If you’ve ever heard the song by U2 that says “you gotta get yourself together, you got stuck in a moment, that you can’t get out of… don’t think that later will be better… you got stuck in a moment that you can’t get out of”. This is very similar to how many of us feel about the state of our physical fitness.
The challenge is that as our physical attractiveness decreases so does our confidence and self-esteem, which becomes a slippery slope, as we know what we need to do (i.e. get to the gym) but our inclination becomes less and less the further we slide down the slippery slope of putting on extra weight, losing muscle mass, and generally being less fit than we once were.
Indeed, this pattern is akin to breaking out of an escape room in that you can keep going around and around in circles until you finally find the way out of this tormenting cycle, and when it comes to getting back in shape, it really is as simple as taking a deep breath and pulling the plaster off quickly, by going to the gym, or going for a run, or a swim, or a cycle, and knowing it’s not going to be a comfortable experience – knowing you’re going to ache for a few days afterwards, but essentially putting your big boy pants on and facing it rather than procrastinating.
Then, once you have got the ball rolling, you keep it rolling – as this is the hardest and most painful leg of the journey. See, once you have momentum, it becomes a lot easier – our bodies get used to the exercise so it’s not like we are having to break ourselves in each time, and more importantly than anything else, our self-esteem and motivation to exercise is boosted because, slowly but surely, we begin to see progress… and it’s that progress that keeps us going back to the gym as we can see in tangible results the cause and effect of the situation.
Now, if you’re feeling a little gym shy, you can always exercise from home. As an example, Les Mills are now offering their incredibly popular fitness classes that used to only be available in prestigious gyms in an on-demand format; meaning these classes can fit around your schedule, rather than you having to fit around a gym timetable, and you can break yourself back into fitness in the comfort of your own home – so there isn’t that embarrassment factor a lot of us feel when standing at the back of the class, comparing ourselves to people that are super fit and know all the moves as they have been doing the class twice a week for the past few years!
It can be a great way to build up your fitness and competency before braving a real life exercise class. In particular, there’s a class called Body Balance that is good for people easing themselves back into exercise as it focuses on building core strength and working the stabiliser muscles necessary to prevent injury.
One of the most potent mistakes people make is hitting the gym hard in the first few sessions, and presuming their bodies are able to cope with the demands it used to be able to when they were regularly conditioning themselves; and that’s the thing, fitness is about conditioning – if you’re unfit, it just means you haven’t been conditioning yourself to be fit.
Now is the time to take that first step and get back on track.