Getting fit really isn't rocket science, and unless you are training for competitive events at a very high level, its pretty simple stuff really.
In a few simple paragraphs I'd like to share my words of wisdom about exercise, based on what I've read, what I've experienced and what others around me have acheived.
1. FInd something you enjoy
Whether its walking, running, tennis, cycling, dancing. It just doesnt matter because as long as you actually enjoy it, you will continue to do it.
And you need to get into the routine and HABIT of doing that thing you enjoy - regularly!
2. Find a goal
This will give you some purpose in what you are doing and help you make that routine. Even better if you can find some friends to share the goal with.
3. Sweat and puff
In order to get fitter or better at what you are doing, you have to suffer some sort of pain I'm afraid! And as long as you are generally in good health, this is a good thing. Getting puffed and out of breath is what will get you fitter.
So you've got to suck it up and get outside your comfort zone.
4. Lift weights
Girls this includes YOU!
Weight training is a little dull, I know, but its what builds shape and tone in your body.
It also raises your metabolism so allows you to burn more calories whilst at rest - amazing!
So get squatting ladies and shape that bootie!
5. Mix it up
Don't do the same thing all the time. Firstly that's really boring, secondly you are just working the same muscles month in month out and you will not see long term improvement or change.
Every 6-8 weeks you should change your workout, to keep challenging your body. by change, I mean go harder, or try a different workout class, or add heavier weights to your barbell.
I also advocate doing different exercises - triathlon is great for me, as I get to swim, cycle, run and also throw in a couple of weights sessions each week. That means that in every workout I'm using different muscles and therefore allowing the others some rest.
6. Take rest days
If you've found something you love, don't overdo it. Your body also needs to rest, and you need to give it valuable time to repair and recover from all the hard work you are making it do. And don't feel guilty about it.
The reality is, that you will only get stronger and fitter by letting those damaged muscle fibres repair. Repeatedly hammering them will only make you tired, ill and increase your risk of injury - not fun!
7. Love what you are doing and love your body
You've got to enjoy it
and our bodies are such amazing things, embrace this and make yours work for you