We always ask our members what their goals are and what they hope to achieve when they become more active.
As we often tell you, it’s important to know where you want to end up, otherwise you’re really never going to get there.
But, a goal is just an outcome. It’s an end result. So how do you get to that goal? Well, that’s determined by your behaviours.
As we all know, now more than ever, the world and our environment is pretty uncontrollable. Life has a tendency to just happen, and often, not quite how you’d want it to.
For instance, say you want to sell your house for a really good price. You refurbish it and decorate, put in new carpets, and tidy the garden. But, you can’t control the housing market or the price of mortgages! That example might be a bit too relevant at the moment.
You want to go for a lovely walk with friends and have lunch somewhere so you arrange it all but you can’t control the weather.
You want to lose weight and so you eat well and stay active but hubby books nights out with meals and holidays away that mean you don’t get to the gym as regularly as you’d like.
You can’t make your body lose 20 lbs on command any more than you can make sure your house is worth a certain amount when you sell it.
In other words, you can’t control the outcome. But what you can do is control the behaviours that lead to the outcome you want.
Here are examples of outcome goals and behaviours goals:
|Run a 5k race in 23 minutes||Run for 20 minutes 3 times per week for the next month|
|Do 10 pushups
|Start doing 4 pushups every day and add a pushup each week|
|Eat 6 servings of veg every day||Write a list of veggies I like and make sure I buy them in this week’s shop|
Notice how all of the behaviour goals are a commitment to do a specific set of actions or tasks that lead to the outcome you want. You might want to run a 5k in a certain time but if you don’t train consistently, it’s just not going to happen.
Behaviour goals are small, manageable tasks that are within your control; and behaviour goals are often things that you can do right now, today or in the near future. You know, once we do them consistently, we normally call them HABITS!
You can’t control the outcome. But you can control the behaviours that, when done consistently, will lead to the outcome you want.
There will be days where you can’t manage to get to the gym for your regular workout. Lives are busy and stuff happens so don’t let it stress you when this happens. Missing the odd workout isn’t going to derail your goals but don’t let it become a habit. If you can’t get to the gym for a while and you’re too busy to fit a full workout into your day then try and fit in exercise snacks throughout the day.
There are benefits of doing shorter workouts when you can’t fit in your normal programme so don’t rule it out on those non-gym days.
Keep Up Your Metabolism
When you do multiple workouts instead of one longer one, you can help keep up your metabolism throughout the day at a steadier rate. You may notice that your metabolism is raised for a short period of time after you finish a workout. As your day goes on, if you don’t have much other activity, it starts to decrease again. By doing multiple, mini workouts at different times of the day, you can keep your metabolism elevated for more of your day.
Less Time Commitment
Many people don’t have time for an hour or longer workout but can fit in short bursts of 10-15 minute workouts throughout the day. Maybe you have time for a quick morning yoga session, a short resistance training session in the afternoon, and a walk in the evening. You are still getting an hour or so of a workout in, just not all at the same time.
Maintain Even Energy Levels
You might also notice that your energy levels remain steady throughout the day when you are getting up often to move your body. Similar to your metabolism, you might get a boost of natural energy shortly after a workout, especially one with a little cardio. Imagine having this not once but 2-3 times during the day.
More Chances for NEAT
You can also improve your NEAT, or non-exercise activity thermogenesis which accounts for between 15% and 30% of your total calories burned throughout the day. You get NEAT with any type of movement during the day, including chores around the house, typing for your job, fidgeting, taking a shower, and so much more. So when you add these mini-workouts you’re increasing your NEAT even more.
So don’t let life derail your fitness goals. You just have to adapt the path you take to get there.
Spring is normally a time of new beginnings and the gradual easing out of lockdown can feel very similar. Are you feeling energized, refreshed and rested after the weeks of lockdown or do you feel sluggish and discouraged?
If you’ve been skipping workouts, binge-watching Netflix and eating to survive just in case the shops close down then you might be struggling a little bit to motivate yourself back to the gym.
