Corinne Austin | Personal Training

My Top Tip for Getting Started

2015-07-20 10.19.01I was asked the other day what my number one piece of advice would be for someone just getting started on improving their health and fitness.


I was initially stumped.  I have oodles of useful advice and helpful tips.  I could write an entire book on it.  How could I possibly narrow it down to my number one piece of advice, the bit that I considered to be the most important?


It took me a good twenty minutes to funnel it down and name one – and be certain that nothing else would, could or should come before it.  And this was what I managed to narrow it down to: “Any step you take towards better health and fitness needs to be realistic to you, your life, your priorities, your likes and dislikes, and your budget, and the old-age adage of ‘everything in moderation’ should also be present.  Oh and there must be an element of fun or joyfulness too!”


One tip, three main points: realistic, moderation, fun.


That’s all.  Keep it simple.


Firstly, it needs to be real and you need to remain realistic.  You need to get clarity around the what, why, how and when questions so that you can understand why you’ve put yourself here and how you wish to move forward and progress.  Your choices need to be kept realistic to your other daily priorities, your budget, and the resources that you have available to make this work.  Realistic habits and ideals will make room for achievement, success, and progression towards where you ultimately want to go.


Secondly, you need to allow yourself a little lee-way via moderation.  Instilling an approach of moderation allows us the flexibility of being able to do something ‘off the plan’, so long as we have limitations on how much and how often.  For many of us the occasional indulgence is a guilty pleasure we often pounce upon with much anticipation, but it also aids in strengthening our resolve.  Alternatively, the all or nothing approach deprives us of these special treats, and this can have the opposite effect that we would like it too – deprivation can make us be even more tempted if we tell ourselves that something is off limits.


And finally – keep it fun!  It’s okay to partake in activities you enjoy and that make you feel good; in fact, that’s ideal!   We are far more likely to continue with an activity if it makes us laugh, feel good, smile, experience pleasure, and have fond memories.  There’s no need to go all high and mighty and have some extraordinary goal from the outset – you can get to that later.  The initial goal is simply just to put one foot in front of the other, to implement a couple of simple new strategies, to learn and ask for advice where necessary, and to take each day as it comes.


There’s not a right or wrong way of jumping onto the health and fitness bandwagon.  There’s no particular criteria you must meet, nor a certain process you must follow.  You don’t necessarily have to join the gym.  It’s not imperative you own a certain kind of shoes.  Planning to exercise for a whole hour five times a week is not necessary.  And you certainly don’t need to start a ‘diet’ – in fact, if you wish to make this real and sustainable, then diets should definitely be avoided.  All you need is your own personal desire to treat your health and fitness as a project, let it be a work in progress, and one that you are happy to slowly work towards for the rest of your life.