Tips, tricks & tools to help you get fit faster!
Are you wanting to get fit but struggling with motivation? Unsure where to start or what the best exercise regime is?
We’ve all been there, trust me. I know I have. However, after years of trials, struggles and fails, I am finally
RUNNING & CARDIO
Do you want to start running but are unsure how to go about it? I’ll be the first to admit that I am not a natural
I also have a bucket list and one of the things on my list is to run a half marathon, so this year I ramped up my running. So, here are some simple tips to get you running and keep you running!
- Start slowly. Don’t think you’re going to start running a half marathon or at a super-fast pace when you first start. Truth is, it will hurt at first and will take time to build up fitness. Aim for distance over
paceat first, but set small goals – such as 1 km today, 2 km by the end of the week etc.
- Stretch, stretch and stretch! I learnt this the hard way. I was always hopeless at stretching but when I was told my Achilles tendon was so tight it was about to snap, I started forcing myself to be better. Ensure you stretch before and after your workout to avoid injury.
- Don’t just run at the same pace. Change it up. Do a 30-second sprint, followed by a 1-minute jog, 1-minute sprint, 30-second jog and the like. This will improve your cardio fitness quicker than just plodding along at the same old
- Heard of the Beep Test? I’ll honest here and say I HATE the Beep Test. I once had a personal trainer who made me do it and I would tell him I hated him every time he made me do it. But, my cardio fitness was through the roof doing it. Short, sharp sprints that slowly increase in speed will get you fitter faster than just jogging, so give it a try!
- Don’t compare your progress with others. While it is great to be a little competitive and indeed, this can get you motivated, it is unhealthy and detrimental to your progress to compare yourself to others. Some people are much fitter than others, some people are natural runners. Go at your own pace and focus on your own goals, rather than feeling down if you aren’t running as fast or as far as your friends.
Want a beginner’s half marathon training guide? Get the one I have used here!
CHANGE IT UP
Don’t do the same exercise all the time. Ever heard of the saying “he skips leg day?” Some people do just focus on certain parts of their bodies, but this will not improve your overall fitness.
When I first starting really focusing on training, I learnt pretty quickly that despite just wanting to focus on my problem areas – my tummy and my legs and butt, I needed to change it up and work out areas I never even thought that I needed to gain overall fitness.
So, don’t skip exercises that focus on your back, shoulders, chest etc. You need to do all of these to get overall fitness. Plus, you cannot “spot” train – that is, you cannot get fit just by working out one or two parts of your body.
DO HIIT TRAINING
HIIT stands for “High-Intensity Interval Training.” Sounds hard right? Well, it is. But it is also the best way to gain fitness, especially if you are short on time.
The aim is to work out hard and fast, not allowing too much rest in between sets. It challenges your body, gets you fit faster and is great for those who are really short on spare time (let’s be honest, that is most of us these days!).
I am not going to lie, it’s going to hurt. A lot. Generally, I think to myself while in the middle of one of these workouts “What the hell am I doing?” But knowing it is only a 28-minute workout can help keep you going and get to the end. Whats 28 minutes out of your day anyway? And a bonus, at the end of it, you will feel absolutely great!
GET A WORKOUT PLAN
Join your local gym and ask for a workout plan. This will keep you on track and show you different exercises for different parts of the body.
If you can afford it and have the time, get a personal trainer. I did once and it was the fittest I have ever been in my life. Granted, this was pre-kids and I had a lot more spare time. But it is a great way of getting fit without having to think about your workout plan at all and they can be a great source of motivation for you also.
Alternatively, you can google a fitness plan and follow that. There are heaps of them online, focusing on gym workouts or at-home workouts to suit your needs.
Another great way of getting ideas on different types of exercises is to jump onto Instagram. There are literally thousands of workout videos on there and best of all they are free. If you are really serious about getting super fit, you can sign up to some of the apps they promote or you can just save their videos and use them as inspiration.
As mentioned in my other article “The Best At-Home Exercises For Busy Moms” – my two favourites are Krissy Cela —-> find her on Instagram here and Kayla
KNOW YOUR BODY
This is one tip I am still learning. As we get older, our body and our bodies needs change. I have learnt slowly that I need to listen to my body and adapt my workout depending on how I feel.
For women, where you are in your cycle is crucial to how you feel. I really struggle to get motivated and indeed workout during the last week or so of my cycle, so in this time I either do yoga or I give myself a break.
It isn’t ideal when you are training for something, such as a half marathon like I am, however I know if I try and force myself to train I will fail miserably and then be upset with myself, which sets me further back.
So, to combat this lack of motivation and fatigue, what can you do? Well, it’s simple. I workout hard (and a lot) in the first two weeks of my cycle (that being the first two weeks after my period) because this is when my energy levels are highest and I most motivated.