That’s why we exist: to help you move from reality to your goal.
We are going to focus mainly on what is ahead for you; the past is the past and it is best to leave it there. However, in order to make the best start, we need to take a look at what may have sabotaged your previous efforts to get in shape
Today start fresh and leave the past behind. Yes, you may have struggled during lockdown or quit during your previous attempts to be healthy. That doesn’t matter now. What matters is what you do today, tomorrow and next week.
The following tips will help you make a strong start and make this time different.
Are you ready for your New Beginning? It is within reach.
If you find yourself contemplating the question posed in the title of this article, there is hope for you yet! The fact that you are even aware of this issue is the first step in resolving the situation.
Many of us find ourselves in a pattern of laziness from time to time. Maybe your work schedule has been treacherous lately or the motivation you felt regarding your weight loss plan has waned, whatever the case may be, this season of lazy life can end whenever you desire!
Often times, a little perspective and interrogation into the purpose behind our actions is crucial. In this article, we will discuss 5 major reasons that will hopefully put the spring back into your step.
Life Is Short
In case you were unaware, we are not here for a long time. Our lifespan is a fleeting blink of an eye in the grand scheme of things. This may sound somewhat bleak, but it is anything but! The time we are allowed in this life is more than enough to allow room for fulfilment, joy, and excitement.
When you are looking back on your journey one day, as we all will, I can assure you that you won’t be proud of the Netflix series you watched in a single day or the 4-hour naps you took. Instead, make the most of your days! Get out there and experience the wonderful opportunity available everywhere except your sofa.
You Were Made To Move
Your body is a finely tuned piece of equipment that is perfectly designed for movement. Movement is so inherent, in fact, that the body quickly begins to deteriorate without it!
The human body is the product of hundreds of thousands of years of evolution is directed almost entirely by the need to move. Had this process been instead directed by our ability to lounge in a recliner, our species would have ceased to exist long ago. Don’t take for granted the wonderful physical activities you are capable of.
Quality Of Life
However long your time on earth maybe, the way in which you spend it holds far more value. A hundred years devoid of anything meaningful holds much less merit than 50 lived to the fullest.
The fact that tomorrow isn’t even promised should provide even more incentive to pursue your passions and interest. Of all the wealth and resources one can hope to obtain, time is the only one that remains finite. Consider the detriment to this resource caused by a prolonged lazy streak.
Quantity Of Life
This is not a conflicting topic regarding the discussion thus far. While quality of life should indeed take priority, quantity is anything but unimportant! We don’t have to experience the plethora of health issues related to a sedentary lifestyle. Although you are probably aware that doing nothing most of the time is anything but increasing your lifespan, sometimes we all need a wake-up call.
The body is extremely intuitive in adapting to fit the demands of the environment. If your environment is your living room couch, do you think these adjustments are going to be beneficial? Movement forces the body to nourish and foster everything from the musculoskeletal system, the heart, and even mental health. Make sure you are giving your body a reason to thrive!
People Are Depending On You
No matter where you find yourself in life, chances are, someone is depending on you to get things done. This maybe your children, elderly family members, work colleagues, or probably a combination. The truth is, your lack of action is negatively affecting more people than yourself. If your own well being is not a strong enough driving force to get up and take action, do it for those you love and respect!
Imagine a life with no stress! We think that would amazing but as great as it would be to live a life without any type of stress, it just doesn’t seem possible anymore. As soon as one source of stress seemingly fades away, another rears its ugly head.
Although it’s not often practical to or possible to remove yourself from the sources of your stress, there are several steps you can take to limit the effect that your stress has on your life. One of the best methods of reducing the amount of stress in your life is exercise!
Here are five ways that exercise can help lower the impact that stress is currently having on your life!
When you participate in physical activity, your brain naturally releases the “feel-good hormones” known as endorphins. According to the Mayo Clinic, the release of endorphins from your brain during exercise naturally improves your mood and can also help to reduce physical pain within the body.
