Some determination, a motivating factor, change in attitude and little lifestyle changes can help you stay fit in the longer run.
Dalton Wong, trainer to Hollywood star Jennifer Lawrence and the co-author of ‘The Feel Good Plan’, tells us his top tips on how to start and stick to a workout plan while still making time to enjoy your summer.
Many people often cite lack of time as their reason for not working out. What advice can you give people for finding the time for fitness during even the busiest and most stressful days?
People need to make their health a priority just as much as going to work is a priority, or checking emails is a priority. You need to make some time for your workout and start by just turning up. Also breaking it down into smaller chunks will make this easier.
Rather than think “I’m going to do a 1 hour workout three times this week”, instead just do 15 minutes of stretching when you wake up in the morning or maybe a 15 minute workout of squats, or lunges while watching TV. Then at the weekend when you have more time, that’s when it’s easier to go to the gym for a long workout, or enjoy a bike ride. But it’s actually when you are the busiest that you need to make time to work out the most — your body needs it and in fact will respond even more.
What advice would you give someone new to exercise to encourage them to stick with it?
Try not to think of it as exercise, try to think of it as an activity that you like. If you are a fan of running, then pick a park that you like, if yoga is for you, book into a class. Make it fun! If it becomes a chore you won’t stick to it, so join a netball team, a basketball club, mix it up in the gym — choose something you actually enjoy.
And how can those who are already exercise fans avoid boredom, stay motivated, and keep seeing results?
Again, mix it up and change up your routine. Not only will it keep things interesting and avoid boredom, but also the body is so good at adapting that changing your workout will actually help you get fitter and stronger. So if you’ve been lifting weights for 4-6 weeks, change to a yoga class, if you’ve been doing an indoor workout, take it outdoors. Don’t keep doing the easy thing.
What is your daily routine to stick to your own personal ‘feel good plan’?
I do something physical every day, normally Jujitsu three times a week and something for flexibility twice a week. But by every day I mean Monday to Friday. At the weekends I make time for my family and to relax, but even then I normally end up doing something physical, running around with the kids, or playing football with them.
What is your number one piece of advice for achieving better health?
My number one piece of advice would be to make sure you have a motivating factor to do it. For me for example, I want to live a long healthy life to enjoy it with my kids. Your reason for your new habits has to be personal to you or you’ll fall back into the old habits. It has to be something that’s true to you.
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