So you’ve made up your mind to finally go through with your New Year Resolution. You’ve even gone out and bought yourself a brand new sports gear wardrobe, complete with the trendiest pair of sneakers in town. Heck you’ve even gone and bought this snazzy new gym water bottle – “one which can mix protein shakes as well as keep your beverage cool”, the shopkeeper quipped. Through ClassDive you’ve selected all the workouts you want to do. Your running shoes are on and you’re simply rearing to go. GO!
Fast-forward 2 weeks, you’re feeling exhausted and lethargic. Your body is aching in places you didn’t even know had feeling and your mind is burnt out. It’s interfering majorly with your work and your Boss (in some cases the family is the Boss) are riding you up and you just can’t anymore. The motivation has fizzled out and with the exact opposite of the gusto with which you started, you hang up those sneakers. “Next year”, you mutter…
Sounds familiar, doesn’t it? Being fit and working out should never be a chore. On the contrary it is THE place to go to get away from your day’s stresses. Connecting with your body and tuning into the present is incredibly therapeutic and meditative. With each muscle fibre you move and with each bead of sweat you should feel your mind and body recharging. But you’ve got to do it right!
Before you throw yourself into an unplanned and rigorous workout, take a step back and think of what you’re looking to achieve. What do you want to change? Depending on this your choice of workout will vary so for e.g. if its weight loss then you’d want to opt for a cardio, HIIT and circuit-based workout. If it’s toning and strengthening then you’d look to include more Barre and/or Crossfit type workouts. If it’s flexibility and core stability then Pilates and Yoga are for you!
Once you’ve identified what you’re hoping to achieve, set realistic goals based on them. What I mean by this is don’t look for dramatic, drastic quick-fixes. Wanting to achieve a 15-kilo weight loss in 4 weeks is NOT healthy and what’s more is the minute you come of your hardcore regime, believe you me the weight will come back on. Slow & steady wins always. Set realistic targets for yourself so that you don’t cause your body undue stress and injuries and your mind unnecessary anxiety. Remember, fitness is not a destination but a way of life!
Once you’ve done steps 1 and 2, allot times in the week for your workouts. Take into account your personal and professional responsibilities. Don’t look to overdo it, because apart from making time for other aspects of your life remember that your body too needs to recover. Factor in at least 2-3 ‘rest days; between your workouts.
Through trial and error figure out which times of the day are best to workout for you. Some people prefer early morning workouts whilst others in the evening after work. Don’t force yourself to workout when your body isn’t awake and alert.
Also when you draw up your plan, be sure to incorporate a good mix and variety in each week so that your body is always being challenged.
If you can, try and enroll a friend to workout with you. It’s nice to have a buddy motivating you and it feels good to work on a project together. Your buddy will also help you drag yourself out to workout on days when you’re self-motivation dips a bit.
Once you’ve sussed out which workouts are both working for you and bringing you your desired results it’s important to keep engaging with them. What I mean by this is, when you enter your gym/studio/space mentally flush out everything else that’s been worrying you or that requires your attention. This is YOUR downtime! NO MOBILE PHONES allowed! There’s just no two ways about this. Take it from somebody who’s experienced how distracting that beep-beep of a new email or instant message is whilst trying to dead-lift more than my body’s weight. A fraction of lost concentration and you could seriously injure yourself. Moreover if you’re distracted and not present with your body, you will NOT achieve what you set out to. Shut out the world completely for the hour and you may only bring out your phone to take that post-gym-sweaty-selfie for social media bragging rights 😉
If you’re attending large group classes, make that effort to approach the instructor. Introduce yourself. Make him/her aware of any issues you have in your body (aches, pains, niggles) and ask him/her to correct your form through the exercises. Trust me, instructors love when a student expresses such enthusiasm and keenness and it’ll go a long way in your fitness.
It’s quite easy to get disheartened along the process. Fitness is a slow and steady process and one that does take time. Be patient. Stay motivated. Draw upon every ounce of determination you possess. I promise you it will not go waste. Results will come slowly but surely. Plough through.
Don’t get stuck on weighing scale numbers and on dress sizes. Instead, take progress pictures of yourself weekly and compare them over time. Determine your progress by the strength you build upon and your endurance. For eg, how long you can hold a plank. Celebrate yourself and treat yourself once or twice a week because remember fitness is not a punishment. Enjoy this process – it’s seductive!
Juggling many roles from physician to writer to pilates instructor to Marketing-PR executive, Dr. Daamini is constantly pushed and inspired to get creative on how to encompass a Retreat into her daily life.