Endorphins are so powerful that the effects that they can cause in the brain are comparable to those of hardcore drugs like morphine. Even if you’re exercising at a low intensity and you don’t think you’ve experienced that endorphin rush, commonly referred to as a “runners high”, just trust that those hormones have been released and are doing their stuff!
Sometimes the best way to relieve the stress that you’re currently experiencing in your life is to focus your attention elsewhere. When you’re not actively thinking about the stress, it’s less likely to impact you both emotionally and physically.
By participating in some type of physical activity that you enjoy, you’ll be able to take your mind off of your current stressors and focus on the workout you’re doing. When you intentionally place a focus on your exercise performance, you’ll be more successful in your workout while simultaneously being less stressed.
According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, the natural endorphins and other psychological and physiological effects that occur during exercise can help to promote an anti-anxiety effect. In addition to having less anxiety, you’ll also be able to improve your mood in general.
When you exercise and reduce the amount of anxiety that you’re experiencing throughout your day, you’ll also be more likely to get a good night’s sleep at the end of the night. With better sleep, you’ll have better focus and less stress come the next morning. Win win!
When you consider the release of the endorphins that occur during exercise, you’ll understand why exercise can help to boost your mood, even when the stress in your life seems unbearable. Mood improvement will allow you to focus on the positive aspects of your life and reduce the attention you give to the stress you’re experiencing.
One of the greatest methods of reducing stress is simply not letting it bother you, which is obviously easier said than done. Yet, a positive attitude encouraged by exercise can help to reduce the effects of stress.
When you’re exercising, you’re burning calories, but you’re also helping to burn off whatever energy your body has left over from the day. This can help to physically tire you out and reduce the mental stress that you’re experiencing.
Most importantly, having less energy means you’ll be more likely to be able to fall asleep at night. If chronic stress frequently keeps you up at night, exercise might be the perfect way to improve your sleep quality and your fitness.
Exercise isn’t just great for the physical body. It also has the potential to completely overhaul the functioning of your brain to boost your mood and reduce the stress that you’re experiencing in your daily life. Exercise won’t remove the source of your stress, but it’ll make it much easier to deal with.
Feeling a little lost and bored with restructured or missing routines and more time on your hands? Now is the perfect time to unleash your creative side.
You Have Longer Stretches of Time to Be Creative
When you think of the reasons you weren’t able to be more creative in the past then at least one of them was probably from lack of time. Life gets busy, and since being artistic or creative or doing something for fun is rarely a priority in people’s lives anymore, it’s natural to miss out on these fun things.
But recently lack of time hasn’t been a valid reason for many people. Don’t let this free time go to waste! It’s the perfect time to pick up a hobby that you’ve neglected or to learn and indulge in a new skill.
You Might Have More Time Alone
Although spending time with friends and family is great fun and good for you, so is spending some time alone. It gives your brain time to process stuff and slow down a little. Also, if you spend that time alone actually doing something creative that you enjoy then it’s even better for you.
Being creative doesn’t have to mean painting. It can be writing, stories or poetry, sketching, cooking, or knitting. Basically, anything where you actually create something.
Being Creative Helps You De-Stress
Isolation, as we’ve just experienced, can be very stressful and ca leads to phases of anxiety and panic. A natural way to relieve those anxious feelings is by being creative. It uses a different part of your brain and can help you get into more of a mindful state. When you are drawing, painting, writing, or creating something, you are thinking more about what you are doing and are really in the moment, as opposed to thinking about what to cook for dinner, your work deadlines, or paying your bills.
Get into the moment, appreciate your creative projects, and let yourself explore what creative direction you want to take.
Being creative doesn’t have to mean spending hundreds of pounds on art and craft supplies. There is plenty you can do from home with whatever you have on hand, from drawing or writing on normal printer paper, to using your kids’ crayon or coloured pencils to teach yourself how to create art.
We’d love to see some of your endeavours.
During these difficult times, you don’t just want to sit on your phone all day or veg out in front of Netflix for 16 hours a day. It can be tempting but unplugging every once in a while is really good for your mental health. Here are some fun activities to do at home that don’t require internet access, a TV, your computer, or your phone.
