You've probably heard it being preached about before but since I've been on my mission to get fitter, I've definitely learnt more than ever how important it is to get others to join you on your journey.
If you're finding it tough to get up in the morning and motivate yourself to do some sweating, or if you're intimidated to go to a new gym or exercise class, find someone to go with you!
When I started on this fitness journey I was lucky enough that my boyfriend Andy also wanted in on it. So we started going to personal training sessions together. This made it so much easier to drag myself out of bed for those 6am starts!!
Not only is having Andy around to go through it with me making it easier to get out of bed, it also means that I push myself more in the sessions. I mean, we all want to be teacher's pet right?!!
As an aside, even if you don't have anybody to exercise with (and if you don't then keep reading for some suggestions!), if you can afford a couple of PT sessions with a good personal trainer, then I would highly recommend it if you're feeling demotivated (check out @claptonconditioning who put us through our paces!). It's too easy to convince yourself not to exercise if you're just doing gym workouts that are entirely dictated by you. But if you've paid for and booked in a PT session, you just have to go! No excuses. Also, I found that once I'd done a couple of sessions, I was feeling motivated to do extra workouts of my own accord anyway. So if you can only stretch to paying for a few sessions, even that might just be the kick start you need!
Most Wednesdays Andy and I also battle it out at a rowing class. Again, having a buddy to encourage you when you're the one feeling demotivated (and vice versa) also helps with rolling your butt out of bed. This particular class is also something brand new to me. I've never tried rowing before so learning all about it, learning the correct techniques and pushing myself out of my comfort zone each week makes it fun and interesting. That encourages me to go and, as a result, my Wednesday fitness routine doesn't feel at all like a chore!
I recently tried out a new yoga/HIIT/animal flow class with a friend (review to come!). I'd never been to this particular gym before and I'd also never been to this type of class before. If you're nervous about going to a new class, particularly if it's one that's a bit different, firstly you're not alone. Most people feel out of their comfort zone doing this and I dare them to say otherwise! Secondly, if you can rope somebody into doing it with you, then it removes the anxiousness of walking into a room all by yourself and not having a clue what you're doing. You can both look like uncoordinated arseholes together!!
Another reason doing exercise with others is great for me is that it pushes me to do more than I otherwise would. I honestly don't think I've ever pushed myself as much as I have since I've been working out with Andy and different friends. For example, recently I went climbing with a group of mates, some of whom are already pretty bad ass climbers. I'm a total beginner but the fact they were there being badass brought out the competitive spirit in me and consequently I attempted much more challenging routes up the wall than I otherwise would have done!!
No fitness buddies?....
If you don't have anybody to join you on your fitness journey then there are websites where you can find people with the same fitness interests as you looking for fitness buddies! I have no idea what said websites are like but I've come across www.findafitnessbuddy.co.uk and www.meetup.com/find/sports-fitness which look pretty good. Depending on what you fancy doing as well, I'm sure there are plenty of running clubs and cycling clubs (and probably all sorts of other clubs!!!) around that you could join.
If the thought of meeting new people sends shivers down your spine, why not sign up to an online program like Lean in 15 or something similar. I have no idea what these are like so I'd suggest doing a lot of research into which are the best and most suitable ones for you before signing up.
If you've already looked at the online programs and the prices gave you palpitations, purely just engaging on social media could spur you on. With a lot of online communities tailored to various fitness bits and pieces, you could get the support you need from the comfort of your own home without ever having to speak to another soul!! Again, just make sure you research who is actually qualified to give the advice they're doling out on social media. There are far too many people out there who aren't and just tend to spout a lot of shit!!
Too often we look at Instagram and see all the fitness fanatics doing exercise and eating well and we beat ourselves up for not doing the same. What I've learnt over the past few months is that to get the best out of fitness, you have to completely change your mindset about it. Rather than exercise being something you do on your own just to work off the Prosecco you consumed at the weekend or something you do just because you feel like you have to, why not choose something fun, new or challenging and, importantly, do it with somebody!
Make fitness become a fun thing that you want to do each week, not just a massive chore that you can't wait to be over. That way, not only will you enjoy it more but it's also more likely to be sustainable!