Personal trainer Milena Opoloska talks starting small for big benefits…
Many start the year with grand plans of getting fit and shedding the extra pounds, but by early February those goals are often slipping away as we fall back into bad habits.
If you’re one of the estimated six million people in the UK who don’t get any exercise, how do you even begin to get started?
The Interchange spoke to a personal trainer at Anytime Fitness, Milena Opolska, based at the Willow Brook Centre, in Bradley Stoke, for her advice on sticking to those fitness goals.
Start slowly: There’s no need to be in the gym for hours at a time to start with – begin with just 20 minutes and slowly build up as you get fitter. Overtraining can cause injuries and will put you off before you’ve even started.
Setrealistic goals: If you’ve never done any running before, don’t assume you’ll be able to be on the start line of this year’s London Marathon; sign up for a 5k instead. Or perhaps set yourself a target of rowing or cycling a set distance using the gym equipment. Remember to reward yourself when you reach your goal.
Find a fun activity: Milena told us that the people who get the best results are those who enjoywhat they do. It may sound obvious but if you know you hate running but love swimming, don’t start your fitness journey with a run!
Ask for help:If you’re unsure about anything; don’t struggle on by yourself. Fitness instructors or personal trainers can give you advice if you want to try something new or if you’re having a wobble and can’t see any improvement. They’re also great for support and encouragement.
Consistency is key: You need to make fitness a habit in your new life and this can take a few weeks to get established. Go to the gym on the same day each week or at the same time of day. Follow the same programme for at least the first few weeks before branching out and trying something new.