Usually we think that getting started with a new exercise and nutrition regime is the hard bit, as we discussed in a recent blog. However, experience and chatting to our members can tell quite a different story. It’s fitting fitness into your life that’s the real challenge for many of us.
Here at Perform, we’re not about 28-day transformations (although we often see great, sustainable results in that timeframe). We’re about longevity and lifestyle change. In real terms, we’re about the hard bit – fitting fitness into your life for good.
Official UK guidelines say adults should do strength exercises – which Perform’s programmes have well covered off – and 150 minutes of moderate activity or 75 minutes of vigorous activity, every week.
That’s more than 20 minutes a day if you take the moderate route and that seems like a heck of a lot to pack into our already busy lives. And that doesn’t even take into account thinking about nutrition.
It seems a lot, but it isn’t if you work smart. So with that in mind and September seeing us welcome lots of new faces into the Perform fitness family, we scoured the internet for expert advice and asked some of our members for some practical, living-it advice to help us all make long term changes.
This is what we found. If you think we missed anything, let us know.
Fitting Fitness into Your Life: Advice from Perform Members
Train with a Friend
Aaron, Perform Personal Trainer
“There are so many benefits of training with a friend. Firstly, it’s just fun – you have someone close to celebrate your achievements large and small with, as well as someone to laugh with when things don’t go to plan. Secondly, you motivate one another and often get a little competitive, which is great. Finally, you’re less likely to miss training if it means letting a friend down as well, so you’re more likely to stick with it.”
DID YOU KNOW?: Next Wednesday 26th September is National Fitness Day, so all next week we are running a “Bring a friend to train” week, so you can invite a friend to discover what Perform is all about, free of charge. We’ll also be running an Open Gym session Saturday 29th September. To arrange bringing a friend along to train or to attend the Open Gym just email Peter.
Identify Additional Benefits
Nikki, Perform Gym member since September 2016
“Don’t just work out, work out why – identifying the benefits of your fitness regime outside of just getting fitter or losing weight. For example, I’ve learned that in the two hours after exercise, you get a huge creativity burst, which is perfect for me as I am a PR and writer. I find that if I put my head down straight after a training session, I get twice as much work done as I would usually in two hours. Finding other brilliant benefits of training gives you even more reason to stick to it.”
Make a Routine
Laura, Perform Gym member since June 2018
“Have a routine and stick to it. I found that getting in to a gym routine by having set days for training while I was off work has helped me to maintain it when I have gone back to work. Also pack your gym bag/set up clothes the night before so you have no excuses!”
Use Visual Motivation
Alexandra, Perform Gym member since January 2018
“As ridiculous as it sounds I made loads of things for my wall like mood boards with quotes and photos to remind myself where I want to be, to keep myself motivated. But the real thing that keeps me going is Peter and Aaron, when I’m feeling sorry for myself and can’t be bothered they tell me to get on with it and nine times out of 10 I feel better for doing it. Even when I’m not eating great if I keep training and I know I’ll get back on track eventually.”
Get Meal Prepping
Peter Meakin, Perform Gym Founder
“Proper meal prep is so important to staying motivated and fitting good nutrition into your life for good. I’m not saying eat broccoli and chicken out of Tupperware all the time. It’s more about thinking about what you like/want to eat and when. Realising your own time limitations and finding solutions. Check out this video (just excuse the cheesy American stuff. The useful info starts at around 1 minute 55 seconds in.”
And here’s some great advice we found across the internet:
Make Alarms Hard to Reach
(A great one for our Perform early birds that have a habit of hitting snooze – Peter)
If you need to get up early to exercise or it just doesn’t happen make sure your alarm clock is well away from your bed. Put it near your gym bag so that once you’ve got up to turn it off, you might as well keep going!
Be Kind to Yourself
Fitting fitness into your life is important, but not at the expense of your wider wellbeing. The demands of life mean you’ll sometimes just not be up to training – work stress, family, tiredness can all have an impact. So be realistic, don’t set goals like getting to the gym five days a week, when that might not be possible. Your motivation will take a knock when you inevitably fail at your unachievable goals.
Also, be smart about illness. We all get sick. As a rule if it’s above the neck (a cold or headache) and you feel generally ok, you can do something. Below the neck (if you’re having trouble breathing) then rest.