By Aine Dowling
Did you know the Fitbit was the most gifted 2015 Christmas present? And the number of people downloading the app on Christmas Day almost crashed their website! How do I know this? Because I was one of the hundreds of thousands of gifted recipients worldwide, and have now joined that fast-growing clique of people who strap a tiny electronic device to their wrist the moment they step out of bed.
With 2015 as our Year of Eating Healthy, LFW is now adding some fitness to the mix and bringing you 2016 as our Year of Health and Fitness! Don’t worry—we’ll still be bringing you some fantastic healthy recipes, and while eating healthy is great start; sitting on the sofa like a sloth for the majority of the day isn’t going to get you fit. So … let’s ‘step it up’ and go!
But first, back to the Fitbit. In all honesty, you don’t need a fancy gadget or super equipment to get fit, but what you do need is MOTIVATION! Yep, that’s the one—its opposite is procrastination, and don’t we all have a bucketful of that when it comes to anything resembling exercise. So first tip—take it slow.
Set yourself a target that’s relatively easy to achieve. If you don’t have a ‘big brother’ device that’s monitoring your every move, set your own goals. If you have a dog (or even if you don’t have a dog) make your target to walk every morning for at least an hour for the first week. Then increase it by half an hour. That should easily give you around 5,000 – 6,000 steps. You can make up another 3,000 – 4,000 by just simply walking around more. Take the stairs instead of the lift. Park your car at the edge of the carpark instead of as close to the door as possible. Walk around the park or to the shops at lunchtime—you’ll feel better and save yourself the stress of finding a carpark at the shopping centre. And, here’s a great tip—keep a pair of walking shoes at work, then you have no excuse not to go for a walk!
After a couple of weeks consider some small hand weights. Buy the ones you feel most comfortable doing a workout with. Do not buy the heavier ones just because you think they’ll work better! They’ll be too heavy and you’ll give up after 10 repeats of one exercise. As with the walking start small and work your way up. Go to your local sports store and check them out. You need to be able to do a mix of five or six different exercises each of about 15 – 20 repeats, and you’ll be amazed how heavy even the 1kg weights get after 20 minutes!
But there is one essential item you do need to spend a bit of money on. Shoes. Get yourself a good pair of walking or running shoes and don’t skimp on the brand or price. There are different shoes for different people and different exercises, so just because a friend of yours is a runner and recommends a particular brand, they may not suit you if you’re just starting out as a walker. Go to a specialist shop and tell them what you’re doing—walking, running, cross-training, aerobics, etc., what your plan is, and get them to fit you out. You’ll probably find yourself paying around $150 but trust me, you need the right shoes. Many sports shops will sell last season’s run-out (pun intended) styles on sale and you can often pick up a 50 per cent off bargain like the ASICS runners below that we got for $80 instead of $160. And yes, these are runners, for a runner.
Later on we’ll look at clothing and equipment, and post a few of our personal fitness experiences … but for now we’ll quote Nike and ‘Just Do It!’