Guest blogger Anthea Booysen was late in joining the fitness party but here is the advice she wishes had been included in the invite.
Growing up I was not active or sporty to say the least. Fast forward many years later and I joined a gym and started exercising. I was in my mid 20’s at the time and that was the first time I realised how much fun exercise was. Over the years I have done boot camps and been to different gyms before finding what works for me. I also took up running and I love it. But what do I wish I’d known all those years ago when I started exercising?
#1 Get the correct footwear.
Your knees and ankles will thank you for this! We all have our favourite brands but go and get proper advice before buying running shoes – this is an investment not just an expense. Good running or cycling shoes are not cheap but neither is fixing the damage a pretty but ill-fitting pair of shoes can cause.
#2 Get a sports watch.
I’ve had a few and my ultimate favourite is my Garmin. I record every workout and it keeps track of my steps, my heart rate and tells me when to move (when I’ve been sitting for too long at my desk).
#3 Remember that everyone was once a beginner.
I used to see fit and experienced runners and automatically think “that will never be me”. Already I felt defeated with an attitude like that! Remember that fitness is not a contest – it is something you are doing for yourself. So your journey will be different from others but it will change (as will your goals) the more you work at it. People aren’t born fit, they work on it each time they work out.
#4 Group exercise is a lot of fun.
I remember my first boot camp – I didn’t know what to expect but after the first session I knew it was going to be enjoyable. Same with gym classes. I do love the treadmill but I’m glad I’ve discovered how much fun group exercise can be.
#5 Treat it like a priority and you’ll thank yourself later.
When you look at your day and give precedence to a workout, it will get easier to stick to it in future. I plan my workouts on a Monday morning, put them in my diary and aim to tick each one off by the end of the week. Obviously there are times I cannot do them all – I NEVER workout when I’m ill and this year has brought with it a terrible flu! But when I’m healthy I make workouts a priority.
I may have been late to join in the joy of being active but better late than never.