If like us you’ve been hooked to the Commonwealth Games all weekend you’re maybe feeling a little extra motivation to get moving. Now, it may be a just a little bit tough to become one of those amazing athletes overnight but here are their top tips in making a start:
1. Without action, ideas are merely ideas
How do you know, in any aspect of life, that you have achieved without first setting an end goal? Without setting a real, tangible goal, your ideas are just that – ideas. An athlete will usually have a large goal – like competing in the Commonwealth Games, but they will have many smaller goals along the way – like achieving a certain time or level in their event, competing at a smaller level competition, making the qualification rounds etc. You can set yourself exercise goals too – whether it be to hit personal bests, compete in events or lose a little bit of weight. By using the SMARTER goals system, you can write down what you want to achieve in black and white, then have an idea of exactly what it is you are working towards.
2. A goal without a plan is just a wish
Fail to prepare – prepare to fail! Whilst the gym can be a scary place for many walking in without any idea of what you’re setting out to achieve is a sure fire way to failure. Elite athletes will have their training regime mapped out in cycles, aiming to peak their performance every 4 years for the big games, but also at certain intervals along the way like qualifiers and other international competitions. They will then have each session, day, week, month and year completely mapped out to include all of the finer details. While we don’t all need to be quite so organised, this strategy is extremely important in helping anyone achieve a goal, especially those who need structure to stay on track. What do you want to achieve? How can you achieve that? When will you do it? Make sure you have dedicated training days and times, and go in with a plan of attack for what you want to achieve in that session. Try and make every training moment an opportunity to push yourself!
3. Social Sweating
All of the games athletes have an entire team that they train with; pushing them harder and picking them up when they fail. Build your own team! By working out with a buddy you can create accountability – you’re much less likely to bail on your own regime if you know you have a pal there waiting to workout with you. You can also implement an element of competition; compete against each other and really push to achieve your best. Most importantly, it helps make it fun! We all have such busy lives these days, why not combine a friendly catch up with bettering your health.
4. Exercise isn’t everything
We’ve all heard it till the cows come home now – “you can’t out train a bad diet”. Unfortunately, it is true! If you’re looking for that washboard stomach or marathon PBs, you ain’t gonna get there without taking a look at what you’re eating. But even that isn’t enough. You also need to ensure that you practice good sleep hygiene, remember to rest, reduce life stressors and utilise active recovery. Athletes are lucky enough to have an entire team of professionals including dietitians, physiotherapists and psychologists to help them with all of this. For those of us who aren’t so lucky need to try and ensure that we are eating a healthy balanced diet ensuring you have plenty carbohydrates, protein and fats – along with all your vitamins and nutrients – is the only way to go on this one. There is no quick fix or pill that will work. We need to priorities getting at least 6-7 hours of good quality sleep each night as well as taking regular rest days from exercise or use active recovery such as a gentle walk, swim or cycle to help fight off the DOMS. We can utilise massage therapy to help ease any aches or pains we suffer from or look at preventative measures first and implement mobility into our exercise regime. Finally, and possibly most importantly, we need to be loving life! Healthy relationships, reduced stress and a strong work/life balance all play an important part in out bodies working at optimal. So just s few things to focus on, huh? Work all of these aspects into your goals/plans and you’ll make life an awful lot easier for yourself!
5. HAVE FUN!
What’s the point when you’re not enjoying yourself? The athletes may have it easy, they are doing what they love for a living. But you can have fun too. Hate the gym? Don’t go. Hate boring chicken and veg meals? Don’t eat them. Find what you like and do that. Just because most people slog out for hours on end in the gym, eat only chicken, broccoli and rice it doesn’t mean you have to too. Find a sport you enjoy, get out in nature and hike the hills, experiment with your food. Health doesn’t have to be boring and it most certainly shouldn’t be unenjoyable; sometimes you just need to try new things until you find one that sticks and works for you. Plenty of people spend a large part of their life in a job they hate, paying bills they don’t want to and putting up with people they shouldn’t have to. Why on earth would you want to add another aspect to your life that you hate doing? Life is for living, so make sure you’re living for you and what you love.
If you need any assistance with implementing any new exercise, nutrition or stress management regimes then get in touch with us and see how we can help. Work hard, enjoy yourself, and maybe one day we’ll see you at the games!