Before I begin my fitness programme there are a few things I needed to do in preparation. Having tried a wide variety of exercise regimes and diets in the past this is something that I have, to my peril, tended to neglect. Like many people in my situation I’ve dived straight into the exercise routines in the past without any real thought as to how I would make it work in the long term. I start off well enough but before you know it, my busy lifestyle kicks in or I pick up an injury and I start having to make compromises. In my line of work; a set of books that needs marked for a book review means I skip the gym or I’ve got to stay late at work for a parents’ evening and miss dinner so end up stuffing my face with Dominos on the way home. These are all things that with a little extra planning I could have avoided, for example; on days when I know I’m going to be extra busy at work, carving out a little more time by waking up 30 minutes earlier or prepping an extra meal so that I don’t resort to the nearest take away when I’m coming home late from work.
As I mentioned at the start; I’m not a fitness expert so rather than offer tips for planning the perfect exercise regime I’m just going to talk you through what I’ve decided to do this time and hopefully you might find it interesting.
- Work out a timetable based around work and family commitments. What is the maximum amount of time you can dedicate to working out each day? I’m lucky to have access to a gym at my school so for me working out an hour before school is ideal. I’ve decided that in order to find a workout that works for me, I’m going to try a different programme each month. This month I’ll be starting with a programme from the Nike Training Club app (Free from App Store)
- Choose between minor diet changes or major diet plan. Having tried various diets over the years I’ve decided that it’s more sustainable for me to make a number of small changes to my diet rather than follow a major diet change. Over the past year I’ve cut my fizzy drink intake from one can a day to about only drinking fizzy drinks abroad. This year I plan to keep making healthy changes on a monthly basis.
- Plan/Prep meals in advance. I tend to go grocery shopping after work when I’m tired (and most likely grumpy thanks Year 9!) which leads to the inevitable binge down the chocolate and crisps aisle. In order to make healthier choices throughout the week and avoid those late night takeaways, I’m putting in place a simple meal plan, more details to follow soon. I’m hoping that by doing this and going grocery shopping at the weekend I will be able to manage my sweet tooth and limit the amount of junk I put into my body (you know what they say; prevention is better than cure). I’ve also got a range of Tupperware boxes to help prep my meals in advance for those nights when I know I’m going to be late. This is something that I learnt from trying Joe Wicks’ ‘The Body Coach’ meal plans.
- Get on the scales and work out a target. If you haven’t got them already buy yourself a Set of body fat scales. When I was at school I got into the bad habit of weighing myself every night. It was driving me crazy seeing my weight fluctuate on a daily basis. What I failed to understand was that your raw weight is influenced by a range of factors such as the amount of water your body is storing and the amount of muscle you have. It was only after working with a personal trainer and buying myself a set of body fat scales (I use Salter Bodywise scales) that I learnt not to worry about the kg on the scales and instead focus on the body fat (BF) %. Therefore rather than saying I want to lose half a stone, my short term (monthly) goal is actually to get my BF down by 4%. After an indulgent summer, this is something that I feel is realistic and achievable for me.
So there it is. I’ll be including more specific details of the monthly plans and updates on my progress in the coming posts. If you have any tips or suggestions, please let me know. Likewise if your in a similar situation and starting a fitness plan, I’d love to hear about your progress.
Until next time,