January 16, 2020

Healthy Mama || 5 Ways To Get Fitter In 2020

Healthy Mama - Collaborative Post

Although I'm not making any strict goals just yet for this year, I am making a general plan to get fitter and healthier. Aside from being the new year and a great time to start, I'll be starting when I feel less pressured, with a gentle increase in exercise to slowly get me back in shape. The thought of exercising traditionally, joining a gym or following gruelling routines puts me off from the start, so this time I'm being realistic, I'm starting small and I'm only going to do things I enjoy or I know it will be a five minute wonder. Getting fitter comes with many health benefits, it reduces stress, improves sleep and best of all, improve mental health - just a few of many reasons as to why I need to get started, again. From experience and making plans for this year, I've put together these five simple ways to start getting stronger, fitter and healthier in 2020...

Start small

Having goals is a great motivator, but it's really important with any goal setting to set small achievable goals that we can conquer one at a time. With fitness goals, particularly for those of us that would much rather sit under a blanket in front of Netflix than go to the gym, it's even more important to set some micro goals to ease us in gently. For me, this will be something like taking my camera out for a walk and snap, braving that trek to town when I really can't be bothered and maybe walking the long way home from work for a few extra steps. For you it could be taking the stairs instead of lifts, ditching a car journey for walking where possible or even just doing a slight detour on the school run for a bit more mileage. Whatever you're hoping to achieve, whatever your fitness level, just be sure to set goals that you can realistically achieve to inspire you to keep going.

Get tech savvy

There is so much help on offer now online as well as through the use of apps, fitness trackers and places like YouTube or Sweaty Betty with easily accessible fitness tips and workouts. Although not for everyone, having the added assistance of some tech to track our progress, show our calories burnt, miles walked or how much extra we are building up our stamina as the weeks go by can be a huge motivator. With apps to track your weight and diet if that's your thing, couch to 5k plans and all kinds of logs to monitor progress, technology, especially wearable tech like the trackers can be our best friend in our fitness journeys. As well as the more advance inventions, just having music on hand can really help the time fly and keep you happy at the same time. Fill your phone or device with your favourite fast paced tunes and get stuck in, you'll be amazed how much more energetic you can feel by just adding music!

Get outdoors

Needless to say, unless you're a big fan of the gym or working out indoors, it's much nicer to get outdoors in the fresh air and burn off some energy, especially if it's doing something you enjoy such as walking, running, mountain biking or anything else that gets the blood pumping. Fresh air and sunshine is good for the soul! With more to look at, a whole world to explore and a far more interesting backdrop than our own living space, the outdoors may just motivate you to keep going without realising it. With changes in weather, different people passing by and different routes to set off on, there's a lot more opportunity to explore outdoors and the more enjoyable your exercise, the more likely you are to keep it up.

Find something that you enjoy

If you're pretty adverse to exercise, then the thought of finding something enjoyable can seem pretty impossible, but there is something for everyone. Instead of less traditional fitness efforts like running, you could just do something like these suggestions if they fit your lifestyle better to start with, as any movement is better than none;
  • Walk to somewhere pretty to draw or paint.
  • Take your camera out to capture some local beauty.
  • Walk your dog a little more or for a little longer.
  • Find a clubercise class nearby.
  • Dance to your favourite music at home.

As you can see it doesn't even have to really feel like exercise in particular, it's all about moving more and if you can find a way to fit that into something you're passionate about at the same time, then even better. From there, you can build it up when you feel yourself making progress.

Find a fitness buddy

Personally, I much prefer my own time and having my headphones in when I'm exercising, but I know for most people, having a workout buddy can be a real motivator as it gives you someone to keep you going and also give you less excuses not to find the time. You could just have a dog walking buddy, your dog alone could be a good motivator, or you could find someone to come to classes with you, go for runs or even venture to the gym or for a swim. If you're someone that finds working out easier with someone else there supporting you, then this is a good first step, especially this time of year when many of us are all out to get healthier, fitter and stronger.

Whatever it is that gets you moving, you're off to a great start if you can sneak in some new healthier habits and get your heart pumping. Gyms and group exercise isn't for everyone, but as above, it doesn't have to be anything traditional and whatever you're into, there will be a way to incorporate that into your fitness plans. Good luck for 2020!

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