking to make friends and have fun.