Making Exercise Work For You

12-week body transformation packages. 30-day plank challenges. Couch to 5k. Myriads of gym programs and classes. Fun runs. A step competition among friends.

12-week body transformation packages. 30-day plank challenges. Couch to 5k. Myriads of gym programs and classes. Fun runs. A step competition among friends.

Every day, we are bombarded with anecdotes in the office, Facebook ads and Instagram stories telling us how to make exercise work for us as an individual. But how can something directed to the public be individual? How can something so generic really work for you?

We’re all different. From our lifestyle, to our work to our body type, we all have something that makes us unique. And the way we exercise should reflect that.  If you’re thinking about how to make your 30-minutes a day work for you, here are some handy tips to get you started:

1. Look at your schedule

Although the latest influencer will make finding 30 minutes a day to exercise look easy, you need to sit down and see how you can fit prioritising your health into your week. Book it like a doctor’s appointment, and don’t forget to include time to and from your chosen activity!

2. Make a goal

It can be hard to get motivated without a goal in mind, so it is important to get in touch with what you want out of exercise. Do you want to be able to run 5km? Maybe you want to be able to do a 50kg squat? Perhaps your goal is as simple as being able to chase after your kids, or take the stairs without being out of breath. Whatever it is, make sure it is relevant, achievable and something that gets you excited! Jot it down in as much detail as possible and pop it on the fridge as a reminder of your “why”.

3. Chat to your local gym trainers

Now that you’ve got a goal, it is the best time to chat to your local gym trainers about putting together a plan for you. Not just anyone – you personally. They can write you a program, navigate you through it, and then keep it updated so that you progress to your goal. How cool is that!

4. Realise that life happens

So now you have your program, but the kids got sick. Or a holiday came up. Or you had to cover a shift. And you miss a session or two. That’s okay! Life happens for all of us – no one can be perfect all the time or it would be boring. If you do miss some sessions, you can substitute by going for a walk, or doing a yoga session on YouTube. If even that isn’t going to happen, keep your “why” in mind and show up again when you can. No big deal!

5. Enjoy it!

This is the most important tip of them all. If you aren’t enjoying what you are doing (this counts for anything), you are not going to stick with it. Maybe exercise is a bit arduous for you. That’s fine – bring some of your favourite music along or convince a buddy to come with you. Not liking an exercise? Tell your gym trainer and get it substituted (I promise, we don’t mind!). If it’s really not working out, start brainstorming. Individuality is the key – maybe you’re just not doing the exercise that’s suited for you. There are heaps of options out there so keep looking!

When it comes to finding your 30 minutes, prioritising your “me” time, getting support from the experts, finding your “why”, being kind to yourself when life gets in the way and finally doing what you enjoy are the key to making it work for you.

So go on – what are you waiting for?

Written by Sam Todd
Personal Trainer, Own Your Game Fitness

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