Adult Coloring Books and Other Art Projects
A good way to be entertained and fill up time at home without using any electronics is to look at more creative activities. Adult colouring books have gotten popular recently since the themes are more for adults (i.e. no cartoons), as well as them being a little more advanced with intricate details. You can pick up a colouring book and coloured pencils for very little.
Also think about other creative projects you enjoy, such as drawing, painting, ceramics, or even something like doing a puzzle. These activities are fun to do at home and can even involve the rest of the family.
Read More – It’s Good for You!
There is nothing quite like a real, printed book. Yes, audio and digital books are convenient, but it will never compare to the feel of a book. If you have extra time at home with nothing to do, turn off your tablet and instead start reading from actual books. There are lots of book swaps going on at the moment but you can always ask your friends and family what they’ve got that they’ve finished with. But chances are, you already have some books at home that haven’t been read.
Journal or Try Creative Writing
If you have a pen and paper, you can write. You might be more of a journaling person, where you want to find clarity, share your thoughts, and set goals for yourself. Other people might want to explore some creative writing, which can be an interesting process when you are writing it down on paper as opposed to using a computer. It takes longer to write than to type for most people, so you will soon learn that moving with the flow of your thoughts is more challenging. But what you often get a more interesting end result.
Play Board Games with Your Family
If you are stuck inside with your family for a while why not turn off the Netflix and video games, sit at the table or in the living room, and play a game. You’ll not only have fun but you’ll get a chance to all sit together and chat too.
Make the effort to have some screen free time as often as possible.
Our normal routines disappeared virtually overnight and it’s been challenging for many of us to create a new structure to our day. This isn’t a new normal, but a temporary new normal, so don’t panic it will be like this forever. It’s important to focus on the things you can control, one of which is how you spend your time. Here are some reasons why having a routine is so important right now.
As part of your routine, you can add some simple self-care habits to the start of your day that are easy to do and also good for your physical and mental health. Think about what will help you get ready for the day. Many things you’ll probably already do, such as taking a shower and brushing your teeth, going through your skincare routine, and drinking a glass of water before having any caffeine.
For self-care, it might also include doing yoga or a gentle stretching routine, writing in your journal, or just sitting for a few minutes with a candle burning and doing deep breathing exercises. This really helps you to set yourself up for a good day.
Even if you are on isolation or have to stay indoors most of the time, you still need fresh air and vitamin D. You can get vitamin D naturally just from the sun’s UV rays. Try to get outside and soak up the sun for at least 20 minutes a day. We’ve been so lucky with the weather so make the most of it. This might be sitting on your patio or balcony, going for a short walk, walking your dogs, or sitting on a bench nearby. This might seem simple, but the activity helps you to get vitamin D, fresh air, and ground yourself at the same time. Don’t forget to social distance while you’re out though.
Another thing to add to your new daily routine is a little bit of exercise. Remember it doesn’t have to be anything strenuous – this is not the time for advanced fitness challenges. Just try to get your body moving every day. If you have a treadmill or bike at home, by all means, use it. Otherwise, you can walk, do an online workout routine, use simple equipment like dumbbells or resistance bands, or even just turn on some music and dance in your living room. Our fitness app will provide you with workouts to follow and challenges to keep you motivated.
Your routine will also include things like chores, more cooking and baking, or helping your kids with their school work. Having routines ensures that everyone knows what they’re doing when. Don’t forget to schedule in time for breaks too but making chores part of your routine ensures they’ll get done and not sidelined.
If you’re struggling with your routine then a little bit of accountability can sometimes help. We offer that with our coaching programmes so get in touch if you’d like a little extra help.
Did you realise you’ve got a superpower?
You have. It’s the ability to talk yourself out of something!
I bet you’re really, really good at it.