In the second two weeks of my cycle, I slow down. I focus less on running and more on weights because I find this easier than running during this time.
If I want to work out but I’m feeling really unmotivated for anything strenuous, I do yoga. This way, you are still working on muscle tone and are increasing flexibility also.
Trying to exercise while starving yourself won’t work, your body needs fuel for energy much the same as a car needs petrol to go.
Similarly, eating crappy junk food and trying to exercise won’t work either. This is because there is little to no nutritional value in these foods and your body will not have enough energy to output for your workout and you will wind up feeling really flat afterwards.
Eating fresh fruit, vegetables, protein, fish, lean red meats and carbs will all help give your body the fuel it needs for
If you struggle with what to eat, get a healthy eating food guide or subscribe to something like “You Foodz”, “Lite N Easy”, “Marley Spoon” or something similar to keep you on track.
ALLOW YOURSELF A BREAK
If you aren’t feeling up to exercising DON’T. If you are tired, unwell, run down etc, just don’t do it. It is counter-productive exercising when you feel like this. You simply will not be able to do it and you will feel miserable afterwards.
I remember seeing a post on Instagram that Krissy Cela put up. She drove to the gym and sat in the car crying because she didn’t have the motivation to go into the gym that day. Even super
This is, of course a lot different to the “I’m just being lazy” vibes. Then, you totally should get off the couch and get out there! You’ll know the difference, so don’t make excuses!
This is something I highly recommend but admittedly they aren’t for everyone. I use a Thermogenic supplement to give me the energy
I use one called “Body Effects” – it has more natural ingredients and I find it helps me a lot with my running. There are plenty on the market, so do your research and find one that is best for you.
What else do Thermogenics do? They suppress appetite, enhance mood, and help to burn fat. Read and research the ingredients before taking any of these supplements as they are all vary in ingredients.
Here are a few to choose from:
- Body Effects
- Shredz Protein Thermogenic Made For Women
- Thermal Switch
- NLA For Her – Her Amino Burner
Get yourself a fitness watch. They are the best at helping you keep track of how you are improving. They can also be a great motivator, with a setting that basically tells you to get up and start moving so you can reach your step goal for the day.
I personally use the “Fitbit Ionic” and I love it. It has an inbuilt GPS so it is super accurate and is very simple and easy to use.
Other options include the Apple Watch, Garmin and others.
Download Apps that will help you keep track of your runs, set goals and compete with friends. I use the Fitbit app to sync with my watch but I also have an
Another great app is called “MapMyRun” – This is a
Type in your address, create a route along your choosen streets and know exactly where you have to run to reach your desired distance.
SET A GOAL
This is a big one. What are you aiming for? Fitness, overall well-being, running a marathon?
Have a goal in mind, write it down if you have to. Mine is to run a half marathon, but yours might be as simple as “to lose my mommy pouch” or “be able to run 5 km.”
Whatever your goal is, know it and aim for it. If you have a target, you are more likely to stick to exercising than if you just do it for no reason.
DITCH THE SCALES
Oh wow, I cannot stress this enough. Ditch them, ignore them, put them in your cupboard.
After months and months and months of weighing myself whilst training and feeling like a failure with my weight going up and down, I decided enough was enough. I don’t even step on the scales now and I couldn’t tell you what I weigh today.
I did this for one reason – it is NOT a reliable indicator of how you are tracking on your fitness journey. During a woman’s cycle, her weight can fluctuate dramatically. I, for instance, can put on up to 1.5kgs with my period – and no, it isn’t from the chocolate I ate, it is all fluid. I know this because once my cycle ends, this “weight” disappears.
Second to this, the more I ran, the more my weight went up. I was baffled. I couldn’t figure out what I was doing wrong. But, truth is, is that muscle weighs more than fat. This is not a myth, it is the truth. The more I ran, the more I worked out on my legs, arms, back, shoulders, the heavier I became. So, I ditched the scales.
The best indicator for how your tracking is a measuring tape. Measure around your waist and keep track of that if you prefer.
What I prefer now is looking in the mirror. If I’m happy with what I see, then I am going well. If my clothes are fitting nicely, then I am also happy. I couldn’t care less what I weigh on the scales, this is just a number. It’s how I feel about myself that matters the most.
AFTER YOUR WORKOUT
As mentioned before, stretch. This is SUPER important.
But, what I have also found important is replacing electrolytes I have lost during my run. I sweat when I run, a fair bit. So replacing electrolytes is key to me feeling better after a big run.
Most of all enjoy yourself. Get out there and give it a try. You will be amazed at how good you feel and how much your overall health and mood improve once you start regularly exercising!!
Like this article? Share the love!