Before you launch into your new-season fitness regimen, get organised, says Michelle Bridges, and set yourself up for success.
There's something about the whiff of jasmine in the night air and the mercury creeping up that is uniquely exciting for us Aussies.
It signals not just a change of season but also a change of lifestyle, the summer lifestyle that defines who we are.
But I'm betting that for many of us, it also signals a nagging urge to get our physical fitness under way after a winter of comfort eating and inactivity.
For some, it might even be the first time you have embarked on an exercise program in a long time.So here are a few of my favourite tips.
You'll notice that none involves immediately racing into a training session.
That's because I know from experience that if you're going to get started on a program that lasts, one that gives you the outcomes you want, then you'll need to have a few things organised before you start.
If it has been a while since you last exercised, it's a good idea to see your GP for a general check-up to make sure you're good to go.
While it might sound superficial, the right training apparel is important.Not only does it make you feel good about yourself, it also gets you in the head space for exercise.
Rocking up in the T-shirt you wore to paint the laundry ceiling is less than inspiring. That said, there's no more important piece of exercise gear than footwear.
Trainers deteriorate quite quickly, so if yours bend and twist easily in your hands, it's time for a new pair.
Many people who start an exercise program get sick in the first few weeks, usually with a cold.
This is because your body is suddenly being asked to get busy repairing itself after each training session to the extent that your immune system is compromised.
So stock up on quality wholefoods and supplement them with vitamins and minerals that will support you through the rigours of training.
You don't have to go crazy - just get a quality multivitamin, fish oil capsules, magnesium and coenzyme Q10 supplements and maybe protein powder.
To tailor your vitamin requirements for your personal situation, see your GP or a reputable nutritionist or naturopath.
The next step is your diary. Consciously put time aside to exercise and commit to it. I use the words "consciously" and "commit" deliberately, because if your training becomes something you fit in when you have a spare moment, guess what?
You won't have any spare moments. Set yourself up for success from the start.
The last step is to tell your friends, family and work colleagues what you are doing. This does two things.
First, it increases the level of commitment in your own mind. And second, it tells those around you what you're doing so they can make allowances for it in their lives.
Michelle's tipJust as you might not know how to service your car, setting up a training regimen might not be in your skill set, either.
A personal trainer should be your first port of call, even if it is simply to brush up your routine or to check your exercise technique.
Michelle Bridges is an author and a trainer on The Biggest Loser. From Sunday Life
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