You know how the conversation plays out in your head…
“I’m going to get up and workout”
“Well in a minute anyway”
“I’ll just have 5 more minutes and then I’m starting”
“Not sure what I want to do so I’ll plan my workout first, before I start”
“Actually, I ought to do that thing that I’d forgotten all about for weeks but is now so flaming urgent I can’t possibly do anything else until I’ve done it”
“Ooh it’s a bit late now, I’ll have to workout tomorrow”
It’s amazing how good you are at this.
The trouble is though, you’re good at IT but IT is not necessarily good for you!
You need to redirect that superpower to the times you need it. Like when you’re about to scoff down a piece of cake when you’re not really hungry. Or that extra couple of biscuits or glass of wine.
Those times, when we need it, our superpower pretends to not exist!
So, how do we harness our superpower to act when it can help us and keep it dormant when it’s hindering us?
It’s the conversation that makes the difference. The one you have inside your head between your thinking brain and your monkey brain. If your conversation is stopping you from doing things that are good for you then don’t have the conversation in the first place.
As soon as you recognise the conversation begin, take action. Just get up and start the workout without contemplating it in your head. If necessary, distract yourself while you get from wherever you are to wherever you need to be. This could be by reciting a poem or counting backwards from a hundred. (BTW – the counting backwards is exactly how I used to get out of bed to do early morning workouts and it does work!)
If you don’t allow that conversation to take place then you won’t talk yourself out of the behaviour YOU want to do but your monkey brain doesn’t.
Notice how clever and sneaky that monkey brain is? The conversation is very low-key and relaxed. You don’t even realise that your mind is being changed until it’s too late.
The flip side of this is the behaviours that you actually do want to talk yourself out of. Then you need to give the conversation full reign. When you’re stood at the fridge staring at the Chocolate ginger fudge cake (yes he’s been baking again!) start asking yourself questions.
“Am I hungry?”
“Is this helping me look and feel how I want to?”
“Will I be cross with myself for eating this?”
“Can I wait a few minutes?”
“Can I go and do something useful instead for a little while”
This last one is really good because you get a sense of achievement which also boosts your sense of control. It also gets you out of the environment where the undesired behaviour is going to take place.
Don’t forget, keep the conversation gentle and non-confrontational. You want to sneak in that behaviour change without making a big song and dance about it. Don’t alert that monkey brain!
And don’t tell yourself you CAN’T have the cake or wine or whatever it is. That’ll just lead to a feeling of deprivation and restriction. Tell yourself you can have it if you want to, just not right now. Cravings ebb and flow so if you can put the behaviour off for a few minutes the desire will ease.
Learning to flip your superpower won’t happen overnight. It’ll take time and lots of practice but remember, you’ve already got the skill. In fact, you’re brilliant at it. You just need to learn how to call on it at the right time.
This month we want to feature one of our new members who in her first month has lost 9.5lbs and 9 inches… but more importantly, she’s managed to get off of a blood pressure medication. This is an awesome result in any time frame but achieving it in just one month is incredible.
Heather did not want her photo taken but did want to encourage others to take the step to be more active and so wanted to have her thoughts made public.
Initially Heather was apprehensive about joining a gym and using unfamiliar equipment, she’d put off joining for quite a long time but then her daughter decided she wanted to join as well and that was the push that Heather needed.
Heather said that she found the induction put her at ease because everyone at Inspire was so welcoming and friendly. Also, everything was explained clearly and the whole thing was spread over two sessions so that she had time to process the information and wasn’t overwhelmed.
According to Heather, the best thing about joining has been seeing positive results such as her clothes fitting better and feeling so good in herself. She loves the equipment and the easy to follow programmes and says there are absolutely no negatives to joining. She’s already recommended Inspire to a couple of friends and says anyone thinking of joining should just pick up the phone and book the induction.
On a final note, Heather said the fact that every time she comes to workout she’s greeted by name makes a world of difference to her, it lets her know that she matters and makes her feel so welcome.
We’re so happy that Heather is loving the gym so much and we couldn’t be prouder of her for the hard work she’s already put in and the results she’s achieved. We’re looking forward to seeing Heather’s transformation going forward.